Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beijing Day 6 Part 2: Yuan Ming Yuan

ok, here comes e exciting bit of day 6
LUNCH!

another recommendation from Gerry's fren
& she had really good recommendations & directions for us!!

hua jia yi yuan
*its actually in both e lonely planets & e frommer's guidebooks*

Dongcheng
235 Dong Zhi Men Nei Da Jie
(aka Gui Jie)

tis restaurant is actually located in a restored courtyard house
traditional looking & very pretty!
& on e day tat we went, there was a 20% discount promo gg on! =)

i fell in love with e tea tat we ordered!

its called e Jin Lian Hua tea
if i were to do a literal translation, it means Golden Lotus tea
*but dun tink its lotus flower in there lah*

e waitress told us tat its supposed to hv colling properties

well,its e prettiest tea tat i ever drank
i took countless shots of e tea
kekeke.... even attempted an artistic shot of it

ok here's wat we ordered:

tis one here is ba wang ji
basically its steamed chicken in their version of curry sauce
e least yummy & exciting of all e dishes for tis meal
*we were saying tat we shld hv tried another chicken dish instead*

then we had chinese lettuce
at least, tat's wat i tink is e english name of e veg
i learnt all e veg names from my ma
& they're all in mandarin lah
so i aint very gd with matching veg to their english/western names =P

then brocoli *AHA! tis is one veg tat i know for sure!*
with fish maw

gerry also ordered some steamed egg with foie gras
i'm not a fan of liver of any sort, so skipped tis
but it looked really pretty!

then we were greedy enuff to order both desert
& kau di gua (roasted sweet potato) as well!!
i luv e kau di gua in beijing!
so sweet & yummy!!

then e other desert we had
i'm not sure wat its even called
but if u ever order it, pls do eat it with e plum leaf tat it comes with
enhances e taste very well!!

*kekeke... play mobile at photo shoot again!*

after lunch we headed for Yuan Ming Yuan
aka Old Summer Palace

emperor Qianlong had intended for tis to b a European-style garden
so dun expect e usual pagodas, pavilions & stuff
instead e old summer palace is in reality a ruins garden

e old summer palace comprises of 3 separate imperial gardens
gerry & were so tired & bothered by e hot sun
we caved & travelled along in these trams

couple of ruins were note-worthy
e.g. there was one of a mosque tat was built for e emperor's muslim concubine
*& i dun tink e emperor converted to Islam*

then tis pic is one of e ruins of a grand fountain which once had sculptures of e 12 heads of e animals in e chinese zodiac
apparently some were looted off by invading armies
e chinese govt managed to recover some
*gerry & i wondered if a certain sculpture involved in a furore over an unpaid auction mgt hv belonged here in ancient history*

honestly, i was disappointed with e old summer palace
i mean, sure i knew it was a ruins garden b4 gg
*since i read parts of e guidebooks*
but i had high expectations after e new summer palace

but its lk some desolate ghost town lor!
& nothing much exciting as well
according to some signage,
there was supposed to b a peony festival display somewhere
we walked & walked
BUT NO PEONIES!!
i ended up pretty frustrated =(

e only thg tat really impressed me there was tis wan hua zhen
literal translation: 10,000 flower maze
*no flowers thou*

its a restored labyrinth
& u hv to look closely at e carvings on e walls of e maze if u ever get there
its etched with e swastika sign all over

well, b4 u go all indignent n upset
note tat tis is a different swastika sign
e direction is different

in ancient chnese character,
tis symbol actually refers to e numeral quantity of wan or thousand
there's absolutely nothing sinister abt it at all k

well, fortunately dinner saved e day
*well, food was e exciting bits for day 6*
we ended up at Morel's based on recommendation from lonely planet tis time

actually we had intended to head somewhere else for dinner
but when we got there, e place had apparently closed down!
so ended up at Morel's
& had one of e best beef stew we ever tasted!

Morel's
Geng Ren Ti Yu Chang Bei Lu
(opposite north gate of e workers' stadium)
& very near our hotel

unfortunately, e owner has rules against taking photos
cos some bloke went to sabotage his menu prices online
so these were e only photos i managed b4 they stopped me

but seriously food was great & portions huge!
we shared btwn us:
complimentary bread - freshly baked, hot & absolutely delicious carbo
beef stew - delicious & tender
apple pie - i liked it but gerry found it a tad too sweet 4 her
& e world's no. 1 beer (forgot wat its called thou) - i'm not a beer drinker, but tis one sat well with me
*yeah... i'm still amazed tat we managed to lose weight after all e feasting*

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