Friday, October 20, 2017

Good Eats: Qin Shan Zhai Restaurant, Chengdu, China


Qin Shan Zhai Restaurant  No.247 Temple of Marquis Street, Wuhou District.  Located just next door to the historic and cultural site--the Temple of Marquis--this two-story restaurant consists of a warren of dining rooms that evoke old Sichuan culture and the customs of Old Chengdu.  The specialty here is medicinal foods, or the Chinese Medicated Diet, which is a blend of traditional Chinese medicine and culinary philosophy.  It is the first restaurant in China to advocate this cuisine. 

hot pepper dish at Qin Shan Zhai Restaurant in Chengdu, China
hot pepper dish at Qin Shan Zhai Restaurant in Chengdu, China

The signature dish---Ba Wang Bie Ji, named after the movie “Farewell My Concubine”--is an aromatic chicken soup made with various medicinal herbs.  When the soup turns white it is done.  The dish is good for your health and hard to find outside of Chengdu.  The restaurant is also a feast for your eyes, with a miniature classic garden featuring rockeries, corridors, pavilions, and bridges blending with waterfalls and plants. Sometimes, short cultural performances are presented that sometimes include snippets of Peking Opera. 





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images and video ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Great Sleeps: Tibet Hotel Chengdu, Chengdu, China


Tibet Hotel Chengdu  No.10 North People's Road, +86)28-83183388.  4 stars.  271 rooms; 17 floors.  Fitness center.  2 restaurants.  No pets.  Free parking.  Situated on the banks of the Jinjiang River adjacent to the downtown area, this atmospheric hotel features comfortable rooms with raised bathtubs and Tibetan touches.  Bathroom amenities are contained in a decorative box.  The gift shop consists of a museum-like Tibetan Culture Shopping Promenade that offers spectacular treasures for sale, and a full-size artificial yak resides in the spacious lobby.  Though I missed the Cloud Incense Bar, where you can “making friends with incense,” it does sound intriguing and worth seeking out.  Tibetan folk songs are sung and Tibetan tea is served every evening in the bar from 8:30 to 9 p.m., and a Tibetan performance and banquet is sometimes held in the Red Palace Banqueting Hall.  

lobby of Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
lobby of Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China


artificial yak in lobby of Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
artificial yak in lobby of Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China


gift shop arcade at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
gift shop arcade at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
 

guest room at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
guest room at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
 

guest room bathroom at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
guest room bathroom at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China


view from guest room at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
view from guest room at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China


Tibetan breakfast with yak butter tea at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China
Tibetan breakfast with yak butter tea at Tibet Hotel Chengdu in Chengdu, China


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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Good Eats: Huang Cheng Lao Ma, Chengdu, China


Huang Cheng Lao Ma  20, 2nd Ring Rd South, 3rd Section.  In a city famous for hot pot, this is the most famous of the hot pot restaurants.

seating along conveyor belt at Huang Cheng Lao Ma hot pot restaurant in Chengdu, China
seating along conveyor belt at Huang Cheng Lao Ma hot pot restaurant in Chengdu, China

This traditional meal is served in untraditional style here and includes a buffet that alone could fill you up.  You can choose from dim sum-style dumplings, fresh fruit, and salad, and also mix up your own dipping sauce.  Diners have a choice of sitting at small tables, or at a long raised bar where a moving conveyor belt presents constantly changing selections for you to put in your personal hot pot.  Hot pots come in mild, hot, and extra hot (hot is so hot that I didn’t want to find out what extra hot is like).  Opting for the basic yuanyang style (half spicy, half mild) seems like the way to go.  I especially liked the mushrooms, but did not even try the fish heads.  Rumor has it that Michelle Obama ate here.  A free “children-keeping” area is on the second floor for under age 6, and a tea house is on the fourth floor.  



 

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image and video ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Good Eats: 533 Viet-Fusion, Palm Springs, California


533 Viet Fusion  1775 E Palm Canyon Dr., #625, in Smoke Tree Village Shopping Center, (760) 778-6595.  I wasn’t expecting much from a shopping mall Vietnamese restaurant.  Turns out I was in for a surprise.  The spacious open dining room offers plenty of comfortable seating on some midcentury-style orange and white chairs.  A full bar produces drinks made delicious by a talented bartender, most notably a gorgeous pink Guava Mojito and a delicious mai tai-like Rum Rickshaw.  A great dinner can be composed from several shared dishes.  A spring roll from the dedicated spring roll bar makes a perfect appetizer/salad course.  Then choose a curry--the exceptionally yummy yellow curry has a deep and complex flavor--and perhaps also a sweet tamari-glazed salmon dish served with noodles.  Dessert is easy because there is currently only one choice--coconut-lime crème brulee, which the management decided on because that is what everyone ordered when they previously offered a longer menu. 

dining room at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
dining room at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California


Guava Mojito at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
Guava Mojito at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California



spring rolls at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
spring rolls at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California



yellow curry at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
yellow curry at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California



tamari-glazed salmon at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
tamari-glazed salmon at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California



coconut-lime crème brulee at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
coconut-lime crème brulee at 533 Viet Fusion in Palm Springs, California
533 Viet Fusion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sights to See: Sichuan Opera at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse, Chengdu, China


Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse  23 Qintai Rd., in Chengdu Culture Park, Qingyang District.  130 RMB including tea.  A favorite venue to see Sichuan Opera, this old theater presents a nightly 1½-hour show that includes as well as traditional Sichuan folk performances featuring stick puppets, fire spitting, and face changing.  The audience sits as viewers would have long ago, in comfortable oversize bamboo lounge chairs, and are served tea and nibbles.  Massage and ear wax cleaning is available before and during the performance, and before the show starts the audience has access to the dressing rooms to watch the performers getting ready.  Several more attractions are adjaent:  Qingyang Taoist Temple, Wuhou Memorial Temple, and Dufu Cottage.


night exterior of Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China
night exterior of Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China


interior of Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China
interior of Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China


Sichuan Opera performers get ready at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China
Sichuan Opera performers get ready at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China


Sichuan Opera performer poses at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China
Sichuan Opera performer poses at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China


Sichuan Opera performer poses at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China
Sichuan Opera performer poses at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China

 
Sichuan Opera performance at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China
Sichuan Opera performance at Shu Feng Ya Yun Teahouse in Chengdu, China


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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers