China

Getting to Know Cantonese Food in Hong Kong

Getting to Know Cantonese Food in Hong Kong

As I write the kitchen is suffused with the scent of fresh sesame oil from Derry’s baggage plunging me back into Jiang Tai market in Beijing where I purchased it from the spice counter on Monday of last week. In my minds eye I can see Claire and Shan at my side while Derry takes Dermot around to the fruit sellers and fish mongers, the butchers and bread makers. A child who loves every kind of fruit, he is mesmerised by the fruit stalls as...

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A Tale of Two Cities – Beijing and Hong Kong

A Tale of Two Cities – Beijing and Hong Kong

“I’m an alien. I’m a legal alien…” – the words of the  Sting song get stuck in my head as I read the sign in the lift as it climbs to the 21st floor in Shane & Shan’s apartment. Of course I have never gone to the local Jiang Tai police to register and I’m confident enough that a combination of my valid visa, Irish passport and visiting relatives status would get me by if I was challenged but...

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From Duncannon via Beijing – Shananigans Pulled Pork

From Duncannon via Beijing – Shananigans Pulled Pork

Well hello there. I’m the pool of liquid on the sofa in Shane and Shan’s Beijing apartment trying my best  to reconstitute myself into human form. I am back in China for a second time in as many months and it is hot, hot, hot. Summer has arrived with a vengeance. The temperature rises from 28 degrees C at 6 am to a humid high of 36C in the early afternoon and then slowly drops again overnight. Even now at 11 pm on a Saturday night...

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Longevity Village and a Grill Mates BBQ on the outskirts of Beijing

Longevity Village and a Grill Mates BBQ on the outskirts of Beijing

It’s Friday night and I have been watching Des Bishop on the Late Late Show, clips from his “Breaking China” series a welcome reminder of our time in Beijing. Truth is I am homesick for my home from home. And this time it’s not just Shane, Shan, Dermot and his squdigy hugs that I’m missing. I’m feeling the loss of place and pace – the group of nai nai in the lobby of Shane’s 25 floor apartment...

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Sichuan Dinner at Yuxiang Kitchen

Fun on the magic stairs Yuxiang Kitchen Lido Square Yuxiang Kitchen Crispy duck Sichuan black bean beef Sichuan fried green beans Yes… I think…. I like...

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A Taste of Yunnan Province at Feng Huang Zhu Restaurant Beijing

The English wooden sign on the door simply says Yun Nan Restaurant Bar but Shan tells me the Chinese characters read Feng Huang Zhu – which translates as Phoenix Bamboo. It is an unprepossessing place from the outside, one of the many little hutong houses just around the corner from Drum and Bell Towers and a short walk from Hou Hai lake. I love this area of Beijing. It is touristy but oozing with character and if I blot out the tackier...

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