Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chinese "accessories"

I am always intrigued with the foods that decorate dishes in Chinese restaurants. Once I was served a plate decorated by a huge carrot that had been carved into a dragon.

On our trip to Beijing last fall, we ate at a small restaurant across the street from Prince Gong's Palace. One of the dishes came with "roses" that were actually Chinese turnips sliced thin and then fashioned into roses.  (I apologize for the quality of the photo, but this at least gives you some idea of what you'll find eating out in the Middle Kingdom.)

I have always thought the Chinese turnip was a particularly beautiful vegetable. The inside is this beautiful fuchsia-colored flesh, while the outer peeling is a lime green. The color combinations work very well together.

What intrigues me is restaurants which serve food like this aren't always the five-stars. This was served to us in a simple neighborhood eatery. Attractive decorations like this add a lot to the enjoyment of meals, don't you agree?

Are you going to China?

If you're planning a trip to China, please see my website and feel free to email me if you have any questions. Need a guidebook to help you get more out of the Chinese capital? Check out DIY Beijing: a guide for the independent traveler and Parents Guide to Beijing: a kid-friendly city. Both are available in print from GuideGecko and Amazon Kindle.

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