“I’ll have the AIDS soup,” I said.
It wasn’t officially called AIDS soup. Not now. Shortly after I’d blogged about their deviant menus, the restaurant had crossed out every appearance of the word “AIDS” with a sharpie. Now it was simply “Strong Tibetan Sheep Placenta Nourishing Soup [XXXX].”
Still a mouthful.
But I’d had a few beers, and scraped at the sharpie with my fingernail. The AIDS came back. Now I knew what I was getting. Strong Tibetan Sheep Placenta Nourishing Soup AIDS.
And this was what I’d come for.
I’m long overdue posting about this incredible meal of AIDS Soup, sheep placenta and frog skin. It was weeks, months?, ago already. But I guess the awesomeness of the meal has just taken this long to sink in.
There were six of us. We came for the Chinglish.
… But we stayed for the food.
It’s a fascinating find in a Beijing mall, just steps from a Starbucks, a Beard Papa, and Hello Kitty Dreams Restaurant. It doesn’t read like Beijing 2012. The menu is bloated with bugs and turtles and obscurata. I almost expected to find live monkey brains listed.
Oh, it was.
Okay, that’s probably just a poetic name.
Or the Disney potpourri hit, Insect Story:
We expected shock. We got awe.
The bamboo worms with a spicy powder dipping sauce were addictively good. Crunchy like chips, with a numbing effect. Alongside a large bottle of Dali beer, these were Yunnanese heaven.
“Dutch Beer,” mint leaves wrapped in carpaccio beef and drizzled in chili sauce, were divine.
Then came the AIDS soup — filled with nourishing traditional Chinese medicine herbs and spices. What a broth of gorgeousness!
Ecological bullfrog stocking — dropped into the bubbling AIDS broth — was bony, as frog always seems to be, but the skin was slimy and strange and delish…
A meal. A night. A plate that looked like a Troma movie.
Kudos to Iris, the Professor, Shuk-wah, Mike and the WooLand Hotel for joining. Forgotten Perfume, yes. Forgotten Sheep Placenta, yes. (Was I charged for that?) But the meal? Remembered.
(And check out those sweet Yunnanese aprons! Yes!!)