Category Archives: Extraordinary Eats

Extraordinary Eats / ,

These Deranged Clown Cookies Will Give Your Children Nightmares

These Milk Bikis Milk Cream Biscuits might just be the creepiest teatime snack I’ve ever seen.

milky-biscuits2

Like the John Wayne Gacy of high tea.

/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / ,

21 Amazing Bangalore Breakfast Dishes

The first time I saw the menu, I was lost. Sure, I knew dosas and idlis, but that was as far as it went. The other items were utterly alien to me.

indian-menu

And so I did the only thing I could: I decided to eat them all.

It took longer than expected. Tasted better than expected. And added more pounds than I would have thought possible. But here they are…

Pongal

Poongal

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/ by Dean Pickles / 94 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / ,

At Least They’re Being Honest

I guess they were out of the Just Okays.

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

Beijing’s Single Most Horrific Meal

The Beijing Penis Restaurant, officially known as Guolizhuang, doesn’t just serve cock. You can get absolutely anything there.

Stewed Deer Face. Sheep foetus in brown garlic sauce. Peacock claws. It’s like a Guangzhouren’s wet dream.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 13 Comments
Chinglish, Extraordinary Eats / ,

We Ate Beijing Enemas, So That You Didn’t Need To

“Why not start today with a plate of freshly-fried old enema,” I thought. It was bright, garish, and advertised on the wall. “It must be good.”

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Chinglish, Events, Extraordinary Eats / ,

On Eating a Steaming Hot Bowl of Sweet AIDS Soup

“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].”

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/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / ,

You’re Not Going to Believe These Awful Beer Flavors…

Sitting in the back of my fridge, I just found a pair of abominations: lemon juice beer and pineapple flavor beer. Where they came from, god only knows.

But it was time to get rid of them.

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/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Cute & Kawaii, Extraordinary Eats / ,

The Hello Kitty Restaurant is as Awesome As You’d Dream

“You ever feel like you’re stuck in a wind-up music box?” Michelle asked. The walls were pink. The waitresses were dressed as dolls. Piano keys tinkled softly. There were balloons and glitter and an off-season Christmas tree. We were trapped in a music box.

That’s how Hello Kitty wants you to feel.

Welcome to Hello Kitty Dreams.

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/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Chinglish, Events, Extraordinary Eats / ,

AIDS Soup isn’t the Weirdest Thing at this Local Restaurant

Sure, every restaurant may have a maggot-filled dish called Insect Story, and what’s a Chinese restaurant without a Jacopetti-inspired Monkey Head offering (even if it is just a bowl of fried mushrooms).

I don’t know, however, of a single other Beijing restaurant that boasts acquired immune deficiency syndrome sheep placenta soup.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 9 Comments
Extraordinary Eats /

The Great Chinese Chip Taste-Off

Lobster and Cheese! Melon! Lemon Tea! Chinese potato chips enter a mad world of flavors… but are they any good? I invited over a dozen wary friends, and put these crisps-of-amazement to the AsiaObscura taste test…

Oishi Melon Flavor Corn Curls
Baked, not fried! 14 minerals and vitamins! 0g Trans Fats! The box screams how healthy these chips are. The audience screamed, too. One taster actually vomited. Just a little. “God, that’s disgusting!” “It’s like a dry sponge from Lush Cosmetics!” Existing somewhere between perfume-flavored and watermelon bubble gum, these bizarre penne-shaped curls were unforgettably awful.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 5 Comments
Cute & Kawaii, Extraordinary Eats / ,

Hello Kitty, Hello Beijing!

Asia’s newest Hello Kitty restaurant, Dreams Hello Kitty, may not be open yet, but it’s getting reeeeeal close. We snuck inside for a few sweet pix before getting ousted…

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/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

Plucking Head Meat

Muslim Quarter, Xi’an

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Extraordinary Eats / ,

Awesomely Steampunk Portable Corn Roaster

Found this fellow in an alleyway behind my house the other day, roasting corn on the side of the road.

“What’s this machine called?” I asked. I was amazed, watching him flip the cobs from one tube to another, moving them closer and further from the flame below. Constantly he was rolling the tubes, handling the cooked corn with discarded husks.

He took a while to register the stupidity of the question, before answering, “It’s a roast corn machine.” (烤玉米机) Ah.

His awesomely rusty roast corn machine was screwed on top of a large beat-up tricycle, and powered by sticks of wood and wheels of coal.

“I built it himself,” he said. Not surprising — the chimney on the top of the machine was clearly banged together from spare bits of scrap metal. He sells 200 or more ears a day, he said, with a massive bag of uncooked ears at his feet. At 4 RMB a pop (60 cents), he sold 10 or 15 while we stood there.

/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / , ,

On Horse Meat Sashimi

It finally happened. We ordered the horse sashimi.

“You want what?” said the waiter, unsure.

“Horse meat,” I slurred in Chinese, that last bottle of sake harming my already-poor pronunciation. “Raw horse meat.”

The waiter looked at WooLand, who wasn’t listening, and then at me, and he finally shrugged and wrote it down. Clearly this wasn’t a dish foreigners often ordered.

马肉刺身 (Mǎròu cìshēn) is apparently a delicacy in Japan, and I’d long been dreaming of ordering it here. It’s served up sliced thin like carpaccio, with mashed ginger and scallions and onions and soy sauce. There, it’s called basashi (馬刺し).

Back home in the States, however, it’s completely illegal. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senator, has been working with The Humane Society to make sure no-one enjoys a nice plate of mare. His latest bill, pushing it further, will see that no more “children’s ponies are inhumanely transported and slaughtered, their meat shipped to places like France, Italy, and Japan for human consumption.”

Good thing I wasn’t in France, Italy or Japan!

Here in Beijing, the plate arrived an hour later, the steed gorgeously laid out with thin slices of garlic riding it like little sashimi cowboys.

“No horsin’ around here,” WooLand cried, as she carefully lifted a slice. It was a full, deep red. This is the color of meat. In Japan, the meat is called Sakura (桜), or Sakura Meat (桜肉), because it reminds people of cherry blossoms.

It was also chewy. And dripping, almost as if it had been injected with water.

“All the farmers do this,” my friend Little Yellow had told me, a few days earlier. “They inject their animals with water, so they can sell the meat for more money.” Steaks from our local grocery are heavy, but so bloated they can be ripped apart with your hands.

“I don’t think this is done to horse meat, though,” she told me later. “Beef, and pork, but not horse.”

This sliced stallion maybe was a frozen ride. That hour we waited, an hour of defrosting. I didn’t get the feeling this was a dish many people ordered.

We rolled it up tight around the garlic and scallions, and dipped it in soy sauce. Wrapped in so many flavors, like a burrito, the meat was reduced to a delivery mechanism. A thick and chewy tortilla of spicy glory. Maybe Lindsey has it right. Perhaps this is an inhumane use of a healthy children’s pony.

Next time I’ll try the donkey, and see if that’s any better.

Izaka-Ya, 4 Gongti Beilu (across from Rock and Roll Club, in the alley behind the Bookworm), Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
北京朝阳区工体北路4号

/ by Dean Pickles / 6 Comments
Extraordinary Eats /

The Parping Chicken

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Extraordinary Eats /

Dismember Live Seafood in a Chinese Restaurant

How could you pass this by? That’s advertising, all right!

Unlike I Dismember Mama, that old grindhouse yawner, this Guangzhou 海鲜 palace was as gory as promised. I only wish they’d handed out barf bags like the movie theaters did. This time, they would have actually been useful!

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/ by Dean Pickles / 3 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / ,

Red Onion-Flavored Red Wine

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Extraordinary Eats /

Chinese Giant Salamander – a tasty treat!

Pickles Sr, my China-based pa, recently stumbled across this classic headline in the CAAC Inflight Magazine. The CAAC, of course, is the government organ that’s tasked with enforcing “the unified supervision and regulation on the civil aviation activities of the whole country.” Glad that they’re promoting such tasty treats! Now if only the inflight meal had been as interesting (or even as identifiable) as this.

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Extraordinary Eats, Historical Wonders, Strange Tourism / ,

Video of the Cultural Revolution Restaurant

I gave all the juicy details of this restaurant where you can make merry, while celebrating the best of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, earlier this week.

But here, for your pleasure, is some video of the mad show and the flag-waving audience.

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/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Extraordinary Eats, Historical Wonders / ,

Relive the Cultural Revolution (aka The Weirdest Dinner Theater in Beijing)

Update: read the story below, but don’t miss the video of the performance!

“Two foreigners in the RED restaurant?” Reverb howled, “I think this will be more fun than the restaurant itself!”

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/ by Dean Pickles / 6 Comments