Category Archives: Extraordinary Eats

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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. For China: For elsewhere:

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

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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!" Red Restaurant, in the east of Beijing, is an opportunity to relive the passion and pain of China from the late 50s through the late ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 6 Comments
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Korea’s Dunkin’ Donuts Ruins All the Fun

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Imagine a future where donuts come in horrid flavors: carrot, tofu, spinach. Now recognize that the future clearly lives in Korea.  Now imagine how it could be worse... Yep.  In Korea, they've introduced the Broccoli Donut. I tried to resist. This is a country of cakes, and bakeries, and wonderful mad original tasty treats.  But ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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The Best Place to Eat and Poop, Together!

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Shenzhen is China's legendary modern city, so what better place for the modern craze that's already swept Taiwan: Toilet Restaurants! Yes, that's right... eateries dedicated to the modern sit-down crapper! Can you imagine selling any other restaurant with a promotional poster like this one? At "Modern Toilet" restaurant, you sit on a gleaming clean pooper while ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
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Beer as it’s Best: Served from a Baggie

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In the incredible Qingdao, you'll never be without a beer. It's the home of Tsingdao, after all! Delivery trucks stand on every corner, engines running. Buildings decorate their roofs with massive cans. Even the sidewalk paving stones sometimes feature cartoon animals getting tanked. It truly is the city made by beer. If you're looking for a quick drink, though, ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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Lucky Fruit (and Ain’t So Lucky Fish)

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Yesterday, these little nectarines showed up at the market. Dyed (branded? scalded? waxed? greased up with dirty stinking chemicals?) with Chinese characters, they read tall (高), shining (照), a thing (事) and happiness (喜). "No, no, no," said Echo, a good friend. "You've bought the wrong ones, and got them in the wrong ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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Fish Heads in the Hutongs

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Walking through Beijing, I'm never sure whether things are to be thrown away, or if they're the meal being prepared.

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Why Chinese Pharmacies Sell Dried Sea Horses

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Soy Sauce Kit Kats (and other awesome flavors)

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I was a little confused about the Tokyo airport when I flew through there a few weeks ago. It seemed so... rundown. Ceiling tiles missing, chairs blocking entrances, stores closed. And then I saw this sign. Uh-oh. What had I missed during my media blockout? Turns out the third reactor was ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 5 Comments
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Why Some Chinese People Still Eat Fried Worms

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Just like the baijiu-soaked deer penis, earthworms are a legendarily royal remedy here in China.  They're not even called worms, but something far more royal: Earth Dragons (地龙). It all started with Emperor Taizu of the Song Dynasty, who ruled China from 960 to 976. Apparently, he had a wretched case of shingles. All of the ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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Kiev: The Weirdest Ukranian Opera Restaurant in Beijing

Missing those classic Yevhen Hrebinka hits?  Desperate for a Chicken Kiev and a bottle of Stoli?  But sick of those stern Soviet babushkas slapping down watery bowls of borscht? I hear you, brother. The closest I'd gotten to good Ukranian in Asia was in a subterranean Beijing nightclub. The bouncer outside was a scowling mohawked dwarf in ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
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Blood Hair Strength Stew

When they heard I'd never tried 毛血旺 (maoxuewang) Stew, my coworkers were horrified. Absolutely aghast. "What, you have to try it! You'd love it! It's my favorite dish," said Ginger.  "In English, it means 'Blood Hair Strength.'"  Oh, I knew I'd like this. And it was pretty damn good. Fat solid ...

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Why Chinese Drugstores Sell Deer Embryo and Penis

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Eating snake seems so sleazy, and eating ants is just gross. So much nicer than either of these? A young, innocent deer. That's one of the most common sights in a Chinese pharmacy, and when you see one stuffed, it represents longevity, happiness, luck and benevolence. And every single part of that benevolent deer is ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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Why Chinese Pharmacies Still Sell Ants

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It turns out that, compared to $3000 snake penises, ants are a real bargain at just $30 a kilo. But who in their right minds would eat ants? Maybe the happiest emperor in the history of China, Emperor Qianlong? He died just before the 19th century began, at the pretty insane age of 89, and ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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Why Chinese People Eat Snake as Medicine

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Every time I pass by one of those classic Chinese pharmacies, I can't help but stop.  You've seen them -- the deer antlers and sea cucumbers sold in gift boxes; the dusty owls perched above the counter; the ants, sea horses, and snakes in cabinets.  You can't help but wonder...  at least, I can't...  why ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 5 Comments
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Medicinal Sea Horse Soup

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I adore TCM.  But I don't know what to say about this bowl of "Pigeon Soup with Chinese Medicine" we ordered last night at Gongti's Xuxian Lou (许仙楼的《川弓海马乳鸽汤》). Yep, that's a sea horse floating on top. I found myself eating around it, taking bites of dark red meats, chewing down foul beans, and sipping up the ...

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Now this is what I call appealing….!

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Horse meat sashimi, as served up in Beijing.

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Eating a Whole Roast Suckling Pig

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It wasn't as mouth-shockingly good as we'd hoped... but then again, this little guy looks pretty evil, too. Found at Tang Jai Yoo in Bangkok's Chinatown.

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Kyrgyzstan things

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In China, I adore the "foreign" vs "domestic" duality. I'm not sure that it's any more skewed than our own is, but it's definitely different. My girlfriend, for example, is a Bostonian, several generations back. But because she looks Chinese (and, three generations ago, her family was), here she's Chinese. Just speaks ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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Pig Faces, Hong Kong

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I found these little puppies while looking for the Tak Fat beef ball stall, in the back of the Haiphong Road Temporary Muslim Market. Loved the simplicity with which they hung there (and desperately wanted to wear one as a mask.)

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