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wineitup
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Going to Beijing in April for a meeting. Might be able to sneak away from the group for a meal or two on my own. Any suggestions?

Your best bet is to get in touch with "Pandahugga" here on Rockwell. I don't know if he still checks out the posts here very often, but he is now living in Beijing and writing a blog, so you might try that. Here is a link:

http://www.jamesinbj.com/

He also still posts occasionally on CH as James G; try searching the CH China board.

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Dinner at Little Yunnan (No.28 Huangchenggen North Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100010, China) with a big group, sitting around a bunch of tables put together, gave us the chance to try about 20 different dishes here. The person sitting next to me is from Beijing, and was impressed with the freshness of the ingredients and the 'true' Yunnan character of the food. Too many highlights for me to list, and I wouldn't have any idea what the names of the dishes were, but I would especially recommend the prawns with peanuts and tea, a nicely crispy (due to the shells, of course) dish with a complex seasoning blend that becomes slightly addictive. The wild mushrooms with chilies were also delicious and (I was told) a Yunnan specialty.

Dinner at Made in China in the Grand Hyatt Beijing was fine--it was unquestionably a greatest hits, with some interesting twists. The ma po tofu had venison tendon added, for instance. The honey-glazed prawns were very nice. My Chinese colleagues had mixed views on the peking duck and the kung pao chicken, with some thinking that they were very good and others a bit less impressed. The service was friendly and generous, and we sat right across from the 'wok' room and next to the dumpling-making operation, so it was a good show.

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Dinner at Mei Fu Jia Yan was a nicely choreographed evening, with a multiple course (8? 9?) menu written out on a fan. The courses were small, precise and pleasing--nothing sticks out as a particular standout, with the fast tempo of the service leading to an overall impression--a good one. This restaurant is nicely tucked away in the middle of a hutong, and features photos and costumes of the opera singer who lived in the house and received many guests there.

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