Fake Harbin

Harbin is quite an unusual city. For starters, its name in Chinese is three characters, deriving from a Manchu word. And its history as a Russian base has left an indelible European imprint on the city. But other than the unusual architecture and the local’s apparent love for ice cream popsicles, it really did seem […]

A Chinese takeout in China!

Mom-and-pop restaurants are a-plenty in China — straight-up dives whose only characteristics are cheap and dirty. A lot of times they don’t even have real names, their signs simply stating 成都小吃 (Chengdu xiaochi, Chengdu small eats) or 家常菜 (jia chang cai, home-style food). They serve more or less the same food — staple cold dishes, […]

An Ode to Honeymoon Dessert

I can’t believe I haven’t written this post earlier. But anyway, if you know me at all, you know that I love dessert. Of all varieties. Like cakes, cupcakes, custards, pies, puddings, and of course, ice cream. Of course, in China, the Western dessert bar is set kind of low, but luckily I love Asian […]

Weekend fun: Mushrooms

Boyfriend is on his own visa run for the next few weeks, so that can only mean one thing, besides soul-crushing loneliness: I CAN EAT ALL THE MUSHROOMS I WANT! I love mushrooms. They should be in everything I eat. When they aren’t, I feel sad. Boyfriend can’t stand the sight of them, like I […]

The si gua

There’s a common vegetable here that I love, 丝瓜 (si gua), which is often found in soups and stir-fries at restaurants. It is commonly translated in menus as “towel gourd,” though Google prefers to call it “luffa,” which is derived from its scientific name (apparently it turns into loofahs when it grows older). According to Wikipedia, […]