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Celebrate summer with good food
By: Kane on 5/17/2011 6:08:29 PM Category: Travel Notes
Tags: ,summer, restaurant, Chinese cuisine, traditional Chinese,
Beijing's restaurant scene gets so much busier with the coming of summer. There is a lot to do and a lot to try.
 
The opening of the Beijing International Food Festival and the ninth Zhongguancun International Food Festival in late April inspired more than 20 restaurants to display their dishes at New Yansha Mall. It also provided an opportunity to check out traditional Chinese food and "New Chinese cuisine".
 
Every diner who orders is entered in the lucky draw to win one of 10 iPads, in addition to getting a complimentary dish with every three items ordered. Some of the 20 dishes on offer are grandma's brown-braised pork chops, small-cage steamed buns with crab roe, and chicken soup with bean curd knots.
 
Some memorable dishes at the media tasting were beef prepared by the diners themselves on an Australian lava stone and a savory traditional meatball soup. The Chinese wine sommelier did a good job of choosing Australian wines that suit the Chinese palate.
 
Another recently opened restaurant is a branch of the Confucius Restaurant in Yizhuang Economic Development Zone, located just outside the capital city's southeast Fifth Ring Road. The restaurant looks like the Confucius Residence, and Confucian culture is a decorative theme. Although the dishes show no obvious connection with Confucius, their names do.
 
Since the weather is getting hot, Beijing's al fresco dining places are in full swing. Villa Castanea, near the Fragrant Hills, has a beautiful natural environment and is good for barbecues and German beer accompanied by a live blues band. The establishment will be open for afternoon teas and dinner until midnight for the summer.
 
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