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Beijing Scene, Volume 5, Issue 21, August 13 - 19

Restaurant Guide
Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You at Jintaiyuan Restaurant

Jintaiyuan is a local restaurant located somewhere close to where I work in Tuanjiehu. It's easy to find when you're on an Erguotou binge. Sometimes when I'm stumbling drunk. I like to go there for a bite to eat - something to soak up the liquor, you know, but with flavor. So Jintaiyuan restaurant has quickly become our place to eat when we're too hammered to really care about stuff like decor, ambience, shit like that. We come for the food, and let me tell you pal that the food is pretty damn good.

We went there tonight actually, greeted at the door by the manager, a Mr. Huang, who recognizes us from our frequent late night visits to his eatery. Hey, yeah, ni hao and all that. Mr. Huang tries to steer us upstairs for a private room, as they're cool and comfortable enough to have a serious style business luncheon in, but we decline.

"We like the ambience here," one of us tells the manager, so he seats us downstairs at one of the big round tables with a lazy susan in the middle. Service is great, we get tea and beer. Who could ask for anything more? We explain to Mr. Huang that we're journalists, and we want to write about his restaurant so that we can write the meal off on our company. Mr. Huang is delighted to help, cause he's a pretty swell guy and all, and pretty soon we're having a great spread laid out in front of us. This one dish comes out, and it was like, a huge plate of tiny crunchy bits of fish fried up with peanuts but sitting on the plate with the noodles was like, whoa dude, a DRAGON HEAD, back off. But the dragon head was actually a carving, made from a huge-ass carrot with this wire sticking out of the head to make antennae. Man, that was great, we were just stuffing ourselves with it.

Then we got a bunch of pork dishes. One was short ribs in a red sauce, sweet and tender just practically falling off the bone. The next pork dish was some big old slabs of fatty meat, which was Chairman Mao's favorite dish or something.

It was also really good, and I said that Old Master must've really known good food, which is kind of cool if you think about it. Plus we had some more beer.

We also got this fish that was served in a wrapped up wicker basket, with green shallots. This dish was the best tasting, but it had a lot of bones in it.
There was a really good fruit salad dish, all freshly diced oranges and apples and other bits of nature's goodness. They used to put mayonnaise on it when we first started coming, but we asked them to stop so now we get the mayo on the side. We also got these pickles that were sour and cut up like little flowers. I couldn't handle too much of that flavor, man, not in the shape that I'm in, so I just ate, like, three.

Oh, we had more beer and tea, and looked at the decor, which is a bunch of these Chinese paper posters and a wooden carving. I think it was a boat. Anyway, we love this place because it's not too pricey and has kind of a family feel to it. If you go there, you can drink beer or Erguotou or whatever, because its all pretty good and cheap at this place. So all and all I'd have to give this place a thumbs up. Over and out, comrades.

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