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beijing’s best magazine just got better

2013/06

Drinking Games

who won the reader bar & Club awards? find out inside 1

june 2013

ch e br ck a o ev nd ut se en -n ou ct ts ew r io n

Beijing's Barmen go for gold


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2013/06

ECOLOGICAL ECONOMY CN 53-1197/F ISSN1673-0178 6

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ECOLOGICAL ECONOMY 生态经济(英文版) 主管单位: 云南出版集团公司

Distribution Coordinator Cao Yue

主办单位: 云南教育出版社

Accountant Judy Zhao

出版: 生态经济杂志社

Cashier Alice Wang

社长: 李安泰

HR & Admin Manager Denise Wang

主编: 高晓铃

HR & Admin Executive Cathy Wang

地址: 昆明市环城西路609号云南新闻出版大楼4楼

HR & Admin Assistant Siyu He

邮政编码: 650034

Director of Digital Communications & PR Iain Shaw

国内统一刊号: CN53-1197/F

Chief Technical Officer Badr Benjelloun

国际标准刊号: ISSN1673 – 0178

IT Support Yan Wen

Managing Editor Jonathan White

Web Managing Editor Jonathan White Deputy Web Managing Editor Jessica Rapp

Deputy Managing Editor Paul Ryding Editors Cat Nelson, Jessica Rapp, Nick Richards Copy Editor Lilly Chow

Junior Web Editor Crystal Li Photographers Mitchell Pe Masilun, Sui, Lova Sales Manager Ivy Wang

Visual Planning Joey Guo Contributors George Ding, Jessica Folker, Sarah Karacs, Crystal Li, Kyle Mullin, Edward Ragg, Steven Schwankert, Iain Shaw Advertising Agency True Run Media

Sales Account Executives Heiko Busch, Sheena Hu, Amy Sun, Sophia Zhou Sales Junior Account Executives Ella Chen, Maggie Zhang

全国广告总代理: 深度体验国际广告(北京)有限公司

Sales Trainee Anna Rudashko

北京广告代理: 北京爱见达广告有限公司

Sales Assistant Wendy Lv

地址: 北京市朝阳区建国路93号万达广场10号楼2801室 邮政编码: 100022 电话: 5820 7700, 5820 7100 传真: 5820 7895 Room 2801, Building 10, Wanda Plaza, 93 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100022 General Manager Michael Wester

General inquiries: 5820 7700, 5820 7100 Fax: 5820 7895 Editorial inquiries: editor@thebeijinger.com Event listing submissions: listings@thebeijinger.com Sales inquiries: sales@truerun.com Marketing inquiries: marketing@truerun.com Distribution inquiries: distribution@truerun.com Complimentary copy, not for sale. 部分非卖品,仅限赠阅

Operations Director Toni Ma Editorial Director Jerry Chan Chief Art Director Jacopo Della Ragione

www.issuu.com/thebeijinger

Art Director Susu Luo

the_beijinger

Designers Xi Xi, Helen He, Yuki Jia

theBeijinger

Marketing Manager Shana Zhang

WeChat

Event and Brand Manager Victoria Yang

facebook www.facebook.com/theBeijinger

Marketing Assistant Vicki Huang

twitter

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theBeijinger

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CITY SCENE

What’s Happening: Our picks of the best events of the month Stat: How does China rank in the beer stakes? Going Underground: Yuanmingyuan, Line 4 Scene & Heard: Party people at our Reader Bar & Club Awards

COVER FEATURE

Nightlife personalities from around the city assembled to vie for the coveted title of Beijing Barmen Olympics champion. The results: hilarious.

Food & Drink

What’s New: Park Square, Chapter, 3sums, Vineyard Cafe on the River, Quickie Salad, Wulixiang, Great Leap Brewpub, Monkey Mountain Club, 6 Lounge Alleyway Gourmet: Pigeon and beer at Yanjiao Shaogezi Just Desserts: Chocolate milkshake Cocktail Profiler: Dave Gaspar of The Brick Dining Feature: Booze-infused foods Drinks Feature: Beiing’s craft beer scene Grape Press: Wine judging Wokipedia: L is for … laozao, leng dan bei, lianou, lajiao jiang Last Orders: Rose Lin Zamoa of Jamaica Me Crazy Dining Q&A: Frank Camorra, visiting chef at EAST Beijing Taste Test: Yanjing beer varietals Reader Bar & Club Awards Results: All the winners and Editors’ Picks … plus what we’ve loved eating this month

Go MEET ECOLOGY EVENTS FUN AND GAMES

Inspect a Gadget: Party gadgets What’s New Venues: TD Store, Spring Cameras Giveaways: Element Fresh, Q Mex, Alio Olio, Rosewood Bar & Grill Features: Where to skateboard … plus where we wish we were this month Bookshelf: Tom Carter, editor of Unsavory Elements A Drink With: Ian Syer, president of Beijing Cricket Club Uniformity: Paul Afshar, Iwannabuy.com Feature: Dominic Johnson-Hill walks us through Plastered’s designs Feature: Photojournalist Sean Gallagher tells us about the environmental meltdown on the Tibetan Plateau and how the nomadic people of the region are adapting What you shouldn’t miss this month Win great prizes, plus Peking Man gets inside Lionel Shriver’s head

NEXT MONTH: JULY EVENTS Splish DEADLINE: splash JuNE 13 5

Our cover features bar managers Trevor Metz, Dave Gaspar and Jack Zhou (see p14). It was shot by Lova.

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The most important dates this month

WHAT’S HAPPENING 22

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Mashupsports. com have set up a multi-discipline team sport event over two weekends at Dulwich. They claim that every Beijing team sport is represented. That's odd, the tandem bike jousting club say they’ve heard nothing. Continues on June 23, 29, 30.

Beijing is getting its first Environment and Sustainability Fair at the Hilton Beijing this month. Exhibitors will range from vegan restaurants to organic farms via nonprofits and energy saving solutions.

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Swap till you drop. No, it’s not a Shunyi key party – it’s a no-money zone swapping bazaar at HomeShop, the Jiaodaokou community center. Bring everything you’d like to barter; they’ll appraise the goods so you can feel all Antiques Roadshow. More details at Homeshopbeijing.org.

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People who don’t like square dances are the squares, if you ask us. Who could be against a rootin’ tootin’ barnstormin’ hoedown? Do-si-do to the old-timey stylings of the Hutong Yellow Weasels at Malty Dog.

Rockland celebrates ten years of Chinese rock and roll. Yugong Yishan plays host to a tidy line-up that includes Wang Wen, Snapline and WHITE+. There’s also a sitar. Get advance tickets directly from the venue.

Women, want to get ahead in business? Head over to “Manspeak is Sexy,” where Mary Rezek discusses the art of assertive communication. Ignoring interruptions and verbal jousting are but two of the skills you’ll learn. Details at 85broadsbeijing.com.

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Just one short year ago, we were all bemoaning the quality of Mexican food in Beijing. And then Q Mex opened. Rue the arrival of their tequilas at their first birthday celebrations.

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We’re always a bit skeptical about networking events, but then again, they aren’t always in the Hilton Wangfujing’s swimming pool. If you want to press the flesh, check out FCgroup.org for more info.

We’re microbrew-mad, with good reason: the Beijing Craft Beer Festival at Galaxy Soho. Shanghai’s Boxing Cat and Taipei’s Le Ble D’or join Beijing’s brewers and homebrewers. Unmissable. Runs through June 22.

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The Rotary Club of Beijing have been doing good since 1924. Give them a pat on the back at their annual charity ball. This year’s black tie event takes place at the Four Seasons. More info at Beijingrotary.org.

For more events, see p74.

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Start as you mean to go on

CITY SCENE YUANMINGYUAN // JOKES // NEWSBITES // SCENE & HEARD

Cheers!

1 50.8 million barrels 4% abv

6 26 million barrels 5% abv

The best-selling brew in the world is Snow Beer.

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45.4 million barrels 4.1% abv

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4

38.7 million barrels 5% abv

30.4 million barrels 29.5 million barrels 4.6% abv 2.8% abv

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18.2 million barrels 4.2% abv

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18 million barrels 4.2% abv

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17.4 million barrels 4.8% abv

12.3 million barrels 5% abv

Data as of Sep 26, 2012 Sources: TheDrinksBusiness.com, Ratebeer.com

EDITOR’S LETTER

G

oodbye. It’s a word that we expats probably hear more than the people we’ve already said goodbye to back home. If we’re not being let go from yet another English-teaching job, then we’re at another farewell party – you could limit your nightlife to leaving parties and still end up being out five nights a week. Goodbyes are an inevitability of living in a city like Beijing. The city itself is always saying goodbye. The number of bars and restaurants that I’ve seen close over the last six years is more than the number of restaurants I have visited in every other country put together. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some places don’t deserve to stay open and the unforgiving marketplace squeezes them out, while some places have final sendoffs that live in infamy – PUNK and ClubFootball spring to mind. My apologies to the children and parents of the football class I coached the morning after the ClubFootball bar shut its doors for the final time.

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It feels like it’s been a year of goodbyes. Maybe I have just noticed it more because they have all been more profound. The passing of three very important figures from my formative years in quick succession probably kicked that off. More likely, it’s that the only man I have ever seen in the Old Trafford dugout, Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, has stepped down. It seems that there is something in the water. But goodbyes precipitate hellos. Without further adieu, I’d like to introduce our magazine’s brand-new format. Also, starting from next month, this fantastic team will be headed by a new Managing Editor, Mr. Steven Schwankert. I look forward to reading it. Thanks, Beijing. It’s been a pleasure.

Jonathan White Managing Editor

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generation gap

going underground

Yuanmingyuan, Line 4

CORRECTION: Comptoirs de France does not sell ficelles, fondants and financiers, as we incorrectly stated on p45 of the May issue. We apologize unreservedly for misunderstanding our error may have caused.

TIME TRAVEL Before it was infamously sacked by European soldiers in the mid-19th century, the Old Summer Palace (Exit B) housed the Qing dynasty government. At that time, the Forbidden City was in fact only used for ceremonies and most officials conducted their business in this palace of pagodas, lakes and gardens. In its current form, the park is still fairly new, having been restored for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. STAY DRY Many an old-timer can tell you stories of the days when Peking University was surrounded by nothing but fields, marshes and ponds. Consider the fact that the characters for Haidian (海淀) both have water radicals, hinting at the district’s aquatic history. When the Mongols took the capital over 10,000 years ago, they dredged the area and created manmade lakes and fish farms, hoping that less water would evaporate from the Forbidden City’s supplies at Kunming Lake. Watch for the big puddle at Peking University and don’t fall into the canal that runs just outside Exit C.

tell us a joke

photo: courtesy of ariel tudela

SELLING POINT At the junction of two of China’s most beautiful campuses and the Old Summer Palace, Yuanmingyuan is the perfect spot to find some shade, meditate, soak up some history and allow yourself some inspiration.

Ariel Tudela Owner, Mas Bar A rabbi, a priest, and a Lutheran minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Is this some kind of joke?” Ariel will happily serve up more at Mas.

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LEARN Around the corner from the waterway is Peking University, a serene campus that easily draws one into deep thought. Sneak into a lecture on comparative literature or law – go ahead, the professors don’t mind. Alternatively, head east to Tsinghua University and sign up for the renowned IUP summer program, where you enter an agreement to speak nothing but Chinese all day (and night).

june 2013


NEWSBITEs Beijing is ranked third among 20 Chinese cities in terms of difficulty in falling asleep. More than 80 percent of Beijing residents say that stress affects their sleep; difficulty in breathing and nightmares are also major factors. Funny, everyone seems more than capable of dozing off on the subway and in Ikea. With the completion of the southwest corner, Beijing subway Line 10 has achieved complete loopiness. At 57.1 km, it’s the world’s longest subway loop line – it takes approximately 104 minutes to make the complete circuit. The beauty of loop lines is that if you stay on long enough, you’re guaranteed to get a seat. So climb on and settle in for that snooze. The first seven stations of Line 14 have also opened, just in time to deliver green-thumb Beijingers and tourists to the ninth China International Garden Expo (which runs through November 18) in the far western suburbs. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the Fengtai-based line as irrelevant to your life. The

mighty L-shape swoop of Line 14 is also destined to unite Wangjing, Lido, Chaoyang Park and the eastern CBD by next year. Taxi fares are set to take a hike. It’s said that the base fare will increase to RMB 13 and there are discussions as to just how much the rate per kilometer will go up. All was set to be sorted at a public meeting on May 23 so we may already be feeling this in the pocket – or, more likely, the legs. David Beckham has apparently quit professional football in order to focus on his role as “image ambassador” for the CSL. Beijing is home to213,000 millionaires. We’re talking dollars, not RMB. That means one percent of the city is exceedingly fat-pocketed. Wonderland, the eerily photogenic half-finished theme park located about 20 miles northwest of the city center, is now finished. In the sense of it being scrapped. The dream is over.

no more adventures in wonderland

Over the past two decades, 500 Peking University baoan have gone on to become postgrad students. This makes us ponder the fate of other security guards we see. Is the one who guards your compound likely to become a property magnate? Where’s the best place to be the baoan? Dog owners, you have until the end of the month to register your hounds. Noncompliance will result in a fine – or at the very least, having to pay the full RMB 1,000 fee rather than just RMB 500 for renewal. Puppy dog eyes don’t work. Trust us, we’ve tried. Is China going to be toppled from its number-one spot in the badminton rankings? An outlandish prediction, but folks, you heard it here first. All these China cases of the H7N9 bird flu have apparently led to a shortage of shuttlecock feathers. As we all know, the average feathered shuttlecock barely lasts one game. (And that the best ones are made from the left wing of a goose.) What will all the elite athletes practice with? Fancy a barbecue? You may well be bang out of luck, my friend. Authorities are blaming grills for PM2.5 and forest fires, so there has been serious talk of a crackdown this summer. At least it might save us from eating rat. Remember that brief period a while back when jaywalking was a crime? At least 20,000 Beijingers surely will – that was the number of perps who were fined during the month-long trial. Will the jaywalking law have legs?

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SCENE & HEARD

10th Reader Bar & Club Awards Photos by Lova, Mitchell Pe Masilun, Sui, Janice Zhao and Abdel Beldy

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SCENE & HEARD

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I

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the win ning, Try tell ing tha it’s the takin g t to a b Anticip ar own part that cou a t in g er. nts. bloods ings in hed, n the bu Award a m il d e up t calling s, w and hu tion: W e sought a p o this year ’s rt feelre-emp e calle R e a d e d upo assem n the y tive truce. O r Bar & Clu ble in b u outh o Cha series f the B r peaceful so of athle oyang Park e lu ij ing to sett tic tria After t le their bar world t ls. he stir o d iff erence ring pa asked e s in a g ach co mpetit eantry of the by the o P r rule ara to s for the s of the Gam wear an oath de of Nation s, es, in th t glory o e true s o respect and we f sport them ju p a a ir bid nd st it o them o swore, which the honor o f sportsman e sh ut of b f their ed bef seemed apt, bars. M ip, And w o g o r iv e st of e n n it oon. that w the Ga h that, we li e’d got t the sa mes o ten c f the f moder irst Be red flame an n era. d decla ijing B ar men re Olymp d open iad of the

k& c a r T 1: Day

The Beijing Barman Olympics Official Medal Table Hammer(ed) Throw

Long Jump

Trevor Metz (Plan B)

17.84sec

5.24m

3.07m

Jack Zhou (The Bar)

18.01sec

3.82m

2.81m

Karl Long (Paddy O’Shea’s)

18.03sec

4.98m

2.19m

Tom Cattanach (The Black Sun)

19.21sec

2.71m

2.48m

Josh Lally (Lush)

18.79sec

4.40m

2.10m

Dave Gaspar (The Brick)

18.86sec

4.27m

2.05m

Minnie Li (Plan B)

20.12sec

0.9m

DNP

Seth Grossman (Home Plate)

21.24sec

1.6m

2.12m

See the results of the Reader Bar & Club Awards on p52.

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photos: LOVA and mitchell pe masilun

Two-Pint Dash

Name


Event: The 50-Yard Two-Pint Dash

and they're off ...

W

e challenged the combatants to a 10-yard sprint, but they had to carry two pints of lager while running and keep sloshing to a minimum. Who’s going to come on top for the speediest service in Beijing?

TREVOR romps home

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Dave gaspar, 4th place

: Eve ntam m e Th e H

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rs was th. Ou ey g n e r t th of s s far as le a a feat g r e o f k hand -liter room g a 20 aff can lways t in a s et w ’s e o e r h r t he re runk g e of th d h k s w a a r t e ba sy to se the ea ody likes a wants e b y n r o e y er . Ev could es – and ev lv e thems . tossed

Jack zhou, 5th place

T

Minnie Li, 8th place

seth grossman, 7th place

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josh lally, 6th place

ump J g : t n and, Eve n iquor Lo &T in h h G ’s r e hic stom Th e L drop. W h a cu

g : Wit ng a simple ithout spilli ink, boundin e r e w r w s d le n r a u u c he r s you you yo s far a o get t a d p e a t s le path? tru an be mit in their c n a barm ools of vo ll p over a Jack zhou, 2nd place

T

tom cattanach, 3rd place

karl long, 4th place

Dave gaspar, 7th place

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A

fter the Ba took th r Track & Field e actio events n in o Mixolo gy eve doors for the f the first day , we n e t q s a . ua n M d figur technic e skatin uch like rhy lly demandin al mer t g g h , thes mic gy it a in Pau mnast l Math nd artistic im e events are ic s scored ew pressio cockta on bot n. Ther il mind (PM) and Le h e for on Lee s th compe (LL), tw e, we called titors o at this count o n r y of the d compo has ev eportm fin e sition, and ap ent, flow of m r seen, to jud est pearan g o e our v eme ce of e ffortles nt, harmonio us sness.

: tion t a n e e r v E tai l C k c Co

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photos: LOVA

“Xinjiang Raspberry Caiprinha” by Alex Acker (京 A) Ingredients: Cachaça, fresh organic raspberry puree, fresh sliced lime, sprig of mint PM: Not enough raspberry, and limes are not that fresh. But good balance. Nice. Tastes professional. 8/10 LL: Vegetal, would need to be sweeter for the Brazilians. Great color and nose. Nice, rich and refreshing. 8/10

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“Gentle Finger” by Trevor Metz (Plan B) Ingredients: Pimm’s, vodka, lime, simple syrup, ginger ale PM: Refreshing, slightly bitter. Not bad. 5/10 LL: Light, refreshing, bitter. Citrus a bit old but okay. Not too sweet. 4/10 “Gincumber Smash” by Dave Gaspar (The Brick) Ingredients: dummy text dummy text dummy text dummy text dummy text PM: Refreshing. Could probably use soda/Sprite instead of tonic and more mint on top, but good. 6/10 LL: Pimm’s Cup – sweeter, possibly a little sour but refreshing and light for summer. Could be smashed a bit more, though, and more mint, but perfectly drinkable. 5/10 “Jack’s Old Fashioned” by Jack Zhou (The Bar) Ingredients: bourbon whiskey, soda water, bitters, sugar cube, orange peel garnish PM: It’s an Old Fashioned! Good. 6.5/10 LL: A bit too bitter and not stirred long enough. A solid drink. 6/10 “Summer in Beijing” by Luis Ramos (The Bookworm) Ingredients: vodka, strawberry Bols, orange juice, fresh mint, fresh ginger, lime juice, orange slice and cinnamon stick garnish PM: Had hopes – some interesting ingredients, but too

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leon and paul alex and seven

badr, seven and leon

sweet and too strong. 5/10 LL: Too much liquor. Too sweet – masks all the other flavors, but nice color. 5/10 “Cucumber Mojito” by Andy Bright (Union Bar & Grille) Ingredients: cucumber, white rum, fresh lime juice, mint leaves, brown sugar, soda/Sprite PM: Too many bits – needs straining between your teeth, but tastes good. A little bitter and a touch too sour. 5/10 LL: Too much fiber? Light but perhaps a bit too sour, but drinkable. Nice cucumber garnish. 5/10 “Vietnamese Breeze” by Nick Cyr (Brussels) Ingredients: lychee liquor, gin, grapefruit juice, cranberry PM: No problems with this. It tastes fresh, balanced and does what it says on the tin. 7/10 LL: Balanced, vegetal, pretty tasty. Pink! 7/10 “Left Hand” by Badr Benjelloun (Cu Ju) Ingredients: Bourbon whiskey, Campari, Cinzano, mole bitters PM: Bit heavy on the bitters but good. 7/10 LL: Old Pal variation with chocolate bitters. A bit heavy on the herbal but solid. 8/10

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“No Name” by Seven (Brussels) Ingredients: cinnamon-infused gin, apple juice, slice of apple, cinnamon sugar rim, sours garnish PM: Cinnamon and apple. Not that complex. A little watery, but fresh. 5/10 LL: Apple pie but not rich or sweet enough. But cinnamon sugar is a nice touch. Not bad. 5/10 “Fondle in the City” by Josh Lally (Lush) Ingredients: vodka, raspberry pucker, lime juice, cranberry juice PM: Cosmo variant but the artificial candy flavor was a bit too strong. 4/10 LL: Cosmo but sweeter. Too much liquor. Cloying but not bad. 5/10 What a shock. The only contestant from Beijing’s brewing community knocked up the award-winning cocktail. Note: Badr Benjelloun is employed at True Run Media.

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: ar Eve ntfolde d M B li n d

a garit

luis

andy

trevor

nick

LL: Measured properly, but double wallop of Grand Marnier and Cointreau – a bit too sweet. 5/10

O

ur judges demonstrated the correct way to make a margarita. Then our contestants were blindfolded and asked to replicate the recipe in order.

Badr Benjelloun PM: Powerful, but good. 7/10 LL: A bit rich and boozy. Only slightly off balance. 6/10

Dave Gaspar PM: Good! Competent while blindfolded. 7/10 LL: Balanced, good dilution, light and soft. 7/10

Seven PM: A bit light and bare. A bit too sweet sour. 4/10 LL: A little sweet. Not bad. Needed more oomph! 5/10

Jack Zhou PM: Bit sweet, but good. Powerful. No garnish. 6/10 LL: A little sweet but good agave profile. 6/10

Nick Cyr PM: No ice. Too sour. Longer shake needed. 4/10 LL: Ingredients need more incorporation. A bit bitter and sour. Grand Marnier a bit heavy. 5/10

Andy Bright PM: Good. A little less tart, but fine. 7/10 LL: Balanced. Grand Marnier cuts the bitter limes. 6/10 Trevor Metz PM: Points for style! Not for flavor. 4/10 LL: Sour, bitter, needs more booze! Good flairing! 4/10 Luis Ramos PM: Good precision! Very zen. Precise, but sweet. 5/10

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Josh Lally PM: Precise pouring with no jigger. Best shake of the bunch. 6/10 LL: Good temperature. A bit heavy and sweet. Boozy – whether this is a plus or minus is up to you! 5/10 What does this tell us? If the power ever goes out at The Brick, Union or Cu Ju, you won’t go thirsty.

june 2013


Sip, nibble, gulp, chew, guzzle, savor, feast

FOOD & DRINK CRAFT BEER // PIGEON // BOOZY FOODS // CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE // YANJING

white asparagus is on the menu all month at aria, china world hotel

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nibbles and sips NEW OPENINGS New Asian-French fusion restaurant Xiaoju Courtyard is located just off Dongzhimen Nanxiaojie. They’ve already launched a sister venue, Xiaoju Bar, which shares a space with Irresistible Cafe on Mao’er Hutong. Gang Gang Delicatessen has teamed up with upscale hair salon Bangs to open a small space called Coat in the Huamao International Apartment complex near Dawang Lu. Their signage promises “Bread, Coffee, Wine, Funk.” The crew behind The Taco Bar has opened an eightseat spot on Jianchang Hutong called The Hardware Shop. Head there in the morning (7.30-10.30am) for a quick coffee and piece of toast or in the evening (5.309pm) for a glass of wine and some cheese. Café and bar The Fort has opened on Dongsi Liutiao with a secluded rooftop, just in time for summer. Max Levy returns to Sanlitun with a new concept, Okra: Sushi, Sake & Cocktails, scheduled to open early June in 1949–The Hidden City. The Hockey Bar has opened next door to The Irish Volunteer in Lido. The Stanley Cup playoffs continue throughout the month, and you can bet that The Hockey Bar will be showing them. Joseph Kornides of 12SQM is preparing to open up Mini Bar, which, at under five square meters, will set a world record as the smallest bar in the world. Stop by the Dongsishitiao venue (with no more than two buddies) and check it out.

OTHER tidBITS Tongli Studio stalwart Le Petit Gourmand is moving. The management is planning to turn the LPG space into a bar called Jack D. Meanwhile, LPG is looking in the Yashow area for a bigger space, which may feature a garden. Gongti mainstay Vics is closing up for the summer. They had a final blowout in May and promised to open again in the fall. Comptoirs de France has launched an online ordering platform for delivering cakes, pastries, salads and sandwiches, as well as more substantial breakfasts and lunches. Delivery is free within a 2km radius from any given branch, and all charges will be viewable on the webpage upon checkout.

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A Square Meal another reason to go to lido

photo: sui

guinness-braised beef Ribs

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WHAT’S NEW restaurants Park Square 园庭 Daily 11am-midnight. 9-3 Jiangtai Xilu, Chaoyang District (6823 8880) 朝阳区将台西路9-3号 2km northeast of Sanyuanqiao station (Line 10)

T

he white tablecloths, thin-stemmed wine glasses and (rumors of ) minor Chinese celebrities may evoke certain expectations, but Park Square holds surprises. The oversized menu reveals far more reasonable prices than we’d imagined. The dining room, which occupies an odd space between vaguely stuffy and Sinoflashy, leads out to an expansive courtyard with low-slung furniture for sinking into. Greenery surrounds the tables, and the glassy surface of a large shallow fountain reflects the soft blending of light from the early evening sky and the lamps on the terrace. Menu options lean towards the grill – your standard steaks and sauces – but Executive Chef David Mitford has taken pains to make it more than simply that. Seafood makes an unexpectedly strong showing. A trio of crab cakes (RMB 88) arrive browned with small berets of mango and pink peppercorn salsa. Each cake is substantial, more tender meat than dry bread crumb. A generous chunk of cod (RMB 158), sitting on a pedestal of black rice, is almost geologic with its crisp layer of skin and a strata of soft meat beneath it. The crunch of water chestnuts hidden under the fish provides an unanticipated foil to the cod’s buttery texture. There is some room for growth. The kitchen is overzealous with the mango dressing; as tasty as it is, the delicate, crisp leaves of arugula and watercress in the crayfish salad (RMB 68) flounder underneath it. The chicken roulade (RMB 98), stuffed with chorizo and shrimp, is slightly dry. It is an entrée outshone by its side dish of roasted squash with honey overtones and rosemary, garlic and thyme – though this is as much to the squash’s credit than the chicken’s discredit. In the end, what we will return for is the signature Park Square ribs (RMB 138). The ribs have been braised in Guinness for eight hours, garden vegetables and balsamic onions spill out from underneath, and the mashed potatoes are laced with Cheddar. Perhaps you think the warmer weather is for lighter fare, but you would do well to reconsider. Cat Nelson Also try: Park Side Grill, Union Bar & Grille

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june 2013


WHAT’S NEW restaurants

Sum of its Parts 3sums Sun-Wed 11am-1am, Thu-Sat 11am-2am. 35 Xiaoyun Lu courtyard (northeast of Home Plate Bar-B-Que), Chaoyang District (5130 2773, 182 1039 9514) 朝阳区霄云路35号院 (本垒美国餐附近) 500m southeast of Sanyuanqiao station (Line 10)

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included the tangy curry yogurt and red onion on the chicken burger of The English, the quite-obviously-badfor-you cheesy gravy smothering The Pittsburger’s beef patty and the spicy kick of The Cajun – a meeting of minds between pepperjack cream cheese and hot sauce. The trio concept extends to the side dishes and the cocktail list – any of the latter can be ordered as a trio of mini cocktails or a single regular size (RMB 45). Our pick was The Heartbreaker, a blueberry Bloody Mary that packed a full-sized punch and is somewhat reminiscent of the combination of port and blue WKD known to British students as a Cheeky Vimto. Other drinks, such as draft Magner’s Irish cider (RMB 45) should keep the terrace busy through the summer as people overindulge on the threesome of sunlight, sliders and slaking thirst. Just don’t try to finish the menu in a single visit. Jonathan White Also try: Home Plate Bar-B-Que, Blue Frog

june 2013

photo: lova

hen we first heard about a new burger restaurant called 3sums, we were a little worried. Was Beijing about to see the return of the doubleentendre-laced menu of the short-lived Shake ’Em Buns? Our fears of gimmickry were allayed when we heard that the 3sums kitchen was headed up by Zach Lewison, whose Beijing CV includes successful stints at Kro’s Nest, Union Bar & Grille and Park Side. And after our gut-busting first visit, we can assure you that 3sums will undoubtedly prove popular. Not only is it located on the restaurant strip that Home Plate put on the map, but you won’t need to mumble your order while staring down at your Reeboks. “Threesome” refers only to the trio of sliders (RMB 60) that you order from their selection of 16 mini-burgers. And what a choice it is. The menu is dominated by American-influenced burgers and rounded out with the flavors of other nations (French, English, Greek, Mexican, Vietnamese, Australian) and the carb-free Neanderthal. The highlights of our meal


WHAT’S NEW restaurants

lettuce eat Quickie Salad 快来沙拉 Daily 10am-10pm. LG2-18, Parkview Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (188 1066 1563) 朝阳区东大桥路9号侨福芳草地大厦地下2层LG2-18 600m south of Dongdaqiao station (Line 6)

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et’s face it, everyone wants to be healthy but no one wants to be the annoying one pulling celery sticks out of Tupperware boxes (or stuck with the prep work of rinsing, paring and chopping). But Quickie Salad, with an exciting assortment of fresh leaves, legumes, fruits, nuts and protein, will happily play the role of “health nut” and do all the work for you. While the menu’s 50-plus toppings and 15 dressings invite you to create your own salads (from RMB 45), their signature mixes (RMB 52-65) are worth checking out. The Italian Stallion salad (RMB 55) came out glowing with health: chopped romaine, chunks of roasted red pepper, finely sliced Parmesan, artichoke hearts and diced salami, all sprinkled with Italian vinaigrette. (Kidney beans were a little intrusive but they did help bulk up the salad.) Fixings can be swaddled in a tortilla and ordered as “salad burritos” (from RMB 36) or as toppings on pasta (RMB 45). We were pleasantly impressed by the Italian Steak Panini (RMB 36), with its tender sliced steak, copious shavings of mozzarella and a teasingly zesty Dijon mustard. At two-thirds the price, this sandwich is a better value than the salad, making it an easy choice for mallrats. Fast, cheap and on the go – who said eating your greens couldn’t be fun? Nick Richards Also try: Element Fresh, Wagas

photo: joey guo

Italian Stallion

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june 2013


Dewey Decimal dining

chapter offers a literary feast

photo: photo:lova sui

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WHAT’S NEW restaurants Chapter Daily 6am-10.30pm. 1/F, Conrad Beijing, 29 Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District (6584 6270) 朝阳区东三环北路29号 500m north of Hujialou station (Lines 6 & 10)

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mmanuel Souliere, the executive chef at Chapter, jokes that he has hit his nose running into the wall trying to get through to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. This restaurant certainly feels as though it might have arisen from J. K. Rowling’s mind, though subsequently processed through the Art Deco era. The space has been designed to look like a library from the early 20th century. The floor-to-ceiling windows give the impression of a Gothic cathedral envisioned by Gaudi, with sloping white arches and a lacy pattern upon the panes. Here, one forages for one’s meals in the stacks. Cuisines are separated by bookcase, each concealing its own Narnia. Reading from right to left (we are in Asia, after all) gives you a preface in Japanese, the rising action in Chinese, a Western denouement, and finally an epilogue of dessert. Glass windows set into the shelves allow a view into each of the kitchens – a pastry chef rolls out phyllo, a line chef shells shrimp. On a shelf just above eye level, a platter of couscous salad sits atop a red leather-bound tome. It is festively colored with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and baby cucumbers, brilliant green with flashes of yellow bursting from the delicate flower on one end. Souliere professes a close attention to ingredients and this is clear. Dishes have the impression of Scandavian design: simple, clean, and elegant but by no means, sterile. Lunch (RMB 195+15%) and dinner (RMB 258+15%) includes the bookcase buffet and a made-to-order dish from one of the different “volumes” of cuisine – your options include a Japanese pork claypot with foie gras in a dashi broth, a Chinese poached chicken with ginger and ginseng, and an Italian pumpkin risotto with marscapone and zucchini flowers. The pastry excels here. In pleasant contrast to the norm of the city, breads are hearty and substantial, the desserts rich. Are the buttery madeleines a literary nod to Proust? One has a center of raspberry jam – dip the golden cake in your tea and you can set into motion your own remembrance of things past. Cat Nelson

Also try: Feast (Food by EAST)

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june 2013


WHAT’S NEW restaurants

quick-FRIED SHRIMP

Shanghai Surprise Wulixiang 屋里厢 Tue-Sun noon-3pm, 6-9pm. 44 Xiezuo Hutong (one street south of Zhangzizhong Lu), Dongcheng District (188 1115 7567) 东城区协作胡同44号 500m southwest of Zhangzizhonglu station (Line 5)

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English is spoken. Bright orange crab roe mingles with strands of white crabmeat and soft cubes of pale tofu in the xiefen doufu (蟹粉豆腐 RMB 48-78). The whole thing tastes of a silken sea. On the other end of the texture spectrum, a tangle of quick-fried shrimp (youbao xia 油爆虾 RMB 68) features crisp, sweet shells. (Don’t abandon them on your plate – have faith in your body’s digestion and eat them.) Thickly cut chunks of squash softened in the pan with a sprinkling of gently cooked soybeans in the sigua maodou (丝瓜 毛豆 RMB 38) are cushioned by what seemed to be tofu of an otherworldly texture. In fact, these light fluffy things are wheat gluten (literally, “flour tendons”). Wulixiang is homestyle in the truest sense – fresh ingredients, sparse oil and made with the care you’d hope your own mother would cook for you with. Cat Nelson Also try: Shanghai Min, Da Gui, Kylin Private Kitchen

june 2013

photo: mitchell pe masilun

ulixiang isn’t the easiest restaurant to drop in on. First of all, it’s easy to walk past without noticing it. And once you find it, you’ll discover that a meal must be booked two to three days in advance. All this may strike you as excessive hassle for a mere homestyle restaurant, but if you’re able to withhold judgment until after you’ve tried them out once, you’ll be glad that you did. The experience is very much akin to eating with a local family in their two-room Beijing apartment – comfortable and personal. The walls are papered in light-yellow stripes. A vase of crepe flowers edged with glitter stands on the windowsill. There are only four tables. Ordering must also take place a few days ahead of your meal. You can either order a la carte from a menu of Shanghai classics (http://weibo.com/315229555) or else name a price and leave yourself in the good hands of the kitchen. Fear not: The menu may not have pictures but


WHAT’S NEW restaurants

Banking on It The Vineyard on the River Daily 11.30am-10.15pm. Waijiao Apartments, 1 Xindong Lu, Liangmahe Nanlu, Chaoyang District (8532 5335) 朝阳区亮马河南路新东路1号外交公寓 1.2 km southwest of Liangmaqiao station (Line 10)

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raft beer, charcuterie and a breezy rooftop vie to welcome you to Will Yorke’s latest venue. Hutong crowds have long enjoyed the original Vineyard Café on Wudaoying, but Sanlitun shoppers and Dongzhimen diplomats no longer need make the trek to Yonghegong for pizzas, quiches, pasta and pies. Perched on the banks of the Liangma River, this maroon house overlooks a stand of willows bending thirstily into a rippling stream. We tried the three cheese and asparagus quiche (RMB 60) and enjoyed the firm but light egg filling. The hummus and warmed pita (RMB 35) was just as good – if not better – with red peppers and black olives colorfully speckling the dip.   What’s different about the riverside Vineyard are the homebrewed beers (RMB 40), including a pale ale, an amber ale, and a dark ale. The hoppy kick of the pale ale is clean, crisp and refreshing for summer. The artisanal theme continues with the housemade bangers that have made their debut at Stuff’d (Yorke’s newly rebranded Vine Leaf ), and which should roast up nice and juicy on the terrace’s charcoal grill. Throughout the summer, the menu will continue to change. Even without these additions, the new Vineyard deserves a visit, if only for the serene view. Nick Richards

photo: lova

Also try: The Vineyard, Backyard Cafe

delhi chicken skewer

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june 2013


Leaps and Bounds

Beijing’s brewing scene just got bigger

photo: LOVA

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june 2013


WHAT’S NEW BARS & CLUBS Great Leap Brewpub 大跃啤酒 Daily 11am-midnight.12B Xinzhong Jie, Dongcheng District (6416 6887) www.greatleapbrewing.com 东城区新中街乙12号 400m northeast of Dongsishitiao station (Line 2)

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h, craft brewing. You’re partly to blame for all of these news articles that you see nowadays that proclaim Dongcheng to be the new Brooklyn or some other claptrap. But we’ll forgive you because of the improvements that you’ve made to the city’s drinking culture. A decade or so ago, dedicated microbreweries began jerry-rigging equipment to provide an alternative to the mass-produced swill that passes for Chinese beer (see p48); this year, for the first time ever, there were enough decent microbreweries to float a legitimate Best Local Craft Beer category in our Reader Bar and Club Awards (see p52). Not surprisingly, Great Leap Brewing walked off with the laurels. With the opening of their new brewpub, I think it’s safe to say that craft brewing has truly arrived. The brewpub will be serving everything they have served before and more, thanks to the state-of-the-art, imported brewing system that crushes the combined capacity of Great Leap’s original hutong bar and their brewhouse out at the Great Wall. When we visited, there were only five beers on tap – the classic Pale Ale #6 (RMB 25), East City Porter (RMB 25), Prosperor blonde ale (RMB 40), Little General IPA (RMB 40) and the new Banana Wheat (RMB 50). They plan to have 15 beers on offer, starting with Kolsch and Honey Ma before the end of the month, in addition to draft craft sodas (think ginger beer), standard mixed drinks and house wine. This huge venue – with its copper vats, dark wood booths, clean white tiles and a window stretching the length of the room – conjures up a steampunk cross between a church and a Victorian swimming baths. And, OK, we’ll happily admit that it looks like a Brooklyn pub, in a good way. This is a bar that you will want to drink in. And eat too, trust us on that. The burgers, designed by Kin Hong of Taco Bar infamy, might be as good as everything else but we’ll leave that for a restaurant review. It’s a safe bet that Great Leap will be adding to those awards next year. Jonathan White Also try: Slow Boat Brewery Taproom, Drei Kronen

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Six Appeal 6 Lounge Daily 1pm-1am. 75 Chaodou Hutong, Nanluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District (135 2217 9196) 东城区南锣鼓巷炒豆胡同75号 100m north of Nanluogu Xiang station (Line 6)

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to sign, smiling. He writes screenplays by day, and spends his evenings serving drinks for old and new friends. The drinks themselves are reasonably priced; cocktails range from RMB 35-50 and a bottle of Guinness goes for RMB 35. This place reminds me of my favorite spot for underaged drinking in a dead-end train station pub back home. It was so small you could barely stumble from your chair to the exit. But that was OK, because you felt so settled in that spot you never wanted to leave. Sarah Karacs Also try: Cellar Door, 12SQM

june 2013

photo: mitchell pe masilun

here are few places in the world I feel totally comfortable drinking on my own. But when I showed up at 6 Lounge, that deep-seated anxiety melted away. I felt I was among friends, the kind that don’t force conversation on you but are more than happy for you to join in theirs. It could be the bar’s tiny size or the low-key DIY vibe, with hand-painted cartoons everywhere you look. Perhaps it’s that delightful husky that guards the entrance nightly – just affable enough to make you feel welcome, but big enough to make you feel safe. Or maybe it’s just that 6 Lounge is run by people who genuinely want you to feel at home. Halfway through my margarita (RMB 40), owner Zi Shui passed me a bowl of crisps and a scrapbook


WHAT’S NEW BARS & CLUBS

go bananas Monkey Mountain Club 猴山俱乐部 Daily 2pm-2am. Unit 3-2308, North Tower, Soho Shangdu, 8 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (132 6318 1080) 朝阳区东大桥路8号Soho尚都北塔3层 2308 600m south of Dongdaqiao station (Line 6)

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mong the pet primping parlors, the neon nail salons and dusty board game cafes of Soho Shangdu is an unexpected live music venue with a relaxed vibe. A local crowd enjoys pizza, pasta, and sandwiches (RMB 38, RMB 30, and RMB 35, respectively) with their bottled beers (RMB 20-30) and regular live performances. On the night we stopped by, three people took the stage. Even the bar manager delighted a small group of young women with an impromptu acoustic set. Their fervor lends weight to the Arctic Monkeys’ assertion that love is indeed not only blind but deaf. Comfy seating clutters the entrance and the small mezzanine. The walls are plastered with tatty posters of the rock greats, and a mishmash of shrouded lamps ensures muted lighting, in keeping with live music venue tradition. The quality of the sound and equipment is surprisingly good for a low-key venue. That’s because the club is an offshoot of Monkey Mountain Records, an independent Beijing-based label. Manager Ji Wei says the venue was initially conceived as a spot for the label’s artists to hang out over a beer and jam together. But with regular events ranging from rock nights to rap battles, they’ve proven there’s no need to ape some of its more illustrious contemporaries to be a hit with all the primates. Paul Ryding

photo: sui

Also try: VA Bar, What Bar

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june 2013


BACK FOR MORE

Home on the Grange Grange Grill Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm (lunch), daily 5.30-11pm (dinner). 2/F, Westin Beijing Chaoyang, 7 Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District (5922 8880) 朝阳区东三环北路7号金茂北京威斯汀大饭店 2层 800m southwest of Jintaixizhao (Line 10)

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– but delicious as it is, you must remind yourself to save space. After all, a whole lobster awaits. The lighter seafood is a welcome balance to the richness of the red meat. Vegetables also help balance out all that protein. Apparently, gout is making a comeback, so heed this advice: Don’t leave the two pieces of charred corn uneaten. You can also eat your veggies in the form of floppy sweet potato fries, which – true to the meal’s dimensions – spill out over the edge of the porcelain cup. “Bigger is better” also applies to the mustard selection. There are 17 to choose from; our favorites included cranberry & red wine, balsamic & coffee, Guinness & thyme and a grainy mustard with sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary. Spinach salad (RMB 115) adds some greenery for a well-rounded meal and the warm chorizo sausage accompanying it is a pleasant change from the usual spinach-bacon pairing. Cat Nelson

june 2013

photo: sui

o say that Grange Grill offers generous helpings of meat is to understate matters. The steakhouse’s self-described “big guns” are The Tomahawk (RMB 1,095+15%) and The Tomahawk Cowboy (RMB 1,495+15%), intended to be shared by two and three people, respectively. The massive arch of a rib curves down into a portion of beef that would be appropriate for a feast (or a famine, for that matter). If you are looking to mix surf with your turf, look no further than the Grange’s newest signature main. The stockyard Australian beef ribs and a Canadian lobster (RMB 1,295+15%) arrive on a wooden cutting board that could hold a small sucking pig. The ribs, the size of a car phone from the early 1990s, seem oversized until you remember that cows are massive creatures. Donning a bib emblazoned with the words “grill thrills, seafood spills,” you tuck in. The meat separates with only the gentle pull of a fork


p.s. we ate you Every month, we like to shine a spotlight on the most delicious dishes we’ve stumbled upon recently. Dig in! dipping ramen Miyazaki-ya, RMB 28 This Japanese restaurant serves up some of the best noodles in Beijing. Thick yellow noodles are cooked, drained, and served alongside a bowl of dipping sauce with leek, bamboo and a braised yolky egg. Swish, chew, and swallow!    warm spinach salad Element Fresh, RMB 58  The spinach leaves are a tender change from the relentless crunch of iceberg lettuce. Generous cubes of blue cheese, candied walnuts, bacon and cooked pear add fun layers of texture.  indonesian fried chicken with gado-gado Cocolol, RMB 32 One of the nicer joints on the BLCU campus. This meal includes spicy fried wings, rice, and a mountain of veggies, sprouts, potato, and hard-boiled egg in a thick peanut sauce dressing. It’s like an hour-long trip to the tropics, and even during the lunch rush, service always comes with a smile. rosemary bagel Tavalin Bagels, RMB 60 (half-dozen) Truly a delight. I don’t think anybody else in Beijing makes a rosemary bagel. It tastes like the scent of a potted herb plant on a sun-drenched window high up in a New York apartment, in the best of ways. beef filet with cheese Geba Geba, RMB 58 Eight thick slices of meat, cooked very rare, each paired with a tiny wedge of soft sweet cheese. Worth the price for the quality of the beef. eggs benedict The Village Cafe, The Opposite House, RMB 68 In these wary days of H7N9, The Village Cafe’s kitchen insists on cooking its eggs a little longer, so ours weren’t as runny as we’d have liked. Still, this is one of the best in town. Egg, ham and spinach, served on a bagel-type bun rather than the traditional English muffin, with just the right vinegary bite from the Hollandaise sauce.

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june 2013


LAST ORDERS

Rose Lin Zamoa

Owner and chef, Jamaica Me Crazy Each month, we ask noteworthy Beijingers to imagine their final meal before leaving the city for good. The venue Dali Courtyard off of Gulou Dongdajie. I really like the environment there. It’s a typical Chinese courtyard restaurant with outdoor seating. Dining there in the summer is very pleasant and comfortable. The menu is simple and doesn’t change often. But it’s the kind of food that you crave from time to time.

The main course We would stuff ourselves with too much yangrou chuanr and, of course, Tsingtao beer in one of the hidden hutongs

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The dessert This would be a dish from Jamaica Me Crazy and would represent me leaving. I’d share a slice of our rum cake with friends. Of course, there’d be an extra shot of rum. And then we would eat a slice of JMC’s coconut and lime cheesecake, too. It would go very well with the extra shot of rum.  The music and entertainment The soundtrack would be electro funk and then reggae at 2 Kolegas. Friends would play drums and guitar as we all sit in the grass. Jamaica Me Crazy Daily noon-10pm. 1 Cheniandian Hutong (west of Guozijian, near Andingmennei), Dongcheng District (8403 6640) 东城区安定门内大街车辇店胡同1号

june 2013

photo: mitchell pe masilun

The starters We’d begin with avocados stuffed with shallots, tomatoes, baked plantain and then dressed with ginger and garlicinfused olive oil. This is a dish I had by the Great Wall at a very small and hidden private kitchen in 2009. It’s run by a friend of a friend, and you wouldn’t know about it unless someone tells you. There is no fixed charge; you simply leave what you want to pay on the table.

off of Guozijian. Yangrou chuanr is one of those things you don’t realize that you miss until you leave. Tsingtao is a classic when you arrive first in Beijing – that’s what you drink. It’s not the best beer, but the best memories.


WOKIPEDIA

A L is for … … laozao 醪糟 Also known as jiuniang, this sweet, soupy snack made from fermented glutinous rice is often slurped up with sweet osmanthus, nuts, and dried fruits. It’s like a slightly boozy pudding, consisting of whole rice grains and sweet juices, with a hint of rice-wine flavor. Though laozao is usually made at home, it sometimes features as a street food in Lanzhou and other northern provinces. … leng dan bei 冷淡杯 These Sichuanese small plates are the tapas of western China. Leng dan bei might include salted duck eggs, steamed soybeans, spicy green beans or peanuts, seasoned tofu or smoked meats. Chengdu dwellers will sit streetside or in public squares, snacking on leng dan bei and having a few cold ones well into the evening, either after or instead of dinner. … lianou 莲藕 Lotus root is considered a cooling food in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The lotus plant’s subterranean stalks sprout out of murky ponds and river beds across Asia, but they clean up nice, despite their muddy origins. Usually sliced into thin discs that look like they’ve been used for target practice, the crunchy white rootlet adds a whimsical shape to any hot pot spread or stir-fry. … lajiao jiang 辣椒酱 You’ve certainly come across this hot chilli sauce at your local jiaozi joint. The thick paste of pulverized peppers is often served in a little dish alongside milder condiments like soy sauce and vinegar so you can slather on as much (or as little) as you can handle. Add it to your Lanzhou la mian soup for extra kick, or mix some in when cooking spicy stir-fries.  Lajiao jiang combines the punch of hot red peppers with the tang of garlic and rice vinegar. It is sometimes confused with its darker-colored cousin, douban jiang, a Sichuan paste that combines chillis and fermented fava beans.

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dining feature

Sup ’Til You’re Sauced Beijing’s booze-infused dishes by Cat Nelson

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lassical cuisines abound in wine-soaked fare: boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin in the West, the “drunken” variety of shrimp, crab or chicken here in China. But beyond the classics? Beijing is filled with boozy bites. Here’s our guide to the tastiest ways to eat your drinks. Chimay Red poached egg Chef Frederic Muller has been experimenting with using various Belgian brews in his cooking. If you thought a poached egg was perfect as it was, think again – as a poaching liquid, Chimay Red certainly tops plain water. Elsewhere on the menu, a Hoegaarden sauce accompanies the grilled sea bass, Chimay Red appears again in the dressing for salads, and “beer ham” comes in a sliced baguette sandwich. For dessert, Kriek lambic flavors a Bavarian cream cake. Beer Mania. Daily 2pm-late. Units 103-104, 1/F, Taiyue Suites, Nansanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6500 0559) 欧月啤酒吧, 朝阳区南三里屯路泰乐坊1层 beer duck stew 啤酒鸭 pijiu ya Down in Jiangxi, they probably simmer their ducks in Nanchang beer. Here in Beijing, Nanchang Restaurant has surrendered to the North, using Yanjing as their brew of choice. Nanchang Restaurant. Daily 11.30am-1.30pm, 5.308.30pm. 35 Xihuangchenggen Nanjie, Xicheng District (6607 9991) 南昌饭店, 西城区西黄城根南街35号 omelette norvégienne (Baked Alaska) Legend has it that the Chinese first created this confection in the 1800s, using pastry rather than meringue to shield the ice cream from the oven’s heat. (Pretty implausible, if you ask us.) Scarlett’s version of the dessert is actually a Bombe Alaska, meaning that the toasted meringue is

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drizzled with Grand Marnier and then set alight. Even after the alcohol burns off, you can certainly taste the brandy liqueur atop the layers of sponge cake and ice cream. Scarlett. Daily 6pm-3am. 1/F, Hotel G, 7A Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District (6552 2880) 朝阳区工体西路甲7号 Jack Daniels BBQ sauce Many Americans may have memories of this T.G.I.Friday’s classic. One user on Yahoo Answers writes, “This stuff is so good, it’s like crack to me. And I never even tried crack.” Indeed, the sweet glaze is surprisingly tasty, combining Tabasco, garlic, diced sauteed onions and a definite kick of JD. T.G.I.Friday’s. Daily 11am-11.30pm.Bldg C, Beijing International Plaza, 19 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (8526 3388) 星期五餐厅, 朝阳区建国门外大街19号北京国际大 厦C座 baijiu and Coca-Cola wings 酒香烤翅 jiuxiang kaochi In rare instances, baijiu is not absolutely foul. This is one of them. Chicken wings are coated in a sauce of honey, Coke, garlic, pepper and a shot of the pungent sorghum spirit and then barbecued. Fengliuchi. Daily 11am-1am. 31 Xinyuan Jie (next to Tsinghua Affliated Middle School), Chaoyang District (6461 7290) 风流翅, 朝阳区新源街31号清华大学附 属中学朝阳学校旁 Chocolate cherry cupcakes The chocolate cake batter is infused with cherry brandy, and each cupcake crowned with cherry whipped frosting and a chocolate-covered Maraschino cherry. If you prefer your liquor non-fruity, try the rum buttercream frosting of their Drunken Chocolate Rum cakes. Fat Bunny Bakery. Delivery only. See Fatbunnybakery.com

june 2013


dining feature cocktail popsicles Starting in mid-June, Stephanie Rocard debuts the icepop versions of several house specials, like The Lady Boy (Kaffir lime and lemongrass spiked with ginger-infused vodka) and The Thirsty Caterpillar (fresh cucumber and mint with lemon and apple juice and a healthy measure of Bombay gin). They don’t skimp on the spirits, which, even after a day of freezing, makes for a slushy blend and a solid rush to the head. Mao Mao Chong. Daily 7pm-late. 12 Banchang Hutong, Dongcheng District (6405 5718) 东城区板厂 胡同12号

Wuliangye tiramisu Distilled from five grains, this premium brand of baijiu has status appeal and a hefty price tag to match. This tiramisu with Wuliangye-soaked ladyfingers is a signature dish at the Kerry Hotel. Kerry’s Kitchen. Daily 6am-1am. 1/F, Kerry Hotel, 1 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District (8565 2088) 朝阳区光华路1号嘉利酒店1层 See also Great Leap Brewpub’s beer-battered fried chicken (p33, Park Square’s Guinness-braised ribs (p25) and Jamaica Me Crazy’s rum cake (p38).

photo: Lova

Pane Tigrato and limoncello soufflé Made of rye, spelt and flours, the dough of the Pane Tigrato (“tiger bread”) is topped with a batter made of lager, yeast and rye flour before baking. The heat of the oven cracks this top layer, creating the appearance of big-cat stripes in the sturdy crust. On the sweeter side, Opera Bombana’s soufflé showcases limoncello

with raspberry jelly and Tasmanian honey ice cream to balance an intense punch of the Italian digestiv. Opera Bombana. Daily noon-10.30pm. LG2-21, B2/F, Parkview Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (5690 7177) 朝阳区东大桥路9号芳草地底下2层 LG2-21

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limoncello soufflÉ


ALLEYWAY GOURMET

Talkin’ Pigeon Yanjiao Shaogezi 燕郊烧鸽子 Daily 11am-2pm, 5-10pm. Northwest corner of Yaowahu Qiao, 16 Dongsihuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (6776 8368) 朝阳区东四环中路16号窑洼湖桥东北角 2.6km east of Jinsong station (Line 10)

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stuffed with pigeon meat (RMB12 each) and a pint (RMB 16) of the house-brewed yellow and black beers. We filled out the meal with jiachangcai classics: stew with cornbread (RMB 38), sweet-and-sour pork (RMB 32) and potato-eggplant-pepper (RMB 18). Had we not already known that the menu was Dongbei, the portion sizes would have given it away. Finally, the pigeons landed at our table, lacquer-dark and neatly bisected. The lean meat (all fast-twitch fibers, a dream for dark-meat fans) was surprisingly juicy. We gnawed the bones clean and said “Fee-fi-fo-fum” to ourselves in rumbling basso tones. The piping-hot pigeon pancakes, filled with a fine ground mince, were satisfying as well. In hindsight, our mistake was ordering anything non-squab. Everything else was passable, including the beer, but we could easily have banqueted on birds alone. A mistake we’ll not make again. Jonathan White

june 2013

photos: iain shaw

ho’s game for a pigeon dinner?” we asked. Some of our colleagues recoiled at the thought of eating “flying rats,” but the prospect of roast squab was delicious enough to entice a few of us to southeast Beijing (not as far as Happy Valley but certainly within striking distance). Learning that the restaurant brews beer on-site only whetted our appetite. When we found the dove shack, we were delighted to see that the restaurant had a tree inside it and was big enough to house everyone and a guest at the wedding of the most popular person you know. Casting our eyes about, we were heartened to see roast pigeon on every table. As if the act of tearing apart small birds didn’t make them seem Gulliver-in-Lilliput enough, the patrons were all huge and clearly about eight pints ahead of us on their beer. What an atmosphere. We immediately called for a brace of the roasted birds (RMB 40 each), pancakes


JUST DESSERTS

let's shake on it Let’s Burger Plus Daily 11am-11pm. B1/F, Sanlitun Village North, 11 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6415 2772) 朝阳区三里屯路11号三里屯Village北区地下1层 1km northwest of Tuanjiehu station (Line 10)

photo: lova

L

et’s Burger’s chocolate milkshake, to quote Kelis, brings all the boys to the yard. Just like that. No contest. First, let me make this clear: I grew up in the American Midwest, walking distance from the famed Route 66 and diners like Crown Candy Kitchen and Big Boy’s that have been serving up milkshakes for more than a century. Malted chocolate milkshake runs in my veins, alongside the powdered donuts clogging up my arteries. I came to Beijing craving a glass of what you can only get by cranking the lever on a stainless steel soft-serve machine. But China suffers from lactose-inexperience, so most takes on the drink were too powdery or too watery. Grandma’s Kitchen makes a mean peanut butter “shake” but neglects to properly mix in the peanut butter. (Ever heard of a blender, Grandma?) Glutton Cat, formerly on Andingmen, served a halfway decent version of the chocolate shake, but didn’t use real ice cream. A frothy

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blueberry concoction at a Wudaoying cafe had me vomiting for days, thanks to its use of spoiled milk. That was the last straw. Then I discovered the chocolate shake at Let’s Burger Plus. I was hooting and hollering after my first sip. This beauty is rich in flavor. It’s not too thick for a straw, but just thick enough for a spoon. It’s cold, it’s creamy (but not too creamy) and it’s icy (but not too icy). It tastes like – would you believe it – blended ice cream. Here’s a little secret: Their milkshake is blended ice cream. Chocolate Nestle ice cream, in fact. It’s blended with whole milk for 10 to 15 seconds. Finely crushed Oreos are added beforehand for an extra cocoa kick, a tip gleaned from a Denny’s restaurant in New Zealand. Let’s Burger has had this shake on their menu since 2008. The original version involved chocolate powder, but they’ve clearly evolved. Kudos to you, Let’s Burger, for keeping it real. Jessica Rapp

june 2013


drinks feature

World of Pour Craft beijing microbrewing is bubbling over by Paul Ryding

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easonal drops are one of the things we love about craft beer, so as The Summer of the Craft Brew II gets underway, here's a look at what to expect in the coming months.

京A (Jing A) Newcomer 京A plans to roll out a full line-up of draft beers at The Big Smoke this month, in addition to its original home at 4corners. They hope to host more pop-ups and tap takeovers at bars around town as well. Eventually, they plan to keep four permanent drops and have two smaller batch or seasonal varieties. The Worker’s Pale Ale is light but generously hopped, while the Flying Fist IPA packs a greater punch and has fruity notes. The Emperor’s Best is an English-style brown ale, while the Mandarin Summer Wheat is a smoother Belgian-style drop. Sun-Thu 10am-midnight, Fri-Sat 10am-1am. Lee World Building (down the alley from Frost Nails), 57 Xingfucun Zhonglu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区幸福村中路57号楼利世楼 Drei Kronen 1308 Brauhaus You won't find their fine German ales anywhere else in the city, but the imposing Brauhaus alone is reason to rock up and try one of their three permanent drops: one lager (Helles), one dark beer (Schwarze Krone), and one wheat (Felsen Weisse). The three-story space has a rooftop bar with fantastic views of Gongti.  Daily 11am-2am. 1-3/F, Bldg 5, China View, Gongti Donglu, Chaoyang District (6503 5555) 皇冠自酿啤酒 坊, 朝阳区工体东路中国红街5号楼1-3层

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Ellingen Brauhaus The two permanent Paulaner drops (available on-site only) are served naturally, unfiltered and unpasteurized, just the way your average Teuton likes his grog. The Helles is light, with a smooth but malty taste, while the Dunkles is full-bodied and intense. Daily 11am-midnight. B114-115, 2 Jinchengfang Jie, Financial Street, Xicheng District (157 1284 4602) 埃利金啤酒屋, 西城区金城坊街2号金融街购物 中心B114-115号 Great Leap Brewing They’ve upped the ante with the opening of their 500sqm brewpub north of Gongti (see p33). Most of their current catalogue of 35 beers are seasonal, and every month they circulate a new drop. They retain at least 12 different beers on tap all year round (including house favorites The Pale Ale No. 6, Honey Ma Gold, Cinnamon Rock Ale and Little General IPA), but now they can stretch to 30. Great Leap doesn’t distribute, but this is an excellent excuse to stop by the Bar of the Year’s new venue to try them at the source. 1) Daily 11am-midnight. 12B Xinzhong Jie, Dongcheng District (6416 6887); 2) Thu-Sat 7pm-midnight, Sun 2-7pm. 6 Doujiao Hutong, Dongcheng District (5717 1399) www.greatleapbrewing.com 大跃啤酒, 1) 东 城区新中街乙12号; 2) 东城区豆角胡同6号 Malty Dog The quality of Malty Dog brews has continued to improve. They currently have eight different drops on tap (available on-site only). The six brewed in-house include their Hops

june 2013


American Ale, the lighter Niubi Wheat, a strong dark IPA, and for the sweet-toothed, a Chocolate Stout. Tue-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri-Sun 6pm-2am. 51 Beiluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District 东城区北锣鼓巷 Panda Brew Pub Panda has plans to expand beyond their modest Beixinqiao Toutiao home, but for now you’ll find the light and aromatic Honey Ale, the American-style rust-colored Pale Ale, the very light citrusy German-style Wheat Beer, and the hoppy locally sourced Black Ale, though the brewers say they’re tweaking that recipe to make it smoother. An additional two seasonal drops will always be on offer. The current guest ales are the Bailey Wine – a rich Belgian tripel, and the currently unnamed Guanyin tea beer, a golden brew. Daily 6pm-midnight. Beixinqiao Toutiao (20m east of Yonghegong Dajie), Dongcheng District 东城区北新桥头条 (雍和宫大街往东走20米) Paulaner Brauhaus The Kempinski Hotel’s brauhaus makes no attempt to hide the links to its Munich mother – and why should it? It’s a top-ten selling German brand. You can pick up Paulaner products around town, but the Sanyuanqiao brauhaus features a brewmaster from the mothership in Germany to ensures Paulaner’s high standards are met. Their regular in-house brews include the Helles (a light beer), the Dunkles (darker, stronger and fuller bodied) and the Radler (a shandy alternative). Daily 11am-1am. Kempinski Hotel, 50 Liangmaqiao Lu,

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Chaoyang District (6465 3388 ext 5732) www.paulanerbrauhaus.com/beijing/home 普拉那啤酒坊餐厅, 朝阳区亮马桥路50号凯宾斯基饭店 Slow Boat Brewery Taproom By far the biggest craft distributors in the city, their ales can be found in no fewer than ten venues across Beijing, including The Bookworm, Brussels, Home Plate Bar-B-Que, Main Street, Ocean Grounds, Susu, Xian and XP. Between eight and 12 beers are in production at any given time, while the taproom aims to always have at least 12 of its 20 taps firing at once. The Captain’s Pale Ale and the fruity Monkey’s Fist IPA are favorites, as is the crisp Dragon Boat Ale – a summer option with roots in Germany. Tue-Wed 4pm-midnight, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri 5pmlate, Sat 2pm-late, Sun 2-10pm. 56 Dongsi Batiao, Dongcheng District (6538 5537) www.slowboatbrewery. com 悠航鲜啤,东城区东四八条56号 Tipsy Face The city’s newest microbrewing operation is starting slowly after installing its brews at Passby Bar, Malty Dog and Heping Brewpub. The operation was started by the two members of the Beijing Homebrewers Society who won first place at last year’s Beijing Craft Beer Festival competition. Tipsy Face currently produces six brews and are looking to add a further four throughout the summer. Check out these brews at the beer festivals going on this month. See TheBeijinger.com/events for details.

june 2013


Q&A little scooter. I remember he had a couple of quails that he roasted over a fire for us to eat. To this day, the flavor of charcoal-cooked little birds is one of my favorite  experiences. Is there anything you won’t cook? Breakfast. We had a breakfast café for a couple of years but I really didn’t like working the kitchen during breakfast. People are so particular about their breakfast. Each check would come in with all sorts of deviations from the menu. It became a nightmare. What’s your favorite Chinese dish in Australia? A simple fish congee is one of my favorite things to eat. What inspired you to cook? Family. From a very young age, my parents always involved me with food. When we migrated from Spain to Australia you could not buy ingredients like jamon or olives. So my parents started making their own. We would cure olives once a year. We would cure jamon every year as well. We would even make our own sausages. What kind of topics do you enjoy writing about in your Sydney Morning Herald column? The column is about food I cook at home for myself, my wife and our two young boys – very simple dishes that we prepare quickly and easily using real ingredients while living busy lives.

frankly speaking

What do you think is the most underrated tapa? Offal.

Frank Camorra, visiting chef at Sureño by Cat Nelson

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What was the first thing you remember eating? One of my earliest memories is of my dad shooting up to the hills above Cordoba with Mum and me on his

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Get a taste of Chef Camorra’s Spanish flavors at Sureño from June 3-8. Sureño. Daily noon-3.30pm, 6-10.30pm. B1/F, The Opposite House, 11 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6410 5240) www.surenorestaurant.com 朝阳区三里屯路11号瑜舍地下1层

june 2013

photo: courtesy of movida

hef Camorra spent the first five years of his life in Andalucia, Spain. The flavors of his youth migrated with him to Australia, and now you can find him amid tapas and taco at his MoVida restaurants in both Melbourne and Sydney. He talks to us about his least favorite meal and properly fried eggs.

Who first taught you how to boil an egg? I would like to say my mother but I would have to say that I have never seen a properly cooked egg in any of her food. They were always gray and overcooked. A properly cooked egg with all its deviations would have been in culinary school. However, for a fried egg you have to go to Spain. They are cooked in plenty of olive oil, almost deep-fried, with the edges nice and crunchy and the yolk soft.


A Question of Taste?

GRAPE PRESS

Wine judging and award-winning wines by Edward Ragg

W

ine judging can seem an exclusive, ego-fueled world, impermeable to the consumer. But the experienced judge is actually someone who puts personal preferences on hold when evaluating wine quality, often considering whether a wine will still drink well six months after those all-important trophies and medals are given. So how does one judge wine quality? First, the wine should be “fresh” with no off-flavors or faults. Then you are looking for a range of aromas and flavors. The greater the range, the greater the complexity of the wine. Critical also is how these marry in the mouth and how “long” those flavors last after spitting. The other essential quality in a wine judge is openmindedness and the willingness to revise scores when wines are discussed on a panel. The point is to achieve a reasonable consensus across a number of palates. China can now boast some serious competitions, from the China Wine Challenge (CWC) to Wine 100 to the Shanghai International Wine Challenge. All of this month’s selections won top trophies at the 2012 CWC.

2001 Marques de Riscal Gran Reserva (red), Rioja, Spain (ASC, RMB 609) Available at Conrad Beijing Best Old World Red at the 2012 CWC. A fantastic producer, this red, made principally from Tempranillo, has mature vanilla oak with mushroom and other aged characters. Medium-bodied on the palate with mellow tannins, medium acidity and excellent length. If you can’t find the 2001, look for more recent releases such as 2004, which are also excellent. Edward Ragg is co-founder, with Fongyee Walker, of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting, China’s leading independent wine consultancy and education service (Longfengwines.com). They write for the world’s wine magazines and several publications in China.

photos: courtesy of the suppliers

SELECT SIPS 2011 Concha y Toro “Casillero del Diablo” Chardonnay, Chile (Pudao, RMB 135) Available at Mare, Eudora Station “Best Value New World White” at the 2012 CWC. Classic, reliable Chilean Chardonnay with appealing stone fruits and a lick of oak. Very drinkable. 2011 Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ (EMW, RMB 300) Available at Hilton Beijing Wangfujing, 1949 (Jinbao Jie and The Hidden City) Best New World White at the 2012 CWC. Classic varietal expression of Sauvignon Blanc with well-integrated high acidity and fantastic length.

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june 2013


TASTE TEST

Beer and loathing testing the waters of Beijng’s brew by Cat Nelson

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anjing may be perfect for hot summer nights of plastic furniture and chuanr on sidewalks, but how does it hold up in a Guomao office at 4pm on a workweek? And who knew there were over 20 varieties of Yanjing? We managed nine in our blind tasting.

Yanjing Beer (Original) (RMB 2.50) “If this were given to me at a music festival when I was already locked, I would happily drink it.” “A cicerone would spit this back in your face.” “What happens if you feed beer to plants? Do they die?”

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Yanjing Pineapple Juice Beer (RMB 2.50) “This is a Flintstone’s ice pop, melted.” “How did they come up with this? Did they just start with fruits that are kind of the same color as lager and finally arrive at pineapple?” “This is the cheese lobster crisps of beer, the cucumber chewing gum of beer. I speak from experience.” photoS: SUI

Yanjing Black Beer (RMB 3.30) “Ooh, snazzy bouquet. Looks like Coca Cola.” “Tastes a bit like a black beer that’s stumbled into a swimming pool.” “Smells a bit like a public swimming pool as well.” “Looks like a dark beer, but with none of the body. Fur coat, no knickers.” “Tastes a little like a pint of Guinness from yesterday.”

Yanjing Draft (RMB 2.40) “It tastes like when Heineken used to be the cheap one and not the premium one.” “When a waitress tries to sell you the Yanjing for 12 kuai instead of four kuai, this may be the proof that there’s actually a difference.”

june 2013


Yanjing Party Beer (RMB 2.10) “Doesn’t really taste like anything. Maybe they should market it like that.” “Tastes like tofu.” “Tastes very metallic, like a robot’s piss.” “It’s like kissing an alcoholic with braces.”

Yanjing Draft (RMB 3.50) “This is the most beer-looking beer out of the bunch. I can actually see a bubble in this.” “This will be the lullaby that puts you to sleep during your all-day session.” “On a Chinese plane where they only let you have two cans of lager, this would be alright.”

Yanjing Fresh Beer (RMB 3.60) “It’s got the classic taste of licking somebody’s armpit three times.” “But metallic … It’s like licking a battery wedged in a sweaty armpit.” “This is why I never buy lager. It makes me feel poor.”

Yanjing Draft (RMB 4.50) “Smells like it should be used for starting fires.” “Tastes warm even though it’s cold to the touch.” “A beer for aspiring smokers. Your taste buds are dead anyway, right?” “If your body is a temple, this is desecration.”

Yanjing Alcohol-Free Beer (RMB 3.40) “Look at this! It has a head on it.” “Uh-oh. Fruity.” “Smells like Spam wrapped in a banana peel or the corned beef you get in a tin.” “This beer might be OK to offset the taste of that kind of chuanr that tastes of viscera.” “Definitely something is not regular in this one. Maybe rats in the tank?” “It pours well.” “Isn’t that what people say when they have nothing good to say?”

VERDICT “Basically, those lagers were like drinking the examples on the Bristol stool scale,” said one of our tasters. And after drinking a few of these cans, you’d likely become quite familiar with one extreme of that stool scale. There may have been differences in colors and consistency, but in the end, it’s all crap.

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june 2013


COCKTAIL PROFILER

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he Brick in Shuangjing is not renowned for a decadent take on classic cocktails. It is, however, known for its array of original eye-wateringly strong mixes dreamed up by manager Dave Gaspar.

We asked him to come up with four more for his arsenal. They may not be the most refined blends we’ve seen in these pages, but they sure did the trick.

MARIE Interesting fact: Maria describes herself as a Parisian bar aficionada, a recent arrival who wants to discover more about Beijing’s bar scene. She may not have been expecting to be hit with a dangerously strong concoction pre-mixed in a pint pot, but that’s precisely what she got.

Every month we ask one of the city’s expert mixologists to profile a selection of Beijingers based on a single snapshot and a brief factoid.

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Served: In a pint glass, with a straw “Really good – it’s not that strong, actually. Quite fresh. It’s orgasmic!”

To have one of Beijing’s best bartenders create a drink especially for you, email do@thebeijinger.com with a photo and an interesting fact about yourself.

june 2013

photos: mitchell pe masilun

The resulting drink: Shuangjing Orgy Ingredients: quart of draft beer 3 oz. Long Island Mix 1 oz. grenadine topped up with orange juice


OLIA Interesting fact: Olia says she can down tequila like water and her nickname is “O-I’ll-never-drink-again-lia.” She liked her drink so much she proceeded to drink several throughout the course of the tasting. The resulting drink: Pop My Cherry Ingredients: 1.5 oz vodka topped up with Cherry Dr. Pepper

Served: In an Old Fashioned glass with ice, whipped cream and a cherry garnish. “I couldn’t drink this all night, but I could handle a few. It’s good. Very strong.”

SETH Interesting fact: Seth’s usual round is a can of PBR and a shot of Jameson. The craziest thing he’s done in a pub is build a Lego spaceship. He’s also an architect. The resulting drink: The Spicy Margarita Ingredients: 4 slices of red pepper a pinch of cilantro 1.5 oz. tequila 1 oz. Cointreau 0.5 oz. lime juice 0.5 oz. simple syrup

Served: With the pepper and cilantro muddled into a rock glass, shaken with ice with a twist of lime and a red pepper garnish. “Spicy ... but I have no problem with spicy. The lime takes over pretty quickly. I’d order this because I’d be intrigued.”

ALEX Interesting fact: Alex got The Brick’s logo tattooed on his arm after a day of drinking. The resulting drink: The Honey Pot Ingredients: a bottle of Hoegaarden a dash of honey a shot of Cointreau Served: In a pint glass, with the Cointreau shot “depth charged,” and a lemon wedge dropped in

– which Dave assured us (correctly) would come to rest in the shot glass. “It’s f*cking horrible. Take it back and give me two more. Definitely the preferred sidearm of the discerning alcoholic.”

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june 2013


2013 READER BAR & CLUB AWARDS WINNERS

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e announced the winners of the Beijinger’s 2013 Reader Bar & Club Awards on May 18. Read on for the full list of winning and outstanding venues chosen by our readers – as well as our Editors’ Picks. For in-depth coverage and analysis of the awards, check out TheBeijinger.com.

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READER BAR & CLUBAWARDS

BAR OF THE YEAR Winner Great Leap Brewing Outstanding 4corners Migas

BEST NEW BAR Winner Slow Boat Brewery Outstanding Plan B Cu Ju

BEST NIGHTCLUB Winner Dada Outstanding Spark Chocolate

BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE Winner Yugong Yishan Outstanding Temple 2 Kolegas 4corners

PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Winner Carl Setzer – Great Leap Brewing Outstanding Kenn Bermel – Brussels Josh Lally – Lush and Pyro Pizza

BEST BARTENDER Winner Stephanie Rocard – Mao Mao Chong Outstanding Xiao Ming – Revolution Jack Zhou – The Bar

BEST MANAGER

Winner Josh Lally – Lush and Pyro Pizza Outstanding Karl Long – Paddy O’Shea’s and Paddy’s Irish Bar Kenn Bermel – Brussels

BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR

Winner INTRO Music Festival – Crab Island, May 26, 2012 Outstanding Yen Fetish – Tango, Oct 26, 2012 Irish Ball – Kerry Hotel Beijing, Mar 16, 2013

BEST HUTONG BAR Winner Great Leap Brewing Outstanding 4corners Mao Mao Chong

BEST SANLITUN Winner Migas Outstanding Apothecary First Floor

BEST CBD

Winner Haze Outstanding Centro – Kerry Hotel Beijing Spark

BEST LIDO

Winner Xian – EAST Beijing Outstanding Blue Frog The Irish Volunteer

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BEST SHUANGJING

BEST FOR WHISKEY

BEST WUDAOKOU

BEST FOR DAYTIME DRINKING

BEST BEER SELECTION

BEST HOTEL BAR

BEST COCKTAILS

BEST PLACE FOR NETWORKING

Winner The Brick Outstanding Plan B Main Street Restaurant & Bar Winner Lush Outstanding Propaganda Helen’s Cafe

Winner Beer Mania Outstanding Heaven Supermarket Great Leap Brewing Winner Apothecary Outstanding Mao Mao Chong Mai

BEST LOCAL CRAFT BEER Winner Great Leap Brewing Outstanding Slow Boat Brewery 京A (Jing A)

BEST WINE BAR Winner Enoterra Outstanding Cafe de la Poste Bar Veloce Scarlett – Hotel G

june 2013

Winner Ichikura Outstanding Amilal Apothecary

Winner Great Leap Brewing Outstanding Blue Frog Drum & Bell

Winner Centro – Kerry Hotel Beijing Outstanding Xiu – Park Hyatt Beijing Xian – EAST Beijing

Winner Centro – Kerry Hotel Beijing Outstanding The Bookworm Migas

BEST PLACE TO IMPRESS VISITORS

Winner Atmosphere – China World Summit Wing Outstanding Apothecary Xiu – Park Hyatt Beijing

BEST OUTDOOR DRINKING Winner Great Leap Brewing Outstanding Blue Frog 4corners


BEST SPORTS BAR Winner Paddy O’Shea’s Outstanding Cu Ju Union Bar & Grille

BEST PLACE FOR DANCING Winner Dada Outstanding Spark Salsa Caribe

BEST PLACE TO BRING A DATE Winner Apothecary Outstanding Capital M Q Bar

BEST PLACE TO FIND A DATE

Winner Migas Outstanding First Floor Xiu – Park Hyatt Beijing

BEST EVENTS Winner Modernista Outstanding Migas Spark

BEST HAPPY HOUR Winner Blue Frog Outstanding Brussels Flamme

BEST LADIES’ NIGHT

MADDEST REGULARS

BEST PLACE TO PLAY POOL

BEST OPEN MIC NIGHT

BEST FOR STUDENTS

BEST SURVIVOR

BEST QUIZ NIGHT

BEST CHEAP DRINKS

Winner Xiu – Park Hyatt Beijing Outstanding Suzie Wong’s Plan B

Winner Lush Outstanding 4corners Hot Cat Club

Winner Lush Outstanding Paddy O’Shea’s The Brick

MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE Winner Migas Outstanding Xiu – Park Hyatt Beijing Spark

FRIENDLIEST CROWD

Winner Great Leap Brewing Outstanding First Floor Café de la Poste

BEST MIX OF LOCALS & EXPATS Winner First Floor Outstanding Temple Migas

Winner Café de la Poste Outstanding The Brick First Floor

Winner Lush Outstanding Helen’s Café Pyro Pizza

Winner Heaven Supermarket Outstanding First Floor Helen’s Cafe

BEST VALUE Winner Mao Mao Chong Outstanding Migas Flamme

BEST DECOR Winner Janes & Hooch Outstanding Revolution d Lounge

BEST ROOFTOP Winner Migas Outstanding Q Bar Kokomo Drum & Bell

Winner Plan B Outstanding Black Sun Beer Mania Nearby The Tree Winner The Tree Outstanding Lush Yugong Yishan Café de la Poste

BEST VIEW

Winner Atmosphere – China World Summit Wing Outstanding Capital M Migas

BEST CAFE

Winner The Bookworm Outstanding Maan Alba Café Zarah

HIDDEN GEM Winner Cellar Door Outstanding Frost Nails George’s

Note: Cu Ju owner Badr Benjelloun is an employee at True Run Media.

EDITORS’ PICKS BEST COCKTAILS Mai Bar

BEST FOR JAZZ Mix – Westin Beijing Chaoyang

BEST FOR OUTDOOR EVENTS

BEST GAYFRIENDLY VENUE

Mesh – The Opposite House

BEST JAPANESE BAR Twilight

BEST NEW BAR

BEST SPORTS BAR

BEST NEW MUSIC VENUE

BEST WINE SELECTION

The Bar

Paddy’s Irish Bar

BEST SHUNYI The Green Cap

2 Kolegas

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june 2013

Brussels

Aria – China World Hotel Beijing

BEST FOR DOGS Salud


Things to do, places to be, stuff to try

GO

For your ticket to ride, see p60.

PARTY GADGETS // SKATEBOARDING // WISH WE WERE THERE // FREE STUFF

Take a shower, pothead: SeeWang Xingwei's work at UCCA. All month.

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june 2013


WISH WE WERE THERE Staying up all night at White Night, St. Petersburg, Russia, Jun 23-27

Enjoying the mud at Glastonbury, England, Jun 26-30

photos: Gawkerassets.com, Boston.com, Sungodperu.com, Wikimedia Commons, St-Petersburg-Tours.ru

Marking the winter solstice at Inti Raymi, Macchu Pichu, Peru, Jun 24

Marching on together at Pride Week, New York, USA, Jun 24-30

looking before we leap at El Colacho, Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, Jun 2

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june 2013


Future Present time to think different

photo: LOVA

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june 2013


WHAT’S NEW Venues & shops TD Store Daily 10am-9pm. Unit 503 (next to Moment Cafe), B1/F, Sanlitun Soho, 8 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (5624 6901) 朝阳区工体北路8号院三里屯Soho 5号商场地下1层 503室 850m southwest of Tuanjiehu station (Line 10)

T

echnology now evolves so quickly that there are tech-savvy adults who don’t know the sound of a dial-up modem, never used a felt-tip to rewind a cassette tape nor flushed CDs in the toilet in an effort to remove scratches. Although it always feels like we should be a little closer to Jetsons-style robotic ayi or the targeted advertising of Minority Report, in some ways we’re exactly where we should be – maybe even a little further ahead. One of the things that Back to the Future II, set in 2015, accurately predicted was the advent of tablet computers. That’s where TD Store comes in. The Sanlitun Soho shop specializes in making your iPad and iPhone do things that it really shouldn’t be able to do. They’ve got mini arcade cabinets for the squareeyed, mini DJ decks for the mixmasters, a mini piano so you can crowd around it for an old-fashioned knees-up, and full-size guitars for anyone who fancies themselves as Slash from Guns ‘N’ Roses. Does the fun stop there? Of course not. You can examine photo printers that plug directly into your smartphone, remote-controlled video cameras and some basstacular Bluetooth speaker systems. The helpful staff will also let you test out a Lytro, the light field camera whose revolutionary technology allows you to refocus photographs after you take them. TD Store also stocks more work-related items. Among the ultra-ergonomic laptop stands and the odd tablet stylus, there’s a nifty device that projects a laser keyboard onto any surface and uses an infrared sensor to track your typing. Apart from delivering us the future, the store also wants to make sure you won’t be dehydrated while you’re learning to use your new toys. Half of the space is turned over to a cafe with a selection of hot and cold drinks, and – you’ve guessed it – free Wi-Fi. Jonathan White Also try: Buy Now Computer Shopping Mall (Bainaohui)

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WHAT’S NEW Venues & shops

photography season Spring Cameras Daily 11am-10pm. 52 Cheniandian Hutong, Dongcheng District (6729 2366) 东城区车辇店胡同52号 500m southwest of Andingmen station (Line 2)

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ancient bellows and lenses extended, awaiting a buyer who can appreciate their charms. Film (instant and roll) is available in-store, as are developing, printing and camera repair services. While cameras are the focus here, the shop offers a range of antiquated items. One tall bookcase seems to sway under the weight of old brown leather bags (RMB 200-300). Another stack of shelves is crammed with colorful rotary phones (RMB 100-200). Spring Cameras is a welcome addition to Gulou’s teeming mass of vintage shops, not just for the film aficionado but for the collector as well. Cat Nelson Also try: Wukesong Camera Market, Lomography

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photo: joey guo

n a digital age, to stick with using film marks you out as obstinate. Some insist that the pixel will never achieve the fine detail of the silver in film and paper. Others champion tactile, mechanical processes. Still others are faithful to vintage aesthetics. Spring Cameras caters largely to the latter two. One long length of the small shop’s wall is packed with secondhand cameras. Variety is narrow – mainly compact point-and-shoots from the ’80s and Polaroid cameras – but within these categories, the selection is broad. Have you been looking for that pink 1997 Spice Girls specialedition Polaroid? You’ll find several here for RMB 750. Alongside the cartoonish Barbie and Tasmanian Devil models, Land Cameras (RMB 700) sit elegantly with their


INSPECT A GADGET

Party Gadgets get your digital groove on by Joey Guo

LED Ice Cubes Turn the plainest drink into a party with these colorful LED cubes. www.taobao.com RMB 5

Vestax Spin2 DJ/VJ USB and iOS Controller This all-in-one DJ controller lets you mix tracks and clips from your iPhone, iPad or Mac. Just plug and play with popular mixing apps (Algoriddim djay and vjay), mix songs and videos from your iTunes library and rock your party. www.vestax.com RMB 2,450

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B&O PLAY Beolit 12 Thanks to its AirPlay functionality, everyone with an iPhone can pitch in to help DJ the party. Just choose the Beolit 12 speaker from your iPhone and cue up your song. www.beoplay.com RMB 5,900

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Philips Wireless Microphone and Bluetooth Speaker Once you pair this microphone and speaker with the free StarMaker (Karaoke + Auto-Tune app) for your iPad, you’ll never have to head to KTV again to prove your dominance. www.philips.com.cn RMB 1,500 LED Flashing Lights Shutter Shade Glasses Three different light modes (steady on, fast blink, and slow blink) give you all the attention you could ever want – even when you’re not on the dance floor. www.taobao.com RMB 60


feature

United Skates on the grind in Beijing

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ook at the photo below. What’s the first thing that comes into your head? “That seems like a nice place to sit and eat my lunch”? Get back to the office, Poindexter. On the other hand, if you said to yourself, “I’m stoked. That’s a sick bank” ... then you already know that June 21 marks the tenth anniversary of Go Skateboarding Day. Beijing has a welcoming local scene, with decent skate shops and proper spots to ride. SKATESHOPS You’re going to need a board, at the very least, to get started. You’ll also want some heavy-duty skate shoes, as they are going to take an absolute hammering. Cool clothes are optional (and available everywhere).

(131 2660 6434) 东城区北新桥地铁站D出口西200米 (22中对面) Eternal Street Store 1) 456 Dongsi Beidajie, Dongcheng District (6401 8213); 2) 70C Xinjiekou Beidajie, Xicheng District (8322 6872) 1) 东城区东四北大街456号; 2) 西城区新街口北 大街丙70号 Fat Tongues 149 Dongsi Beidajie, Dongcheng District (6400 5608) 东城区东四北大街149号 Tour Skateshop 41-3 Jiaodaokou Nandajie, Dongcheng District (6407 1069, 133 6627 6142) 东城区交道口南大街41-3号

Blue Hawaii Surf 蓝色极限 Next to Page One, S2, 2/F, Sanlitun Village South, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区三里屯路19号三里屯Village南区2楼2层

STREET SPOTS New street spots are always popping up. Here’s the top five as recommended by local skater Jamie Wilson.

Burning Ice 燃烧冰滑板店 Across from No. 22 Middle School (200m west of Beixinqiao subway Exit D), Dongcheng District

St. Joseph's Wangfujing Church 东堂 74 Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng District 东城区王府井大街74号

photo: SUSU LUO

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Wanda Plaza 万达广场 93 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区建国路93号 Wukesong subway station (Line 1) 五棵松地铁站 Intersection of Fuxing Lu and East Fourth Ring Road, Haidian District 海淀区复兴路与西四环中路的交叉口 Westin Beijing Financial Street 威斯汀大酒店 9B Jinrong Jie, Xicheng District 西城区金融街乙9号 Raffles Hotel Beijing 北京饭店莱佛士 33 Dongchang'an Dajie, Dongcheng District 东城区东长安大街33号 SKATEPARKS The biggest and best skatepark in the city is the Woodward, purpose-built for skaters by skaters. It has both indoor and outdoor combinations of bowls, kickers, half pipes and rails. Woodward Beijing Xingming Lake Resort, Weishanzhuang, Daxing District, Daxing District (8923 2289) www.woodwardbeijing.cn 大兴区魏善庄(星明湖度假村内) Find out more about GSD at Goskateboardingday.org. Check out KickerClub.com for more places to skate and news of pro riders coming to shred Beijing.

skate the bl ack ba

nks of Wanda Pl

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GIVEAWAYS

oil try anything beijing's other italian

RMB 1,000

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RMB 1,192

In Your Element

They’ll spring for the summer menu

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ealthy California-style cuisine has made Element Fresh a firm favorite since it made its move up north from Shanghai a few years ago. They have recently expanded their Beijing operations to include branches at Indigo and Solana. To celebrate their expansion, they are giving away a set of two vouchers for their new spring/summer three-course wine pairing dinners, valued at RMB 596 per dinner. For your chance to win, just answer this question: Which element is notated as Fr on the periodic table? Email your answer to win@ thebeijinger.com before June 30. Don’t forget to include your name and phone number. Good luck!

f you ever doubted that Sicilians were fearless, you need look no further than Giuseppe Gladiatore of Alio Olio. The restaurateur set up shop just yards from the Chaoyang Park West Gate branch of a certain ubiquitous Beijing-based Italian restaurant chain. Some considered him a fool but Giuseppe knew best – Alio Olio was an instant hit and has been going strong for nearly two years. If you’ve never been to Alio Olio, an RMB 1,000 voucher ought to give you enough reasons to do so. To win, just answer this question: What does aglio e olio mean in English? Send your answer to win@ thebeijinger.com before June 30. Good luck.

Fine Hospitality take a trip to the outback

W RMB 1,000

Mex It Up

fiesta until you siesta

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hough tacos and tequila are something that we here in the northern capital can’t get enough of, the city’s love affair with Mexican restaurants never did run smooth. One notable success story is Sanlitun’s Q Mex. The much-hyped taqueria celebrates its first birthday this month and they want to share their joy with one lucky reader to the tune of an RMB 1,000 voucher for food and drink. For your chance to win, just answer this question: In the James Bond films, the character of Q is an abbreviation for which job title? Email your answer to win@ thebeijinger.com before June 30. Don’t forget to include your name and phone number. Good luck!

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RMB 1,000

hen we hear the word Rosewood, we can’t help but think of Judge Reinhold playing Billy Rosewood to Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. But we’d have different associations if we were natives of Queensland, where Rosewood is a small country town. Like all good country towns, it has a haunted hotel. Is it spooky that the hotel proprietor’s brother has opened the Rosewood Bar & Grill in Beijing? Probably not, but this is the place to get some fair dinkum tucker and we’ve got a voucher for one of you. To win, just answer this question: Which genus do all true rosewoods belong to? Send your answer to win@ thebeijinger.com before June 30. Good luck.

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Things to do, places to be, stuff to try “They would purposefully drop their fries on the floor.” See p63 “I still have a Tourette-style reaction when I think about it.” See p66 “I was mugged by a metal roadside guardrail.” See p68 “The prostitution doesn’t disturb me.” See p69

MEET

PAUL AFSHAR // TOM CARTER // IAN SYER // DOMINIC JOHNSON-HILL

Things You Should Know About Sarah Brightman …

She is the only artist to have performed at two Olympic games: Barcelona ’92 and Beijing ‘08

She originated the role of christine in the Phantom of the Opera

She marrie Lloyd-Webd Andrew had directber, who ed her in Cats

n ofte with s ’ e h S ited cred ting inven assical the Clover crosse genr

She UNE is the peac SCO a curre rtis n e t fo t r

ig break b r e h t o She g e troupe c n a d a in ot Gossip called H

See Sarah Brightman at the MasterCard Arena on Jun 28

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feature

Crossing The Tees A Plastered T-shirts retrospective by Jonathan White

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t’s been seven years since Plastered T-shirts opened on Nanluogu Xiang. Rather than celebrating with ice cream and jelly, Plastered’s “creative dictator” Dominic Johnson-Hill walked us through some favorite designs from his back catalogue and gave us a glimpse into the iconic brand’s future. I Climbed the Great Wall – 2005 In 2005, Nanluogu Xiang was totally residential and Beijing didn’t have a single T-shirt shop. This was my first design. I saw a tourist in the hutongs wearing an “I Climbed the Great Wall” T-shirt and I wanted to make it more about the Beijing I love – so I plastered a woman with a bikini on the top. (As Einstein once said: “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”) It’s my worst-selling T-shirt design to date, but it changed my life and the whole neighborhood of Nanluogu Xiang where I lived.

2006, I had a collection of about 30 shirts; many were quite absurd but this one flew off the shelves. I learned that the iconic stuff was the way forward. (This ticket was in use until 2004.) I also learned that in China, whoever trademarks first, wins – unlike in the West. I trademarked the subway ticket before the subway company did, stealing a beautiful piece of artwork.

RMB 1.20 taxi – 2006 It seems like just the other day that you could hail a cab easily and smoke in the back. In 2006, the old xiali cabs

Subway Ticket – 2005 My first popular design. When I opened Plastered in early

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feature (which charged RMB 1.20/km) were disappearing fast. We paid homage to them in our first T-shirt collection with this simple design.

Heroes – 2006 This was taken from a 1970s propaganda poster that I bought for my daughters. Literally, it translates as “women can also be heroes.” It’s the “also” that I liked. It’s become one of our most celebrated designs. Surprisingly popular with Chinese men. Massage – 2006 This beautiful design idea came from my neighbors on Nanluogu Xiang, two ladies who stood by their spinning barber poles and tried to persuade passing men to enjoy their services. One day, one of them asked me if I would make a T-shirt for her. I think she was joking but I wanted to celebrate these ladies, so I designed this for her and gave her one. I would see her wearing it in the mornings on her way to the toilet. Kung Pao Chicken and Shou Yao – 2007 Two designs that changed my life were the most simple. One was just four characters – 宫爆鸡丁 (Kung Pao Chicken) – and the other was 收药 (Shou Yao), which is simply one of those

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illegal advertisements you see stuck everywhere (i.e. “call this number to sell your secondhand pills”). In 2007, I was invited onto China’s most popular chat show. I sent a Kung Pao Chicken T-shirt to the mega-famous host; she wore it on the show, making it our bestselling design overnight. I wore the “Shou Yao” T-shirt and suddenly about 20 million people knew my phone number. It’s still ringing today – that’s how I got my first wholesale customers. Washing Up – 2007 This simple design, a household icon, was never a big seller for Plastered, but I’ll always remember it because one day Jimmy Page came to the store, bought loads of stuff and I called him “Mr. Plant.” I still have a Tourette-style reaction everytime I think about it. Stained Glass Windows – 2009 In 2009, Nanluogu Xiang started to develop really fast. Rent doubled in a year and copycat stores were popping up everywhere, so we needed to keep creating. My idea was to make stained glass windows of Chinese god-like icons, Lei Feng and Deng Xiaoping being two of them. I called up a Beijing designer to create them – that took a week – and then I sent images to a stained glass maker in Jiangsu. The Lei Feng one is now in the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows in Chicago. Again, I didn’t make a profit but I got some lovely windows. Tattoo – 2010 One day I literally stumbled across a husband and wife covered in stunning tattoos. We had lots of beer together and I asked them if they would design some Plastered tattoos for me. They agreed. I suddenly thought of revolutionary ballet, sent them a load of pics and they painted this for me in two days. It’s one of our biggest sellers to date and Zippo used it for their limited-edition lighters. I

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can’t remember a single idea that came to me while I was in an office. Gorilla – 2012 By 2012, Nanluogu Xiang had turned into a snack street with people queuing to buy fake lamb sticks and stinky tofu. Most of the creative brands on the street couldn’t keep up with the rent and moved on to places like Wudaoying Hutong, where the promise of the next Nanluogu Xiang didn’t really happen. This artwork (see p64) was inspired by … those snack-eating crazy consumers.   Looking to the Future – 2013  We are passionate about producing awesome artwork at Plastered, not necessarily for T-shirts. Nick Bonner of Koryo Tours and I had an idea to produce artwork in collaboration with North Korean artists, based on the lofty idea of “The Beautiful Future,” such as modern Chinese iconic buildings captured in a beautiful socialist past. There seemed no better place to have these painted than in Pyongyang. This is one painting from a collection of ten. We intend to exhibit them later this year. Plastered T-Shirts. Daily 10am-10pm. 61 Nanluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District (134 8884 8855) www.plasteredtshirts. com 东城区南锣鼓巷61号

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BOOKSHELF

Tom Carter

photojournalist and travel writer If you only ever read one book about China, make it Mian Mian’s Candy. I can’t think of any other book, fiction or nonfiction, that so honestly and poetically captures China during its greatest period of change and modernization, and the harsh choices that the younger generation of today’s Chinese have to make in the ugly face of excess. I pretend to have read Wild Swans. I have this on my bookshelf, and I’ll vacantly nod my head in agreement when others are discussing Jung Chang’s works, but the truth is that it’s woefully dry writing. I can’t get past the first few chapters. Not sure how this ever became a bestseller. There, I said it! On the subway, I read James Clavell’s Tai-Pan (the actual 700-page paper book, not on Kindle). The book has been in my backpack for nearly a year now. It’s too layered to be easily digested all at once, so the subway has actually been the perfect venue to read bits of this historical novel at a time. Before you came around, I hid Decadence Mandchoue: The China Memoirs of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, a wild romp through the homosexual brothels of 1890s

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Peking. A fascinating read (whether it’s true or not), but I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about which way I lean. The character in a book I’ve had a crush on is Suzie Wong, of course. Sultry, strong-minded … and attracted to a broke vagabond Westerner – my kinda gal! The prostitution doesn’t disturb me; it’s certainly no worse than the girls found in Club Suzie Wong in Beijing. The last book I read was Feng Chi-shun’s Hong Kong Noir. And not fiction noir, but true-life stories, which makes it even more of a dark, disturbing read. The last book I bought was a very obviously pirated copy of Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother from a street vendor. I got it for my wife in preparation of our upcoming parenthood; she agreed it was only worth RMB 20, not the USD 20 cover price. My favorite line from a book is: “Collect adventures and experiences to reminisce about ... go to far places, meet new people, eat exotic foods, enjoy all varieties of women, look on unfamiliar landscapes, see new things.” – Aztec by Gary Jennings Tom Carter is the editor of Unsavory Elements and author of CHINA: Portrait of a People. Both are available at The Bookworm.

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UNIFORMITY

Paul Afshar

Which uniform was the most flattering? The Royal Box uniform that I had to wear to serve tea to the Queen made me look like an innocent choirboy. I don’t look good in uniforms – so this is the best it’s ever got!

Tell us a story about wearing a uniform somewhere where you felt out of place. Hands down the Mozart uniform. I used to be a copresenter on a TV show called Local Laowai. One episode’s script was based around Mozart coming to modern-day China to see how he could learn music here. I had to wear this ridiculous uniform (a huge white permed wig, baroque-style gown and trousers) in a music store near Beixinqiao. I was a smoker at the time, so I stepped out of the front door to have a cigarette. Cars on the main road began to slow down to take pictures.

Which uniform do you feel most sentimental about? Although my university (Oxford) was full of pompous tradition, I still feel sentimental about the “Sub Fusc” (academic gown, cap, and white bow tie or black tie) which we had to wear for practically every occasion. It made me feel like I was in a Harry Potter movie.

Managing director, IWannaBuy.com

Which uniform were you most mocked for wearing? The McDonald’s uniform, when kids from my school used to come into the store and see me in it. They would purposefully drop their fries on the floor so I’d have to come out of hiding to tidy up after them.

Which uniform would be considered the least fashionable? When I worked at an English school, they had a marketing event to teach children fire safety. But my fireman’s “uniform” was bought from Taobao and was orange – so it made me look like a Guantanamo inmate. No one can look hot in orange! Paul makes shopping uniform at IWannaBuy.com

photo: courtesy of paul afshar

Which uniform was the worst fit? Definitely the McDonald’s uniform. My head is quite large, so the standard baseball cap never fit properly. I’d have to rest it on top of my head when I wore it, which made me look like Brian Harvey from the boy band East 17 circa early ’90s.

Did you ruin any of these uniforms? When I was 17, I was – for a brief period – a radical leftie, so I attended a protest outside a McDonald’s store where I pretended to burn my uniform. Actually, I just stamped on it a few times as my lighter wasn’t working properly.

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A DRINK WITH How old were you when you started drinking? I paid for my first pint around the age of 15. We had a leave pass from school so a group of us decided to venture out and experience the pub scene on our own in another town. We ended up down at the docks thinking we wouldn’t get busted. So there we were in a pub frequented by burly fisherman – much bigger, hairier and uglier than those on Deadliest Catch! Scary. Tell us about the first time you were drunk. I broke my jaw playing rugby and the lads came to see how I was. They brought some grog so I joined in. My jaw was wired top to bottom – I was petrified that I was going to vomit and drown on Theakston’s Old Peculier! Tell us about the last time you were drunk. I was not drunk, I was tired. And I was mugged by one of those metal roadside guardrails on Baiziwan Lu. I got my ankle wedged in between them, collapsed to the ground unable to free myself, and had to be rescued. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done while drunk? I climbed out of a lift lobby window into my flat via my bathroom window after locking myself out. I was 17 floors up. We’re at the bar – what are you having? Kick off with a beer, then slide into JD cokes. Could you organize a piss-up in a brewery? I have – in the Guinness Brewery. They are kind enough to host thirsty groups for private events. No cleaning up, plenty of staff and big enough for all your mates and more.

Ian Syer

President, Beijing Cricket Club Who would you most like to go out drinking with? [Cricketer] Chris Gayle. The less he sleeps, the better he plays.

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Where’s your favorite place to go drinking? Somewhere beachside. Sunshine, warm waters, music, coconut oil – what else could you wish for? What’s your golden rule of drinking? Always have your dog tags on with your home address. See Ian pushing boundaries at the Beijing International Cricket Sixes 2013 at Dulwich from Jun 28-30.

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photo: SUI

If you could only imbibe one drink for the rest of your life, what would it be? Jack and his mate Daniel. We’ve been partners for a long while. Traveled the world together, had lengthy late-night discussions on life, and the bar staff know we’re mates. Never change a good thing.

What’s your idea of a good night out? After a thumping cricket victory, going out to celebrate with the lads. But darts now seems to be taking over.


ECOLOGY

“NATURE PROVIDES A FREE LUNCH, BUT ONLY IF WE CONTROL OUR APPETITES.” – WILLIAM RUCKELSHAUS

The Tibetan Plateau as documented by Sean Gallagher

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Meltdown

Snapshots of the Tibetan Plateau by Kyle Mullin

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pon arriving at the Tibetan Plateau, the goal of most travelers is to take pictures that can do those gorgeous vistas justice. Photojournalist Sean Gallagher went there with a different objective: to reveal how those beautiful views are at risk of being lost forever. The latest project from Beijing-based Gallagher focuses on the melting glaciers, grassland degradation, and spreading deserts that plague one of China’s most ecologically sensitive regions – the headwaters of the Yellow, Yangtze and Mekong Rivers, which more than a billion people depend on for water. Titled “Meltdown: Climate Change and Environmental Degradation on the Tibetan Plateau,” and sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the project is Gallagher’s fourth series of photos capturing China’s environmental struggles. The images will be on exhibit at the Southern Barbarian restaurant on Baochao Hutong throughout June. Below, Gallagher tells us what is causing the Tibetan Plateau’s environmental woes, how the local nomadic population is coping, and the techniques he used to document their plight.

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What sort of environmental degradation were you aiming to capture visually? I took one picture of a huge flock of sheep being herded down a road. That’s in the foreground. In the background, you see what appear to be mountains. Then you look closer, and see they are actually sand dunes. It shows you the very large numbers of sheep and cattle on the plateau, and how the desertification is happening. There’s one image, taken in a town in Qinghai province, of a river under a road that’s running off into the grasslands, and the river is completely full of rubbish. It’s an extreme example of the water pollution there. I have another image of a truck driving across a road in the background; in the foreground, you can see a man making the pilgrimage to Lhasa. With it, you see the relationship between modern China and the local people still keeping their faith. It’s the idea of their connection to nature in the face of the urban development all around them. How does desertification impact the locals? The government is worried about this region because it has the headwaters. The grasslands have been drying up, because of what is believed to be rising temperatures and overgrazing. So the reactionary policy is to try and stop the overgrazing by relocating the nomadic herders into resettlement towns.

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photos: Sean Gallagher

Tell us about the power of a photograph when it comes to ecological issues. The issue of climate change is often just broken down into numbers and statistics. That makes it hard for people to relate, to really see how these changes are affecting people in vulnerable communities like those on

the Tibetan plateau, who are sensitive to any changing temperatures.


How are those former herders coping emotionally? Many have this feeling of inevitability. They spoke to me about missing life on the grassland, but many admitted they like the conveniences of living in towns. How has this project compared to your past environmental projects? I’ve been focusing on environmental issues in China for five years now. My first project focused on the desertification occurring from Beijing to Xinjiang. I did another about how China’s wetlands are disappearing, and another about deforestation and how the forests are vanishing in Sichuan province. They’re all connected to climate change, and how China’s development is affecting the environment. How do you maintain that objectivity when you’re face to face with it, forging ties with the locals? I come from a science background. I studied zoology in university, which is what started my interest in ecology. So I’m trying to create images that accurately show some of these environmental issues. I base where I go and what issues I cover on scientific journals, from experts who are relaying studies objectively. What gear and equipment do you use? I keep my equipment simple, bringing only a Canon DSLR and a few lenses. Most of it fits in a backpack. That makes it easier for traveling, and that way you don’t scream photographer when you arrive. It also means I don’t get

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bogged down on the technical side, so that I’ll focus on taking pictures and telling better stories. Where will you be turning your lens next? Because I spent all this time photographing issues in China, this year I’d like to bring these projects together into a book that can help people understand how these problems play into one another. I also took a recent trip to Indonesia, and I’m looking into taking another to India. I’m interested in seeing how these issues play out in other countries, how other countries are dealing with them. You say your goal is to objectively inform people, but is there any part of you that hopes your photos will bring about more immediate ecological change? Change is very hard to put your finger on, especially when you have your images published. It’s very difficult to know what impact your pictures will have. I do a lot of education outreach, talking at schools in China and the US, telling students how climate change is affecting people here. When I present this work to students, I can gauge change in terms of their attitude and reaction to the work. That’s the best experience I’ve had, directly informing them and helping them form their own attitudes about environmental issues. “Meltdown” is on display at Southern Barbarian restaurant until the end of the month.

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What are you planning to do?

EVENTS

OUR EDITORS PICK THE BEST OF THE MONTH upload your events at thebeijinger.com/events find all venue info AT THEBEIJINGER.COM/DIRECTORY. please call venues ahead of time to confirm details.

CHINA VS. NETHERLANDS

JUN 11 – TheOranje bring their star-studded side to Beijing to take on the Chinese national team. Van Persie & Co. have not lost a game in almost 12 months; they’re sure to offer a stiff test to Jose Camacho’s side as they continue their campaign to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup. RMB 180-1,880. Time TBD. Workers’ Stadium (6501 6655 ext 5033)

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don’t miss

OUTDOOR FUN FAMILY CEILIDH AND BBQ

JUN 1 – The Caledonian Society is doing this right. Get ready for beer, soft drinks, BBQ and lots of dancing. There will even be a cash bar for wine and whisky, but be warned, the event is on a basketball court, so leave the high heels at home. RMB 120 (adults), RMB 80 (children over 5), free (children under 5). 5.30pm. British School of Beijing, Shunyi campus (8047 3588)

MLB ROADSHOW

JUN 1 – Baseball fans can suit up in their team’s colors and take some swings in the inflatable batting cages. Coaches from the Major League Baseball Development Center will be on hand to help you brush up on your swing and your pitching arm. Other activities include a pitching cage with a speed gun, a mini-baseball diamond with wiffle-ball games, and MLB T-shirts and giveaways. Price TBD. 1-6pm. Solana (5905 6565/8)

BOOK PARTY 3

JUN 8 – Find out what’s happening in your backyard at ChART Contemporary’s annual shindig up in Caochangdi. Relive those bustling summertime block parties within the atmosphere of an independent art district and residential community. Free. 2-5pm. ChART Stop (138 1092 9464)

MOBILE CINEMA: GREASE

JUN 9 – Get moving and get musical with Luma Lu’s mobile studio this summer. This quirky converted rickshaw will deliver the studio’s first film screening with an open-air showing of Grease. Tell me more, you say? Slick your hair back and dress up as your favorite character for a discount on the entry fee. RMB 20. 7.30pm. 2 Kolegas (6436 8998)

FIRST NATIONAL BEIJING BEER GEEKS’ FESTIVAL

JUN 15 – Just a week before the Beijing Craft Beer Festival, Beijing launches its second artisanal brewing festival. At time of print, six brewers had confirmed their participation: Tipsy Face, Panda Brewpub and Slow Boat Brewery from Beijing, and a smattering of out-of-towners as well. Price TBD. 1-9pm. Venue TBD

BEIJING MUSIC DAY (LA FÊTE DE LA MUSIQUE)

JUN 21 – The annual celebration of music returns with a bumper lineup for its second Beijing edition. The festival originated in France in 1982. This year, it will bring together over 30 acts across five different neighborhoods and 16 venues. RMB 50. 10pm. 2 Kolegas (6436 8998)

HAZE OUT

JUN 22 – Haze Out returns for a dance under the stars with the usual cast: Yang Bing, Pancake Lee, Mickey Zhang, QQ, Huang WeiWei, Tobias Patrick, Sageera and Kaize, among others. Pack for the night with the party expected to go from sun up to sundown. Price TBD. 1-9pm. Venue TBD

OPEN-AIR CINEMA: THE BURBS

JUN 27 – Things get cozy and the films get nostalgic as weekly open-air screenings continue on the rooftop of The Bookworm. In this classic, Tom Hanks plays an overstressed suburbanite who believes his new neighbors are a front for a cannibalistic cult. Free. 8pm. The Bookworm (6586 9507)

‘DAZEFEAST 2013

JUN 29 – Another of the city’s regular music festivals returns for another edition at 2 Kolegas, where sacrifices will be made to the gods of rock by SUBS, Bad Mamasan, Randy Abel Stable, Residence A and The Intrepid Adventurers. Price TBD. 1-9pm. Venue TBD

MOUNTAIN RIDE

JUN 29 – Escape with your ride to the mountains around the Jiankou Great Wall. Your pedaling will be rewarded with a tasty wood-fired pizza and you can replenish your energy with an afternoon spent relaxing in a courtyard. RMB 500. 7am-6.30pm. Serk (134 2647 4634)

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EVENTS

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JUN 14-16 – The annual folk festival returns with a lineup that includes Yemen Blues from Israel, Natascha Rogers from France, and Wylie & the Wild West from the US. Top local acts will play as well. RMB 150, RMB 100 (advance), RMB 300 (three-day pass). 2pm. Mako Live House (5205 1112/3)

2. BAKING MADE EASY

JUN 15 – Two Guys and A Pie will teach you the art of making a flaky, buttery crust. Make your own pie dough, plus one savory and one sweet filling. 2-4.30pm. RMB 280, RMB 220 (members). The Hutong (159 0104 6127)

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3. ARTISTRY ON ICE

JUN 16 – Figure skating champions Kurt Browning, Stephane Lambiel and Patrick Chan will have you gasping and cheering as they lutz, salchow and axel. RMB 1801,280. 7pm. MasterCard Center (6828 6386)

4. URBAN DISTORTION

JUN 1 – Festival Croisements brings a collection of fascinating music, poetry and installation pieces that explore a strange, new urban identity. Free. 6.30pm. Dongcheng Cultural Center (6401 5552)

5. SUMMER WAVE 2013 POOL PARTY

JUN 8 – Dig out your bikini or your Speedo as summer gets underway. Expect DJs, FHM models, Southeastern Asian BBQ and of course, chilled Champagne and beer on ice. RMB 300, RMB 200 (advance). 3-9pm. Beijing Purple Jade Resort (8776 1606)

6. Havana Nights

JUN 14 – Join Kerry Hotel for a night of Cuba-themed music, dancing and refreshments, as well as an on-site Cuban cigar roller. Don your finest Castro or Guevara rig for a shot at winning the prize for Best Lookalike. Price TBD. 9pm. Centro (8565 2398)

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3 1. R3hab

JUN 11 – As part of the official after-party for the China vs. Netherlands football match, top-100 Dutch spinner R3hab makes his China debut at Elements Club. His illustrious career has included spinning remixes for the likes of Madonna, Calvin Harris and David Guetta. Price and time TBD. Elements Club (6552 6223)

2.DJ ZINC

JUN 5 – UK drum ‘n’ bass breakstepper DJ Zinc descends on Dada. He’s touring Asia to promote 2011’s popular EP Sprung, but Zinc has spent the last ten years playing at every major music festival and top nightclub in the world. RMB 50. 10pm. Dada (183 1108 0818)

3. COLOR PUNCH VOL. 1

JUN 15 – The most colorful party of the summer goes off at 2 Kolegas when it plays host to Color Punch. The idea is pretty simple: Wear as little as you like – preferably white – and become a human canvas as colored powder is fired from every area of the 2 Kolegas garden.

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Note: Don’t wear your best dancing gear! RMB 50. 4pm-2am. 2 Kolegas (6436 8998)

4. TOP SECRET: THE BATTLE FOR THE PENTAGON PAPERS

JUN 4, 5, 7 – L.A. Theatre Works will be the first American theater company to perform at The Egg. Their exciting production reveals the story behind the top-secret government papers that were leaked to the public in the hopes of ending a “wrongful war.” RMB 120-480. 7.30pm. NCPA (6655 0000)

5. THE DROP #22

JUN 14 – The popular party night returns for its 22nd installment, a special “Beijing All-Star Bass” edition, featuring DJ sets from Yauman, Blackie, Oshi, Shackup, Chole and visuals from VJ Ink. They’ll be dropping everything from dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass, to trap and tropical house. RMB 50. 10pm. 2 Kolegas (6436 8998)

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1. ADOPTING A PET IN BEIJING

JUN 15 – That kitten you found is cute, but it comes with many responsibilities. This session discusses everything you’ll need to consider when adopting a pet from an organization or rescuing strays from the street. Free. 11am-noon. ICVS (138 1028 0259)

2. ANDALUCÍA NIGHT

JUN 6 – A four-course set dinner, with wine pairings, from the south of Spain. Andalucían cuisine is well-known for its cold soups, fish dishes from the coast and meats from the interior. Limited seats; reservations are necessary (rsvp@niajo.com). 6-10.45pm. RMB 498. Niajo (5208 6052)

3. MOONGLOW BURLESQUE ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION JUN 9 – Celebrate the third anniversary of Beijing’s sexiest cabaret troupe. Posters, photos and videos will be displayed and plenty of memorabilia will be on sale. Free. 10pm. Modernista (136 9142 5744)

4. CANADA DAY CHILLI-EATING CONTEST

JUN 29 – Can you feel the tears gushing from your eyes? Prove you

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can take the spice at the Beijinger’s annual chilli pepper-eating contest. The Canada China Business Council’s celebration will also showcase Canuck passions such as street hockey and poutine. Price TBD. 3pm. Canadian International School (6465 7788)

5. JEAN-PIERRE RAYNAUD

ALL MONTH – The French artist brings to China his latest fascination: objects and primary colors. His “Red Pot” exhibition brought him fame here in 2007, and we’re excited to see him back with more interesting imagery. Free. 10am-6.30pm. Xin Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art (6433 4579)

6. RICE DUMPLINGS

UNTIL JUN 23 – Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival with traditional rice dumplings (zongzi) whose fillings include red bean, purple sweet potato, chestnut, rose, pumpkin and five-grain. Gift boxes (RMB 388) include a selection of flavors, a set of chopsticks and Pu’er tea. Hampers (RMB 1,688) contain all of the above, plus red wine, olive oil, chocolate, coffee, a Westin Bear and more. Jewel, Westin Beijing Financial Street (6629 7820)

june 2013


PEKING PICs

“Subway” by @sioksiok and “Park Life by@swoonny of IGers Beijing Submit your Peking Pic on Instagram using #igersbeijing

trivia travails Each month we run a series of questions based on the content of the issue. Answer them correctly and win free stuff! This month’s prize is a dinner voucher for two to Seasoning at Holiday Inn Focus Square. Answers to win@thebeijinger.com.

1. Meltdown is the name of a ______. a) book b) film c) photo exhibition d) play 2. Wangfujing Church is a popular spot for ______. a) skateboarders b) jianbing vendors c) graffiti artists d) parkour artists 3. What is the ninth best-selling beer in the world? a) Skol n) Miller Lite c) Coors Lite d) Brahma

Answers to May’s Trivia Travails: 1. d) 1960s 2 .b) 5,000 3. a) the autumnal equinox 4. b) rum 5. c) tea 6. d) bitter melon 7. a) mountains 8. b) mahjong Last month’s winner was Tessa Roscoe.

4. During which dynasty was the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) sacked? a) Qing b) Ming c) Yuan d) Song

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Win Stuff Win a dinner voucher for two to Seasoning at Holiday Inn Focus Square by correctly answering all the questions in Trivia Travails. Be the first to spot this month’s Bogus Ad and win vouchers for Din Tai Fung. Up for grabs in the GO section: a dining voucher for Element Fresh (value RMB 1,192), a voucher for Q Mex (value RMB 1,000), a voucher for Alio Olio (value RMB 1,000), and a voucher for Rosewood Bar & Grill (value RMB 1,000)


PEKING MAN

we need to talk about beijing Lionel Shriver Responds to her Critics by George Ding

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hen I, Lionel Shriver, wrote my column for such an orthogonal fetish. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say all the cheerless, Standpoint magazine, whingeing about Beijing’s dreary air and architecture, I didn’t cookie-cutter buildings were mass-produced in the Soviet style during a time when the country was so poor that think it would be a big deal. Sure, I described the city as dystopic and dubbed it the low construction costs trumped architectural variation. ugliest city I’d ever seen, but it wasn’t an insult; I was just But even if that were true, I still don’t get why are there stating an objective a priori fact, like “The sky is blue” or are so many of them. What, are there a billion people in the country or something? “Lionel lacks tact.” Now I should admit that I didn’t see this “Summer PalAnd as long as you state facts as you see them, no one ace” or “Bird’s Nest” or the “CCTV Tower” while I was there. has the right to be upset. I live in London. I’ve been to many cities in the United I also declined to visit the “hutongs,” which people kept States and Western Europe. Beijing is uglier than all of trying to take me to. I mean, why bother? When you’ve them. I mean, Beijing is like a modern-day Gomorrah. It’s seen one blocky concrete tower, you’ve seen ’em all. I also neglected to trek up to the Great Wall. Seriously, like an urban venereal disease. Beijing is the city Detroit looks to when it wants to feel better about itself. You can’t how “great” can it be? We have some pretty impressive walls here in Britain. argue with facts. “They are all drab, No sir, I learned all I needed to know Still, many took offense to what I said they are all the same, about Beijing from the expats at my about Beijing’s pollution. The atmosphere was so thick and they are all hideous” book talk. Since they knew so much about the city and its air quality readbrown that I could taste it, I wrote. The facades of buildings are paled over with par- ings, it was not necessary to corroborate their opinions ticulates, the creases of dilapidated window frames with those of actual Chinese people. Of course, I couldn’t trust the expats completely emphasized by grime … because, as I mentioned, they had over-adapted to their All true. In fact, I wish I had gone even further. Beijing is like Dubai in a sandstorm, if the sandstorm dystopic town and could no longer see it. Indeed, it took an was made of chunks of asbestos. I was surprised I could outsider like me to scrub away the grime and reveal to see my own shadow, what with all the cars, coal furnaces them the very essence of the city. One thing still puzzles me about Beijing, though. Why and manufactories belching smoke into the sulfurous do people choose to live in that blighted metropolis? pea soup. Could it be that other parts of China are even more Thank goodness London never had to deal with that. Surprisingly, many also took offense to the indisputable polluted? Could it be that Chinese and foreigners alike are seeking opportunities that don’t exist in their hometowns? notion that Beijing’s buildings are ugly. Never was any city more captivated by the rectangle, I Could it be that some are willing to brave the pollution wrote. Clumps of residential developments rise relentlessly and endless rectangles to experience something new and into the distance … They are all drab, they are all the same, exciting? I guess I’ll never know. For those who say I was being too hard on the city, did they are all hideous. Again, I stand by that. Seriously, what is up with these I not devote part of a sentence – great food, great people, rectangular buildings? It’s like the city planners all had great time – to the positive aspects of my trip? Talk about hard-ons for rectangular prisms. I’ve never seen a city with selective reading.

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the Beijinger June 2013  

Drinking Games: Beijing's Barmen Go For Gold

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