Monthly Archives: November 2011

Beijing duck gets a royal roasting

Let me introduce you to ducky: a 40-day old, web-footed gal that was hanging around a farm in Shun-Yi, Beijing just hours before I made her acquaintance in the kitchen of Made in China, a Chinese restaurant in Beijing’s Grand Hyatt hotel.

She was plump and pale-skinned, having been slaughtered and plucked before arriving on the premise not long after dawn. She and around 80 others would to be gutted and cleaned on-site that day: the first step in a 48-hour process that would result in meat so succulent and skin so exquisitely crisp that the dish was an imperial classic before its secrets filtered down to the masses and it became a dish of national acclaim.

You see, ducky and her squad had a special destiny: they were amongst thousands specifically selected by the city’s restaurants that day to be transformed into the quintessential dish Peking duck – or Beijing duck as it’s commonly referred to today. Continue reading


Filed under Gastronomic Travels

A wok-ing class man


Noodle vendor, Beijing

I love a man who cooks for me. And if he cooks over a raging heat, outdoors, on a hot day, using skill, muscles, and professional technique, my appreciation skyrockets.

Enter Chinese street food vendor – located on a dusty roadside in Shun Yi, Beijing. Continue reading


Filed under Gastronomic Travels

Chang worship: what’s it all about?

At the risk of doing a Mia Freedman – the magazine columnist and television show presenter who angered a sizeable chunk of the nation when she questioned why sports people are lauded as super heroes while surgeons, medical researchers and artists are rarely recognised for their contributions to society – I’m just going to come out and say it. Why has Sydney gone gaga over David Chang? Continue reading


Filed under Reflections