Archive for the 'Eating out in Asia' Category

Dragon Well Green Tea

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

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Dragon Well Green Tea is one of the most well known and reputable brands in China.  Originating from Hangzhou, a city which is known for its beautiful West Lake, the tea is highly prized for its pure flavour, and health benefits.  Green tea has been shown to be high in antioxidants, which are said to reduce the risk of cancer.  It also is an excellent palate cleanser after a meal and also for me a detoxer.  It’s also said to aid in weight loss through speeding up your metabolism!  Well, medical research aside… the tea is grown in vast fields lining both sides of the road.  The beautiful, neatly groomed bushes grow to waist height and are in perfectly manicured rows.  Apparently, traffic is forbidden in the evenings, in order to reduce pollution in the tea.  Each leaf is handpicked by workers – and only the young buds. Painstaking work, which is why it is fairly expensive.  Next, it is dried again by hand, in a metal basin, and also sorted according to its quality. First grade costs 240 Yuan for 125g (ie A$40), second grade costs 120 Yuan (ie $20), and third grade costs 160 Yuan (ie $16.67) per 125g.  We were given the best grade to try at the shop, but only dared to buy the lower quality one, lest it get confiscated at customs!

CIMG3192 (Small).JPGThe tradition is that if you are poured a full cup, it means “drink it and leave, you are not welcome”, but being poured half a cup means that you are welcome to stay as long as you like. You thank the pourer of the tea by tapping your index and third finger on the table 3 times near the cup, to say “Thank you very much”.  And the chinese say to come and “eat tea”, because the leaves are also edible.


Tea Ceremony Chinese Style

Monday, February 19th, 2007


One night on our holiday we were booked in to see the Peking Opera in Beijing.  As we sat down, we were delighted with the most death defying tea pouring ceremony, where a man dressed in traditional silk outfit came with a copper teapot with a 1 metre long, skinny spout!  He did a few twists and turns which involved swinging the teapot, twirling it like a baton and resting the spout over his shoulder from various angles, with the pot an arm’s length away!  (more…)

Black Corn??

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

CIMG3174 (Small).JPGMore weird and wacky food in China – corn on the cob – available in normal and black!  The tour guide said it’s the result of gene combinations.  I’m just thinking about having black bits stuck in your purple stained teeth afterwards – lovely!

More Dumplings

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

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In search of dumplings in China, the journey finally ended when our trip almost did.  Upon the hotel concierge’s recommendation, we found this restaurant (without a map or address or language skills – just that it was near a KFC – very helpful!) that was remarkably cheap, and did sell the steamed pork buns (above left) that I had travelled across the Asia for.  Alas, I must have built it up in my own mind, as they weren’t as delicious as I expected :( (more…)