Restaurant Review

[Photo] Hot Pot in Gui Jie

It’s getting really cold in Beijing and the best way to stay warm is to get some hot pot. Here is a photo from my most recent hot pot experience in Gui Jie. Pretty much, the idea is to dump all the meat, vegetables, noodles, and dumplings into the pot and just keep eating. Also known as Ghost Street, Gui Jie is home to over 200 Chinese style restaurants that are open 24 hours.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.

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[Photo] The Art of the Flying Noodle Show

Sorry for the lack of posting this week. But here is a photo that I really like. As it gets colder and colder in Beijing, it’s time for hot pot or in Chinese “HuoGuo”(火锅). It literally means “Fire Pot”. But hot pot is a great experience overall enjoying good food and conversation with your friends. In some hot pot joints in China they have flying noodle shows and here is a photo of it:

At Little Sheep Hot Pot in Inner Mongolia. It takes years to master the art of flying noodles.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a CreativeCommons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Beijing Restaurant Review] How Japanese Food is Perceived in Beijing

If you ever get a chance to visit China and look for Japanese food you would be surprised by the number of Japanese restaurants there are in the major tier-1 cities. You’d think because of the recent Sino-Japanese tensions, Chinese people would boycott Japanese food but as a general rule of thumb, it really has no effect. What I find most interesting through my stay in China over the years is that a majority of Japanese style restaurant owners in China don’t have any connections with Japan at all. I ask them what they think about Japan and the common response that I hear over and over is that they can sell Japanese food for a much more expensive price than Chinese food. This is because in China, consumers know that Japanese products are considered high quality and thus, much more expensive. In China you’ll see a Takoyaki restaurant with the name Hokkaido (北海道) or a ramen restaurant with the name Nagano (長野). In Japan, Hokkaido is not known for Takoyaki and Nagano is not known for ramen. But in China, Hokkaido is a rather popular tourist destination for the lavender fields and so a lot of people associate Hokkaido with random Japanese food for their marketing strategy to attract more customers.
In Beijing you can find anything from B-Class Gourmet, as they call in Japan as being ordinary but still tasty dishes like ramen, udon, dumplings to upscale venues providing sushi and sashimi imported directly from the Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market. You can enjoy a 130RMB (about $18USD) all you can eat and drink Japanese food or spend 15RMB ($2USD) on a bowl of Yoshinoya Beef Bowl. Some of the Japanese restaurant owners say that although they attract an abundance of Japanese customers from a pool of about 10,000 Japanese residents currently residing in Beijing, without attracting the Chinese consumers their business won’t last. So the Japanese food in China has a bit of a Chinese feel to it creating a brand new fusion.
From my view point, Beijing has adapted the idea of Japanese food as any foreign country would. Like in the US, when you think of Japanese food, sushi, sashimi, ramen and sake comes to mind. Beijing is exactly like that incorporating the exotic high class model into Japanese cuisine.  Most people here are surprised to find out that Japanese people don’t actually eat sushi at least once a week but only maybe once a month on a rather special occasion. But the fact of the matter is that in America, most middle income families can afford a night out at a high-end Japanese food restaurant but in China these restaurants market their food towards high class Chinese and expats so the majority of the population here in China doesn’t get to interact with Japanese food and culture at all.

At Kagen in Beijing, a American Style Japanese grill restaurant. Chinese chefs are busy preparing the Robatayaki.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Beijing Nightlife] Scarlett at Hotel G, Beijing

This is somewhat of a random post since I’ve been posting a lot about Inner Mongolia these days but I’d like to keep my posts more versatile and today I want to recommend a cool venue in Beijing that I really recommend to anyone visiting Beijing. The city of Beijing has so much to offer including this boutique hotel, Hotel G in Sanlitun. Those of you who are not familiar with Sanlitun, just like Roppongi in Tokyo and Hongdae in Seoul, Sanlitun is one of Beijing’s night spots. I’ve never stayed at Hotel G but their wine and cheese bar, Scarlett has a really good list of imports and funk music playing all night. I really like the colorful window lights, which if you are to stay at Hotel G, you can choose the color of your window. Cool concept.

View from the outside of Hotel G

High quality drinks and good food. I have nothing more to say.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Shanghai Restaurant Review] Extraordinary venues to impress in Shanghai #2

Back again for Venue #2 and this could conclude the “Extraordinary Venues to Impress in Shanghai” Series. The second venue is in Pudong and its the skybar within the Ritz Carlton. Located on the 58th floor, Flair was a great place to check out the city of Shanghai turn from day to night. The sunset was gorgeous. Check out the photos I managed to come out with.

I’m so ready for the weekend, I’ll be busy teaching English at migrant schools and catching the Boys Noize concert on Saturday. I’ll be back with more photos from Seoul, which I have meaning to post for ages.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Shanghai Restaurant Review] Extraordinary venues to impress in Shanghai #1

On my last day in Shanghai last week my friend took me to a couple of venues with one of the most breathtaking views of Shanghai. Now, I’ve been commenting a lot about Shanghai these days but don’t get me wrong. I’m a Beijinger at the moment and Beijing has a lot of astonishing views as well. One of places in Shanghai we went to is:

New Heights Shanghai: Located at Three on the Bund, this superb location from the 8th floor allows for one of the best views of the bund. I really recommend the lunch set menu for 118RMB which comes with an appetizer, main course and a drink of your choice. The outside patio area is a really nice to spend the afternoon, of course when the weather is good. I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here.

Picture #1: The View from the table. Good food, good view what more can you expect from an afternoon meal.

Picture #2: Compared to seeing the Bund from below, it gives off another feel to see it from up top. During Guo Qing Jie, the street from Nanjing East Road to the Bund was filled with tens and thousands of tourists from around China and the globe so it was cool to get away from that.

Picture #3: View to the North. You can see another fabulous restaurant, M on the Bund in the building right across.

Picture #4: View to the South. You can see the newly built apartments in Pudong.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Restaurant Review] Megaburger, What a Real Man Eats

Without further introductions, just take a look at the size of this 5pound megaburger from the Butcher’s Steakhouse in Beijing. Are you ready to take on China’s largest burger?

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.