I went to China on a group packaged holiday back in June 2018 and I only got the chance to sort through my photos now because I was super busy at work. Scrolling through my photos, I saw the photos of food and it is making me missing China so much!!
I was actually going to Inner Mongolia, China, and we had the choice of flying into China via Harbin or Beijing. I specifically chose the tour that flew in via Beijing even though it had a longer travelling distance. I saw in the itinerary that there would be some free time in Beijing so I wanted to make use of that free time to satisfy my craving for 老北京炸酱面 (traditional Beijing stir fried sauce noodles).
Unfortunately, we were put up in a hotel in the Beijing Airport Zone and it would take at least 1.5 hours to travel to central Beijing. And to make things worse, the area was pretty secluded as well and there weren’t much shops around either.
Thank God for Baidu maps. I did a search and I found out that there was a super market nearby and at 1.5 km away, it would be a 30 minutes or so walk over. We needed to stock up on snacks for the onwards journey anyway so we started walking.
It was a good decision because along the way, we found some eateries and I managed to get my fix of 炸酱面!!!
This particular eatery used 刀削面 (sliced noodles) instead of 拉面 (handmade noodles) and it was still so damn good!! It almost seems like any eatery you walk into that sells 炸酱面 would taste awesome. And by the way, that 2 bowls of noodles above are post dinner snack. Haha.
Anyway, during dinner, we had the most awesome 梅菜扣肉 (braised pork belly with preserved vegetables) ever!!
I am drooling as I look at this picture even. It is so ridiculously delicious! And we thought it was just that particular restaurant that the tour brought us to but no!! Even the 梅菜扣肉 packed lunch on the HSR was so unbelievably good!
When we returned to Beijing at the end of the trip, we were supposed to stay in the same hotel as Day 1. However, because I had stepped on a sewing needle in that hotel’s room, the Singapore tour agency booked us into Holiday Inn Express (Beijing Airport Zone), cancelled all their reservations for their subsequent incoming tour groups from Singapore and struck them off as a hotel option.
While I was pleasantly surprised by the tour agency’s gesture, I was also a little bummed to be honest. We had recce’d the area around the first hotel and I was planning to go back to the same eatery for another round of 炸酱面 before I flew back to Singapore.
While Holiday Inn Express (Beijing Airport Zone) is nice, it was in an even more secluded location than the first hotel. A search on Baidu maps showed nothing nearby. Sad.
I settled for the tiny eatery/staff canteen like place beside the hotel.
Sadly, I couldn’t find the 炸酱面 that I wanted to eat again before I flew back to Singapore. However, every single item we ordered tasted awesome!!! The dish had a “wok hei” (wok taste) which we can hardly ever find in Singapore anymore.
I need to plan a trip to Beijing just to eat without needing to rush for a tour itinerary!!