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Gourmania

 

Women Report on 150 Great Eats Worldwide

 

  CHINA

Dr. Jane Leidke from Beijing, China...
Near the Yabalu Russian Market at the Southwest of Ritan Park (Embassy area of the city) is the Ritan Park Restaurant. It has indoor dining and outdoor cafe tables set along a Chinese garden in traditional-style Chinese architecture. Don't be confused by the small restaurant along the sidewalk - go back further into the building and find a nice place to relax and eat. The menu is in English and it lists many wonderful dishes to try (as well as some pretty strange items and very unusual English translations of animal parts). Cost is very reasonable - a recent lunch for two adults and one child was just $6.00. We had jiaozi (dumplings), fried rice, pork and scallions, and stir fried green beans (a signature dish). Enough food for all of us!

 

Ruth Lor Malloy from my travel writing in Beijing...
For strictly veggie, I recommend the Green Tianshi Vegetarian Restaurant. This is across the street to the north of the Tianlun Dynasty Hotel. Open 10am-10pm. Credit cards are accepted. No MSG, no smoking, no meat, no eggs, no alcohol. High protein, low calorie, zero cholesterol. The menu has photos of its dishes and is in Chinese and English. This is very conveniently located a few meters from Wangfujing Street, the main shopping area in Beijing. It is across from the Songhe Hotel and near the Tianlun Dynasty Hotel. The roast “duck” is Y96, roasted vegetables with fresh “meat” clusters in Xinjiang style is Y18, vegetarian prawns Y72, and grilled vegetarian “beef steak” Y68. The restaurant's predominantly white setting is very pretty. Address: 57 Dengshikou Street. Tel: 6524-2476, 6524-2349 Email: friend@Greentianshi.com Website: http://www.greentianshi.com

Xinjiang Moslem located on the grounds of the Xinjiang government representative here in Beijing serves modestly priced food, but there’s no menu in English. You can go to the front of this huge noisy hall with its white linen table cloths and point at what you want: bun stuffed with mutton, chunks of mutton on yellow and orange rice; skewers of barbecued meat, spicy hot and wonderful. You can take photos of the chefs too. Most of the patrons are local. It is located south of the Xiyuan Hotel and the zoo. Xinjiang Fan Jong, San Li He 7. Tel. 6833-2266 X 6618 or 6617. P.S. If you want or don't want anything specific in terms of food ask someone at your hotel's front desk to write your preferences for you and show this note to the folks at the restaurant.

Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant is located in a lane north of the east side of the Jinglun Hotel and south of the west side of the Kerry Hotel (It also has other branches in the city). This is a simply decorated restaurant with plastic covers over cloth table cloths and walls in need of renovation. But the food is excellent and extremely well-priced. If you point at its English menu, waiters in black sweaters and trousers (with no English), can bring you seven juicy, meaty, melt-in-your mouth spare ribs for about Y35. Crispy rice is Y25-Y28 and one order is enough for four people. Boiled dumplings with pork and vegetables are Y10. Jasmine tea Y2. Spicy dishes are noted. It is open 12 noon to 10pm. You can also ask for their take-out menu. Tel. 6591-3255, 6594-3602.

 

Ronnie from Beijing, China...
There is a fantastic little Jiaoza Restuarant (Chinese noodle wrapped around meat and vegetables) one block east of Beijing United Family Hosptial on Jiang Tai Lu. It is a hole in the wall place but they have an English menu. Located in the Lido area, it is called The Tulip (It actually has an English sign) and has wood shingles on the outside. If you stay at Lido Holiday Inn it is just a six minute walk. Order the jiaozas with a meat and a vegetable (ten to a plate) fried
or steamed ( I prefer the fried). The prices are cheap, cheap, cheap. My family of six can eat a BIG dinner for less than ten dollars.

 

Ruth Lor Malloy from my travel writing in Shanghai...
In Shanghai I like the fast food court in the basement of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Pudong. The Hyatt supervises it so the food should be reliable. It doesn't always have Cantonese food but when it does, you can get decent duck and pork barbecue with rice in the Y25 range. This restaurant is in the Jin Mao Building where you can also get a wonderful view of Shanghai from its roof. Of course the food in the Hyatt itself is great and much fancier, but it is also considerably more expensive.

Wherever I go in China, I try to eat in the Dong Bei Restaurant chain, mainly because its restaurants are so lively and fun, and the food is good. But don't go there for a quiet romantic lunch. Wait staff greet you sing-song fashion and scurry around in brightly coloured costumes. You can get disposable gloves so you can eat your deep-fried pork hocks by hand. The food in northeast Chinese style is cheap and these restaurants are usually packed so get there early. There's a branch in Shanghai near the City Hotel on Shanxi Nan Road. From here you can walk off a heavy meal along streets of cheap boutiques with the latest women's fashions all the way to the Xiangyang Market (for inexpensive knock-offs).

For upmarket food, my favourite is M on the Bund, not just for the food, but for the view from its balcony of the Bund at dusk when the lights come on. I've eaten there twice (when a friend on an expense account was paying), but for the price of a drink, I have sat on the balcony before restaurant patrons arrive, and enjoyed the view. There are other Bund-side restaurants in this area too, but I find them too flossy. M on the Bund is on the 7th floor at No. 5, The Bund, entrance on Guangdong Road. Tel. 63509988. Website: http://www.m-onthebund.com/

Helen from Shanghai...
In Shanghai there are two Cafe Montmarte Restaurants -- the New Factories address and another on Hong Mei Lu, near Hong Qiao Pearl City. Both serve French cuisine. Both are very nicely decorated in traditional French Cafe Style and (very important) have nice clean toilets and washrooms. Each day Cafe Montmarte offers a blackboard menu with choices like venison, rabbit and sole which are no more than $12 per dish -- some even appear under tha daily special for $7. If you choose from the blackboard menu -- a beer, glass of house wine or coffee is included as well. My husband takes business clients there regularly as he loves their goose liver pate appetizer.

* For more information on China see: http://www.journeywoman.com/girltalk/china/girl_talk_china.html

 

Kay in Hong Kong...
A terrific spot where I often meet my girlfriends and visitors is Kosmo, an organic health food cafe. There are a few branches around Hong Kong, but my favourite is at 18 D'Aguilar Street, Central, at the corner of Wellington Street. They serve great salads, sandwiches, juices, smoothies and soups (I love their philosophy on food, life and business which is ... 'do good, feel good'). The service counter is on the ground floor, and tables with comfortable chairs and couches are located on the first floor. I think women visiting our city will find the food good and the ambience very female-friendly. Who knows? Maybe one day another Journeywoman and I will both be enjoying Kosmo at the very same time. Tel: +852 2868 2001. Website: www.kosmoliving.com).

 

Flo from Hong Kong...
I want to tell you where to get wonderfully huge stuffed dumplings in Hong Kong. On my way home from China I stopped in Hong Kong to meet another Journeywoman (Jennifer) who lives there and speaks Mandarin. Jennifer took me to the best dumpling place called Tsim Chai Kee Noodle on 98 Wellington Street, Central which is an Hong Kong institution that the expat community knows about (they also have a second site at 61 Connaught Road in Central). We had fabulous dumplings -- huge and stuffed with shrimp in soup with noodles. What a treat for my budget. The bill was only only 15 HKD which is about $2.00 Canadian. This was a real bargain as I found Hong Kong was so much more expensive than China.

 

Lisa from Hong Kong...
One of our favorite dim sum restaurants is called City Hall Chinese Restaurant and it's hidden away on the third floor of City Hall in Central (very close to the Star Ferry) -- a real authentic find! The food is still served (the very old fashioned way) from carts rolled around the dining room. As the carts come by with the women servers singing their wares, just point at what looks tempting and it's yours. For foreigners this system works very well because the women serving the food don't speak English at all. We really like this place because it is a little quieter than most dim sum places, the food is very good and not greasy at all. Perhaps the nicest part of all is the great view. You are overlooking Victoria Harbour -- this is exactly the same view as you'd have at the Peninsula Hotel and you're paying a fraction of the price for your meal.


Karen from Hong Kong
There are a string of outdoor restaurants on Lamma Island (one of the major outlying islands of Hong Kong) that are supplied with the freshest fish, prawns, lobsters, crabs, etc. Lots of mouthwatering local specialties are available and at a fraction of the price you would pay to eat them on Hong Kong island. Try the peppered prawns, deep fried squid and steamed fish (with garlic, ginger, spring onions) Absolutely fabulous! There are many restaurants to sample, but for first-timers both Lamma Hilton and Rainbow are tried and true. It's not hard to get to this island. Simply take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan (Lamma). English is widely spoken and waiters are generally friendly and helpful when you're doing your ordering. Be careful though. Ferry times should be checked in advance as they sometimes only run hourly and you don't want to miss the last ferry back!

* For more information on Hong Kong see: http://journeywoman.com/girltalk/hongkong_girltalk.html


  JAPAN

Alexis from Tokyo, Japan...
One of the best restaurants in Tokyo (especially for the money) is a place called Kaikaya, near Shinsen Station on the Inokashira line, or less than a 15-minute from Shibuya Station. For info: www.kaikaya.com -- and tell them Alex-san sent you!

* For more information on Japan see: http://journeywoman.com/girltalk/girl_talk_japan.html

 

Laura from Tokyo...
In Tokyo, most restaurants are female-friendly but Otoya was designed with the single woman in mind. Branches of these restaurants are all located on the second floor of buildings. This allows ladies the privacy while eating of not having people stare in the windows at them. At Otoya, you can buy a tasty, healthy set lunch for $10-$15. The set up is similar to a bento box -- there will be soup, rice, salad, dessert, a drink, and your main dish - meat, fish or chicken. Otoya is easy to recognize by their logo of a big 'O' (once you've found it, your eye will start to see more of them). This chain is located at every major train stop in Tokyo. Website: http://www.ootoya.com (In Japanese) but you can still see their logo, menu postings, prices, etc)

 

  THAILAND

Nima from Bangkok, Thailand...
The Oriental Hotel is one of the world's best hotels -- it's hardly a neighbourhood restaurant. But if you do want to see The Oriental, aim to make it for afternoon tea in the old Authors' Lounge. This part of the hotel has been very well preserved, the almost colonial ambiance retained, the walls decorated with images and articles about the many authors who have stayed in the hotel. It represents the historic role of The Oriental for westerners in Thailand as a hotel, boarding and social institution. P.S. If this topic interests you, pick up a copy of The Occidentals, one of the only novels about old Bangkok by a western woman who lives in Thailand.

* For more information on Thailand see: http://journeywoman.com/girltalk/thailand/girl_talk_thailand.htm


Pat from Bangkok, Thailand...
Giusto's is my favorite neighborhood restaurant. My favorite table is the one that is next to the Wine room facing out you can see the entire restaurant which makes for great people watching. Housed in a stunning architecturally exciting freestanding modern building, the food is wonderful, the owners are great and it is a do not miss Italian restaurant if you are in Bangkok. Website: www.giustobangkok.com Address: Sukhumvit Soi 23. Tel: 66 2258 4321 Reservations are a good idea.


  PHILIPPINES

Patricia in Makati City, Manilla...
I want other JourneyWomen to know about Sentro (at Greenbelt 3) for modern Filipino cuisine. I highly recommend the corned beef sinigang, which is a soup very similar to Thailand's tom yum gung. The broth is tamarind-flavored. Sinigang may be made with fish, shrimps, beef or pork. In Sentro's case, they use fresh corned beef. Their sizzling tofu is also excellent. Address: 2nd Level, Ayala Center, Makati City, Manilla. Tel. 757-3940 to 41 P.S. There are lots of high end shopping malls in Ayala Center so this is a nice meal stop when you're shopping.

Sugi is a top-of-mind choice for Japanese food in the Makati area, with its Japanese sushi chef and reasonable prices. They have "set meals" in bento boxes for less than US$10, as well as pricier fare with ingredients flown in from Japan. You can expect dishes like beef teriyaki, spicy tuna salad, all sorts of sushi and sashimi, salads, tofu steaks, cream cheese filled makis. Address: Greenbelt 2 Ayala Center Makati, Manilla Phone: 7573678

 

  VIETNAM

Sylvie about Dalat, Vietnam...
If you visit the beautiful city of Da Lat, located on a plateau northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, make sure you stop at Long Hoa Restaurant. This family-owned business serves flavourful, wonderfully-prepared and beautifully presented home-cooked local delicacies. The father is the (very courteous) Maitre D, the mother does the cooking, and our waiter was the couple's son. The service is impeccable, and the prices extremely reasonable. Make sure you try the home-made yogourt for dessert - a yogourt lover's heaven! (The restaurant has an original wine: Long Hoa strawberry wine) Address: 6, 3 Thang 2 Street, Tel: (063) 822934.


  TURKEY

Linda from Istanbul, Turkey...
I travel a lot internationally for my work however this time my husband and I vacationed in Turkey. In setting up some local travel we used a local travel agent and followed his suggestion for a restaurant that serves "home cooked" food. WOW! A woman has set up a little restaurant in Sultanahmet. It is called Anatolian House and is nicely decorated. She does the cooking and waits on you and has someone to translate. Both of them are very sweet and friendly. The place just opened in the fall of 2003 and they want to please you. Order several items off the small menu. They may bring what is cooking that day out for you to see. The menu varies a bit. Every item is freshly cooked and wonderful. We went there twice and were delighted both times.

To find it walk up Divanyolu Caddesi (it is the street with the tram line) from the Blue Mosque/Aga Sofia area. You will see McDonalds on the left. Take the next opening "alley" just past it that is full of restaurants on the right on Divanyolu. Go in about 3 restaurants on the left (upper) side of walkway and the Anatolian House will be there. It is definitely woman friendly. Address: Divan Yolu Cad. Hoca Rustem So. No:7/B Sultanahmet. Phone 0.212522 06 38

 

 

 

 

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