Beijing JJStyle 03: Walking Wangfujing

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The great thing about staying right in the center of Beijing with the Beijing Hilton Wangfujing is that we’re actually located so close to all that is happening in the city. Culturally, Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City are but a few blocks away. Also close by are the famous Hutong areas which I’ll get more into in the next few posts.

But right next door to the Hotel is the famous and historic Wangfujing Pedestrian Shopping street which houses tons of international and local fashion brands, but also houses the historic Wangfujing Beijing Deparment Store which welcomes up to 10 million customers a day apparently! 

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For Mac Geeks, next door is the Apple Store, which opened the day we got there. Insane.

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What Wangfujing is really famous for these days is the row of street food stalls which are open daily from 5pm-10pm. The food is representative of local Beijing delicacies, and all prepared in a very clean and nice way. The brand ambassador at Hilton, Elvis, took us around for a food tour on this street. I couldn’t get enough.

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Hello Pineapple Rice!

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This guy was making Spicy Dan Dan Noodles. I was dying of hunger.

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Delicious!

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These steamed soup dumplings looked juicy

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Just add hot broth… instant soup!

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My favorite were these tasty pork baos. I can still taste the flavour.

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Hello lamb legs.

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This larvae on a stick was not for me.

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Nor was this snake for me either.

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Custard buns!

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And pan fried pork dumplings!

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For the sake of adventure, I tried deep fried starfish.

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I bit into it right away thinking that was that. The cook laughed at me because I was biting into the “shell”. I had no idea that it was to be eaten like a crab! You were supposed to break the shell open and eat the meat inside.

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After dinner, my friends Denise, Jason, and I went for a walk down the shopping street. It was winter in Beijing so we all had to bundle up.

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Local brands were interesting. We haven’t seen these brands outside of China.

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Jason stopped by Nike to get hard to find limited edition shoes not available anywhere else in the world.

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We fooled around a bit around the statues in the square.

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I was getting a haircut.

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The hotel looks so romantic at night.

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The street food went back to the hotel. It was a mess. A good mess.

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EAT Donghuamen Night Market at Wangfujing / SHOP Wangfujing Department Store

This post was originally published on November 2012 for CNN.com and Hilton Hotels and Resorts for the CNNGO Experience Asia Contest.

JJ.

Beijing JJStyle 02: The Perfect Peking Duck

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Yes Beijing is mostly known as the center of China’s Political and Historical center… but another thing the city is known for is its cuisine… and most notably… the Peking Duck! The duck, originally named Shaoyazi, is the country’s National Dish, with roots going back to around the 1300’s and is a staple of Imperial Cuisine.

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The duck for the perfect Peking, is bred especially for the dish. Hilton Beijing Wangfujing gave me and my friends the opportunity to help the Hotel Chef make one for our dinner at Chynna, one of the city’s premier Chinese cuisine destinations located in the hotel.

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Of course as part of the deal, we would be filmed making the Duck. I was just afraid I’d mess it up! But of course with the help of the Chef and my friend, Denise, it turned out to be a messy, yet fun learning experience.

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I couldn’t quite get the duck to open up the right way in order to put in the right herbs and spices. The Chef had to help me struggle with it, which was pretty funny.

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After the setup, and boiling and glazing the duck in a special soup… we were able to check out the roasting area.

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This is where the Chef would line up the ducks that were ready for roasting after hanging to dry for 24 hours. The duck cooks for less than an hour… then it’s ready to serve!

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Before dinner, my friends and I were treated to some wine and cheese as an appetizer in the Wine Room, which was cool.

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Then it was on to Chynna for dinner to finally taste the duck. 

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The interiors were pretty cool… a nice update of Chinese themes in a very modern and contemporary fashion. It was very very “Beijing Style” NOW.

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Of course the chef was ready for us to have our feast… and boy we DID have an amazing feast there.

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Just some of my favorite dishes… Fresh egg rolls.

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Marinated jellyfish with aged vinegar

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Sautéed assorted mushrooms with spinach and tofu

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Beef with sautéed porcini mushrooms and black pepper! SO yum!

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My friends loved this stewed pork rib dish in sweet and sour sauce

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We also had tons of dessert… like this mango yogurt dish… and the Tiramisu in a cocktail glass. So good.

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I’m full just looking at the pictures again. Thanks Hilton Hotels and Resorts for the amazing dining experience!

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EAT Chynna 

This post was originally published on November 15, 2012 for CNN.com and Hilton Hotels and Resorts for the CNNGO Experience Asia Contest.

JJ.