Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Inner Mongolia: The Experience (5): The Food

Finally, no post from me is complete without talking about the food.  (You really think I would miss this, huh?)

I miss the milk, the blueberry soft serve, fresh lamb meat, and all the local dishes I tried there.  I will never look at lamb and mutton the same ever again.

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If I can choose one thing and one thing only from this trip (food-wise),
this would be what I missed the most.

As usual, I take 20 pictures of food before I take 1 picture of myself.  (Yeah, I am not your typical #selfie girl)  So here you go... my long ass food post of pretty much everything I ate on my trip... except for one meal... when I went out of battery... ~>.<~  That's the meal where I had the best 地三鮮 this trip and the rest of them ate roast lamb leg!!!  rawr~!

The first meal of this trip was... ICE CREAM!  Go figure, the milk is one of the best in the country.  Don't miss out!

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RMB$10 each
I am amazed by my ridiculously good memory for something that happened one year ago
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Simple milk flavor ice cream
the milk is quite mild
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I promised this guy I would give him some publicity on my blog
LOL
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and he said, POST a propoer picture!
Here you go :)
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Our guide actually treat us ice cream after we all had our first serving

(We had a disappointing riding incident at 金帳汗 which was not his fault at all
Yet, he took it upon himself.
This is great hospitality of the Inner Mongolian people!)

FYI, don't waste you money on horse riding at 金帳汗.
There are plenty of opportunities for that in the days to come.
You are better off buying ice cream from this guy.
First lunch!  I can't remember much except that everything was really oily.  At least we don't have to worry about 地溝油 here...

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If you passby 恩和, whatever else you do, GET the blueberry softserve from this store here.  I regret deeply I only ate one.  Should have got one before dinner, another after dinner, one before breakfast, and another one after breakfast, and a pint to go.

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The town is heavily influenced by the Russians.  In fact, the owners who run the hostel + the restaurant is Russian.  Therefore, some of the dishes we had that evening is Russian!

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This is good
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This is your good old mashed potatoes, with a fancy Chinese name...  ROFL!
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Best dish of the night!
I don't know what it is called, other than it's some kind of deep fried river fish
Mr. Cheong Jr. ordered it.
(He too, is a foodie!  And foodies recognize each other immediately.)
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Breakfast time!
You usually eat your breakfast and dinner at the hostel you stayed,
at extra cost, but still very reasonable.

The milk and blueberry jam here were very good!
Now, 室韋 is where you find the best bakery and lamb meat.

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This bakery is well known in all of the surrounding area
I have not seen another place that has better business than they do
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Easily the best 列巴
Must eat while it is fresh and hot
and consumed the same day you buy.
No preservative was added and they do not store well
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Homemade yogurt
very strong in taste
I tried to taste the original but it was too sour even for me
Adding honey to it makes all the difference
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Butter cookies
They crumble easily but they were so buttery and so good
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Not sure what they are called but I called them "dog biscuits"
I really, really love these despite of the name I gave them
Crunchy and almost taste like a sweet pretzel
I wonder if I can get them on Taobao
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Borscht
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I never understood why tomato and eggs can taste so good in China.
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stir fry lamb meat
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more lamb!
(we were told they are the best in this city so we went all out)
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Northerners eat wheat and southerners eat rice
since we are in the north, we eat buns made from wheat :)
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eggplant
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tofu

It rained all day so most of us just chilled in town.  I wish we would have worked out more that day if I knew how good dinner is going to be.  BEST MUTTON HOT POT EVER~~~  I would go back to this village and chill for a few days just to eat this.

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the various dipping sauce
not too different from what we do in the South
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I was so stuffed but we were told they have the best skewers here
that's why I only had 2...

I wish I have another stomach...
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Breakfast the next morning
The milk is so good I don't drink anything but milk
Fortunately, my stomach behaved.
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Mr. Cheong's friends gave him a box of 列巴 and he shared it with us
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a local drink
very interesting taste
it's not for everyone
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the milk again was so good~~~

with milk like this, I really don't understand why the Chinese people
need to go crazy over the baby formulas in Hong Kong and Macau

They already have the best.  They just don't know how to treasure it.
and here we are in Moerdaoga~ a mid-size town compared to the days prior...

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A restaurant in Moerdaoga that serves a lot of wasteful mainland tourists
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Doubled fried pork
鍋巴肉

Recommended by Mr. Cheong Jr.
Told you he is a foodie.
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probably my favorite eggplant this trip
I just love eggplants prepared this way
I tried to recreate this at home, trying various recipes, haven't succeeded yet.
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東北酸菜豬肉燉粉條
Pickled Pork Stew with Sour Cole Slaw and Noodles

A famous dish of the Northeast part of China
I like sour but I am just not a fan...
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小雞炖蘑菇
Chicken Mushroom Stew

Another famous dish of the Northeast part of China,
this place did not do it justice.
It was not good at all.
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we ordered too much dumplings...
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Blueberries are grown locally here too
look for the ones called "馬奶子"
they tend to be very sour so eat it with sugar
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Drop a squirrel here and watch what happens.  :P
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Huge red dates
now that commerce is more developed, it's easy to get produce from other parts of China
These are not local but transported from the Northwest part of China
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Another day, another breakfast
You probably notice by now breakfast are very simple and they love eggs!
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millet porridge
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oh my favorite eggplants again~
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these pork pancakes were good
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this thing, not so much
it looks spicy but it is not
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Mr. Cheong Jr. said this is the best ice cream he knows of
Unfortunately, maybe it wasn't freshly squeezed that day
it wasn't great, not even good.
makes me miss my blueberries soft serve even more...
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The dinner was the meal I didn't take any pictures.  I was out of battery.
Food is good here.  Simple yet delicious!
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I was so scared when I saw this "eye" after I peeled my egg
I kept asking "Is it a fertilized egg???"
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They are preparing a lamb leg for our other members of the tour for breakfast
yes, you heard me right... breakfast.
They loved their leg from dinner the night before they had to encore
My mom, another girl from the group, and I didn't eat any.
I was sick (literally) from all the mutton
It's scientifically proven that mutton really makes your body 燥.
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Lunch in Manzhouli
Technically speaking, we have left the fields and headed back to the city.
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most of them were still stuffed from breakfast... hehe~
this beef & fish hot pot is good
too bad they can't enjoy this
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We detached from the group and went for a massage while they went to see a tourist show
We tried to find the place Mr. Cheong Jr. recommended but went to this place instead
Surprisingly, it was really good!
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This was the place Mr. Cheong Jr. told us
It sells 筋餅 too!  Hence our confusion.
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We walked pass this place on our way back to the hotel
If you let me pick again, I probably would come here instead.
LOL
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Last meal before we head back to the airport.  We had a feast to wrap up our wonderful stay in Inner Mongolia.
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豐收炖
The Harvest Stew

How fitting!  It was also one of my favorites :)
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Last but not least, Mr Cheong Jr. got us some lamb leg to bring home~
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I forgot to put this in my carryon so I had to chuck it at the airport security -.-

If I were given the opportunity to go again, I would still go, most likely in the fall.  (Can't do winter... it's just too cold...)  Sometimes we all need something like this to appreciate what we have and not take anything for granted.  Plus, the trips that are most memorable are usually the ones you come back with stories to tell :)

I don't want to grow old and die when all I can remember is all the times I lounge on my couch and did nothing.  That would be worst than stripping me off my memories.  (To me, there is a difference between not doing anything and not remembering anything!)

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