Blueberry had to go to Beijing for work… and Raspberry tagged along.

It was a great flight there.

As the plane was landing… I notice the layer of smog covering the city.

30 minutes to landing...

30 minutes to landing…

Yikes!

Seeing this made me a little worried… thankfully, Blueberry brought along some masks in case we needed them..

After we reached the hotel, we went to explore the neighborhood…

Staying at Shunyi District

Pretty sunset in Shunyi District

It was winter in Beijing.

Look! Trees without leaves! 🙂

It was refreshing to see trees without leaves… I hardly get to see this in the tropical climate… if only there’s four seasons in Singapore! 🙂 🙂 🙂

There wasn’t any mall around the area we stayed… just some restaurants, eateries and a supermarket.

After checking out several eateries, we decided to have hot-pot for dinner.

Cutlery wrapped in plastic. Blueberry said this place probably outsourced the cleaning of the dishes... I googled it and realized it's true!

Cutlery wrapped in plastic.
Blueberry said this place probably outsourced the cleaning of the dishes… I googled it and realized it’s true!

The menu was in mandarin.. so Blueberry left the ordering to me.

Oh dear.

I tried to read the menu with my atrocious reading skills…  and I barely understood anything .

(This is my first time I felt faint from ordering food… gulp!)

It didn’t help that I was famished too.

To save my dignity, I picked the items with pictures… and… I went crazy while ordering…  😦

Ops… I was very hungry!

Posing for a picture.. while waiting for our food to arrive. To be honest, I was putting a brave front for this picture.... still recovering from the knot in my stomach... bleah.

Posing for a picture, while waiting for our food to arrive.
PS: I put up a brave front for this picture… I was still recovering from the earlier (panic-stricken) state.

Then our food started arriving…

In barrels and truckloads…

There. Was. So. Much. Food! 😮

Beef and mutton platter

Beef and mutton platter

The portion is HUGE!

The portion is HUGE!

Mushroom platter

Mushroom platter

There was another platter of veggies, bamboo shoots, tofu skin and something else…

Omg, why did I order so much food!! 😥

Blueberry wasn’t keen on trying Mala… but I insisted to try…

Yin yang hot pot... you get to enjoy 2 different broths! On the left is Mala broth... On the right is chicken broth.

Yin yang hot-pot… you get to enjoy 2 different broths!
On the left is Mala broth… On the right is chicken broth.

Mala hot-pot is one of the hot favorites of the locals.

It’s known to be very spicy… that after eating it, the lips are numb from the heat.. woah.

We had the yin yang hot-pot… in case the Mala was too spicy, we can eat from the non-spicy hot-pot.

Trying the broth... yummy!

Trying the broth… Blueberry likes Mala!

It was delicious

It was delicious!

The Mala broth wasn’t insanely spicy.

Over a scale of ten.. ten being the most spicy and zero being the least spicy.. I would rate it 6!

Besides the spiciness, I could taste the mix of different herbs and spices… there was a delicious fragrance to the broth.

Yummy!

Toss the items in... and wait for it to boil.

Toss the items in… and wait for it to boil.

The dinner was great..

.. until we tossed the mutton into the broth

The soup started to taste horribly gamey.

Blueberry and I were horrified by the taste… we lost our appetite for dinner after that.

We wondered where the gamey taste came from.

“Is that from the beef?”

“No.. I don’t think so..”

“That’s not from mutton, right? We ate mutton before and it doesn’t taste like that.”

.. and so our discussion continued into the night..

It was before bedtime, we concluded “mutton” in Beijing refers to goat meat.

No more goat for us, thank you.

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