This spring, my company (English National Ballet) went on a 4 week tour to China and Singapore. Sometimes, I forgot how far away from home I was. But usually there were all sorts of communication errors making even take away lunch a real challenge. That being said, most of the food was definitely worth any trouble it was to get.
In our first city, Tianjin, we dove right in and I experienced a few bites of some street food. (Be careful, and it’s advisable to never drink the tap water!)
We also went to a hot pot place called Hai di Lao, which is a chain in China. This is a really nice option for anyone less adventurous--if you didn't know, hot pot is where you get the raw ingredients (veggies, seafood, meat,) and add them into boiling broth at your own table.
TIP: If you order the shoo si la mian noodles, you'll get a fun little dance by one of the waiters to stretch the noodles out for you!
Our next city was Guangzhou, which is a lot further south, and very hot and humid. This was my favourite location. There, we stayed in the most amazing hotel and had daily, buffet-style breakfasts with a gorgeous view.
Our last week in China was spent in Beijing. With an urban population of around 19 million, it is second in size only to Shanghai.
TIP: It's a big city, but taxis aren't expensive in China. So, if you're not clear on how to get somewhere on the tube, don't be afraid to be driven there instead.
One day, we taxied to a restaurant that is a top rated restaurant in Beijing, Yin Xiang Xian Guan. Here, we had a very interesting assortment of food that you might not expect. That included (but was not limited to,) glutinous lotus root, cold mashed potatoes with a blueberry sauce, veggie coated tofu, and yellow curry inside of a loaf of bread.
This trip only increased my love of Chinese food, and I cannot wait for my next opportunity to visit in China again.