It’s true that we are not huge fans of Chinese Food – because let’s face it – it’s just not the same here, in China. Truthfully, I miss the Chinese food we could get back at home. The good old made-up Chinese dishes thats simply don’t seem to exist in China. Strange, isn’t it… It’s almost as though we like a form of Chinese food that is not, in fact, Chinese food. Since moving back to China, in April, we immediately noticed the difference in food between Qingdao, and our first city, Dongying. Yes, here we have access to a wide range of Asian and Western cuisines, but from time to time we miss the easily accessible Chinese food that we often enjoyed in Dongying. Of course, many of the dishes were oily and not the most healthy of meals, but they were cheap, quick, and easy to find.
Above are some of the meals we used to enjoy from our local little Sichuan restaurant in Dongying. There were countless meal combinations that we enjoyed, but these were three of the tops ones. Left, pork, green peppers and chill peppers, Top right, Egg, mushroom, and coriander, and Bottom right, Stir-fried egg and tomato.
The restaurant where we bought these dishes was just around the corner from our school (where we lived), so it was only a two minute walk to get there and order our dinner. The meals were all cheap, and really filling. We grew fond of the people that owned and worked at this little Suchuan restaurant, and seeing as we lived such a short walk away, it felt like they were our neighbours. The neighbours who cooked food for us at least 3-4 times a week. Of course, there were other places we liked to good food too, and all of them were really close by, and super cheap. There were fresh dumplings just a minute away from school, and they were always hot and ready to be eaten. That all seemed to change when we moved to Qingdao, and suddenly there was not much in the way of cheap Chinese food options nearby. Perhaps this is because of the complex that we live in, or maybe the area of town where we chose to stay… either way, we have often said to one another, “Where’s all the affordable Chinese food in this part of China?”
Don’t get me wrong – there’s plenty Chinese food in China – but just not too much of the good old affordable kind right around our house! We don’t want to go too far after a long day of work, or when it’s too cold to move, so we needed something close to home.
Our hope was restored when we came across a little restaurant within our complex, run by a family of Chinese people who are super friendly and always happy to cook, and even deliver, our meals to our house when we are just too
tired lazy to cook for ourselves. The food is even better than normal Chinese food here because it is not very oily, and they have a great variety of meal and vegetable dishes.
The owner’s have a sweet little daughter who likes to practice her few English words with us whenever we go by there. She is really adorable, and loves to play around with us while we wait for our food to be cooked.
Fortunately there’s a wall of pictures showing what some of the meals are. There also seems to be a more extensive menu on the other wall, but it is all written in Chinese, and as of yet, we haven’t felt the need to try any of those dishes out. I have learned the Chinese characters for the various kinds of meat, but not knowing what vegetables or sauce they might come with makes ordering dinner a challenge – so we stick to the pictures, and the dishes we have already tried and enjoyed.
We have the option of dining at the restaurant, but we never do – it’s just easier to take the food home and enjoy it in the comfort of our own home. Needless to say, we were very thankful to find this little spot, and for the past few months we have been enjoying a nice variety of tasty means.