It’s Been a While: XinJiang Date
For some reason, we have let our regular dates slip a little. It is probably due to a combination of things – arriving back from a month away, two HUGE travel-adventures in one year ($$$), working weekends, and the cold/ pollution that the winter months bring. All of those things together = (equal to) “MUST STAY HOME”! We have therefore done a few at-home dates, and we have a beautifully painted canvas to show for it, but it feels like we haven’t “done anything” in a very long time. Luckily we are home-bodies, so staying in is usually a big plus for us. However, spring is here now, and we feel a strong tug to get outside and enjoy one of the most beautiful seasons in China.
On Saturday, we both worked in the morning. Justin did some promotional work for his school, and I did multiple photo shoots in our old apartment complex. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and to be honest, we rather would have spent the whole day as a family! We do, however both
need want new phones so we are saving towards that.
The Movie FAIL:
The plan was to meet up after we were both done.
We I have been dying to watch Beauty and the Beast – and I was super excited that we would finally be doing that. Imagine my disappointment when Justin called to say that it was no longer showing. Boooooo, I was so bummed! I can’t believe that we worked so much last month, and we had missed it. SUPER LAME.
Nevertheless, we met at Lion Mall to enjoy a meal and some alone time.
It had been a while since we went for Xinjiang cuisine, so deciding what to eat was easy! You might remember us doing a post on this restaurant last year. We went for dinner with Rob and Lee, and then found a similar spot the very next day, and had the same food for lunch! Check it out here –> Bei Jiang Fan Dian│Xinjiang Cuisine.
I can’t deny that I have a VERY STRONG URGE to visit the Xinjiang Province of China. I find everything about this region so culturally rich, colorful, and flavorful. The local people have the sweetest faces – big smiles, rosy cheeks – and so many talents. It is a long train ride away, but if the opportunity arose to visit this area before we moved from China, I would definitely jump on that!
The menu has no English, but Justin is a whizz these days. We remember roughly we enjoyed last time, so we checked off the appropriate boxes on the menu, and someone came by to take our order. Unfortunately, we ordered the wrong meat dish, but it turned out to be delicious so we were happy anyway.
Our meal consisted of a flat, meat-stuff type of bread; fried green beans and eggplant; a large lamb, coriander and onion dish; and Spicy and sour shredded potatoes (TudouSi). We definitely ordered way too much, but it was all delicious!
As is often the case in China, the receipt is brought to the table after the food has been ordered. The servers then scratch off the items as the dishes are brought to the table. Unlike in the West, where all food is delivered at one time, here you eat what arrives as it arrives! If you wait for everything to get to the table – you will be eating cold food. Since everyone shares here, it can be frustrating to order individual dishes. Someone will always be sitting without a plate while others are finishing their meal.
Moral of the story: The “When in Rome” approach works best here. Order a variety of dishes and SHARE!
I love dishes that are presented in a unique way!
The lamb came on a decorative silver plate which was elevated. Underneath it was a wax cube which was set alight as it arrived at our table. The flame kept our food hot and steaming for the duration of the meal. Now that’s my kind of meal – I’m 100% like my dad in that respect – I like my food piping hot!
No Xinjiang meal is complete without one these flat Uyghur breads, also known as “nang” (“nan”) or 馕 . They are so popular that the restaurant has a separate service window outside the store front. While customers are waiting for a table, they can buy a couple of these to munch on. And boy oh boy – people are prepared to stand and wait a long time for a table here! It isn’t hard to see why though, the food is amazing!
After our early dinner we walked around Lion Mall, checked out some new stores, and then got a McFlurry.
It was a pity about the movie, but a good date nevertheless.