Food, Glorious Food
Gospel Brunch at The Big Easy. The ultimate way to
wrap up your weekend in style, with a champagne buffet
of Creole and Cajun dishes, accompanied by gospel,
R&B vocals and keyboard. The RMB225 (RMB148 without
bubbly) price tag also includes one main course from
the set menu.
Fatty Tuna Fetish. Need a sushi fix? Check out the
Xin Wu restaurant for a good range of Japanese seafood,
noodles and tempura. A photo menu is available, as
well as English, Chinese and Japanese versions.
That's Amore! Genuine Sicilian desserts. Try the
Canoli Siciliani - a deep-fried pastry tube stuffed
to the brim with ricotta and chocolate - at Gisa's
Italian restaurant. Alternatively, live out your pizza
dreams with a Fantasia, a pie with the works, from
the wood-fired oven at Annie's.
XO and a Cohiba. Relax in peace with cognac and
a fine cigar in the reading corner of Park 2000 restaurant,
located on the second floor of Schiller's 3.
Alive, Alive Oh! Cockles and mussels, fish'n'chips,
and steak-and-kidney pie are all on the pub grub menu
at The Goose & Duck. To complete the genuine British
experience, wash it all down with a bottle of Tennents
as you root for your favorite team during the Calcutta
Cup on the big-screen TV. (Sunday, April 2, 11 p.m.)
Duck Season. Looking for some authentic local food
in pleasant surroundings? Lao Beijing (Old Beijing)
has a wide selection of dishes from the capital and
well-known regional specialties, while next door Wanting
Roast Duck restaurant serves up Beijing's most famous
culinary creation for RMB68 a bird.
Pay Per Laugh. Comedy Club takes place in the Goose
& Duck on Friday and Saturday nights from 8:30 p.m.
Comedy, magic acts and singing in English and Chinese
are also offered. Go along and watch, or try your
own hand at entertaining others. There are also movies
on Monday evenings, gents pool competitions on Tuesday,
ladies pool on Wednesday, and darts on Thursday.
Popular sporting events are shown live on the big-screen
Blue Mondays at The Big Easy. If Sunday brunch wasn't
enough to get you ready for the week, open-mike jam
sessions on Mondays get rave reviews from regulars.
If you play an instrument or maybe just crave a little
audience attention, head on over.
Filipino Invasion. Filipino band Novice provide
rock'n'roll six nights a week at Schiller's 3 Live
Music Bar. Western and Chinese food, as well as cold
beer are all on offer at this latest incarnation of
Schiller's. In the summer months seating is provided
outside overlooking the park and lake.
Platform Shoes and Hello Kitty. Boogie with the
locals at JJ's Rock & Roll disco. Watch out for the
mechanized, sinking floor though. There's nothing
worse than being trapped in a hole with 20 manic Aqua
Take Me Drunk, I'm Home. Feel like a bar crawl?
The Bar Culture Square has over 20 watering holes,
so take it nice and easy. And please, try not to fall
in the lake.
Anyone for Shopping?
Coiffure Allure. Ladies VIP cut costs RMB280 (gents
pay RMB180) at Eric's Diffusion. While there, spoil
yourself with a massage or facial. If all this sounds
a little pricey, you can always opt for a RMB3 trim
from one of the street barbers in the park area.
Sausage Envy. Have designer sausages custom-made
to your specifications at Charlotte's Butchery. This
is also the place for hard-to-find cheeses (try the
Roquefort), and has one of the best herb and spice
selections in town.
Impossible to leave empty-handed.
Jenny Lou's. Everything from chocolate brownie mix
to cat food lines the shelves at the new Chaoyang
branch of this expat favorite.
Get Baked. If you need revitalizing in the middle
of a shopping spree, grab a tuna sandwich and cappuccino
at the latest branch of Cafe de Bella. They also specialize
in bread freshly baked on the premises.
Park and Ride
Please step on the grass. With all the jazz and razzmatazz,
capitalism and consumerism, don't forget the park.
Entry fee is RMB5 which is a bit more expensive than
your average gongyuan. A pleasant stroll across the
greens before work or at the end of the day does wonders
for the constitution, and half an hour of fresh air
and exercise might be just what you need to purge
your lungs of Beijing's pea-soup atmosphere.
Run, Run, Run. Feeling a little more energetic?
Join the locals for an early morning t'ai chi session,
or take yourself out jogging. Even better, why not
combine the two for an East-meets-West multicultural
Pack It Up. The more lethargic among you can skip
the sports and just relax for lunch on the lawn instead.
Don't forget the baijiu and chicken feet, essentials
for any Chinese picnic. While you're there, join the
locals in their favorite park pursuits. Enjoy the
peace of a good book by the lakeside, or go fly a
kite, a quintessentially Chinese way to pass a lazy
Anchors Aweigh. Like to get out on the water? Sorry,
no swimming or skating here, but pedal and row boats
can be rented by the hour. Power freaks can even satisfy
their need for speed in a motor launch, RMB50 for
Bungee Over the Lake. Relieve your mind of executive
stress and s-t-r-e-t-c-h those legs. Scheduled to
open mid-May, so get there early and be the first
to test out the system. Expect to pay about RMB150.
Whiplash City. The amusement park has a selection
of gut-wrenching rides to shake you into action. Recreate
rush-hour Sanlitun and live out your road rage fantasies
on the bumper cars, take the Mine Coaster train ride,
or test your bravery, not to mention your stomach,
on the Suicide Fighter.
Hot-Air Ballooning. The best way to rise above the
smog and hurly-burly of daily life in Beijing. While
you're up there, take advantage of the bird's-eye
view of the city to plan your route home to avoid
the worst of the traffic. The cost is RMB100 per person.
Includes trained operator.
Think You're Mario Andretti? Drivers of all ages
can get a taste of the race track at the Andy Cart
Racing club. Two laps of the 1100-meter track cost
RMB20 and RMB40 for children and adults respectively.
Feel Like a Hump? Take a short ride on a camel or
just get your picture taken behind the hump of one
of these pair of well-groomed desert denizens.
Down the Road. Future plans include an Aquatic Amusement
Park Center, with an Olympic-size swimming pool and
water slides, and a world-class 18-hole golf course.
Don't hold your breath on that last one though.