Food and Restaurants Real Chinese


Food and Restaurants

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China boasts one of the world's most sophisticated and varied cuisines,

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and for the gastronomically adventurous it's paradise.

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In this programme, a taste of the huge diversity of food on offer

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from morning through to night.

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A look at how to order and say what you like,

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and a flavour of home cooking during the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

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At this countryside B&B just outside Beijing,

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breakfast is traditional and filling.

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Breakfast.

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Literally, morning food.

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Corn porridge and rice porridge

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are the main dishes here.

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They are accompanied by pickles, beans, onion pancakes and spicy scrambled eggs.

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In cities, many Chinese eat a fast breakfast on the way to work.

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Dough sticks. The top favourite.

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Fried dumplings.

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Patties filled with meat and vegetables.

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Sweet bean paste parcels.

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They all make tasty morning snacks.

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Lunch.

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Literally midday food.

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So important is eating to city dwellers

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that even canteen food can be excellent.

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Students at Beijing University are spoilt for choice, and quality.

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To eat.

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I like to eat...

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I like eating tofu.

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Wo xihuan chi doufu, mifan, haiyou jirou.

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Rice.

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Chicken.

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Wo xihuan chi biandou, bu xihuan chi bocai.

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I don't like to eat...

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Wo xihuan chi yangrou, haiyou shuijiao, bu xihuan chi mifan.

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Wo xihuan chi Zhongguo jiaozi, bu xihuan chi yangbaicai.

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In Beijing, one of the most traditional lunchtime places,

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with much of its original character, is the Old Beijing Noodle King.

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As guests arrive, waiters shout out how many you are

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and rush to look after you.

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For ordinary people in Beijing, lunch is generally a hearty meal,

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and chunky northern-style wheat noodles fit the bill.

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They're quite different from the very fine noodles of Southern China.

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Noodles.

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It's the multitude of sauces, pickles and spicy vegetables

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that make the noodles appetising.

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It all adds up to cheap and tasty family food.

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Or even a convivial business lunch.

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One of Beijing's finest restaurants, the Quan Ju De,

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offers a wonderfully traditional setting in which to savour the city's most favourite dish,

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Beijing Duck.

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Ducks are force-fed before slaughter,

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so that they are plump and fat.

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They are coated in honey, water, and vinegar

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and roasted in wood-fired ovens.

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Roast duck.

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To order duck, you can say...

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Please bring one roast duck.

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The waitress asks...

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What would you like to eat?

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Nimen chi dianr shenme?

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Qing lai yi zhi kao ya.

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Nimen you shenme qingcai?

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Vegetables.

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They decide on beans and mushrooms.

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Qing lai yi pan chao doujiao, yi pan mogu.

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Please bring...

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A plate of fried beans.

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Doujiao - beans.

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A plate of mushrooms.

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Mogu - mushrooms.

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Then the pancakes arrive,

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along with spring onions and sweet soy bean sauce,

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to accompany the duck.

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Once it was only the city's elite who could afford this delicacy,

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now it's a popular choice for all kinds of people.

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When you're ready for the bill, say...

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The bill please.

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Qing jiezhang.

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Yi bai, er bai, er bai jiushi wu yuan. Gei nin.

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Xiexie.

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If you visit China on business you may well be entertained by your hosts in style.

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At the Grand Capital seafood restaurant,

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you'll be offered some of the most authentic Cantonese cuisine to be found in Beijing.

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Seafood is one of the main ingredients of Cantonese food.

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Canton's capital, Guangzhou, is a port,

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and many foreign influences have found their way into the cooking.

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The result, elaborate mixtures of flavours and textures.

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The haute cuisine of China.

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When the head chef arrived here,

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he brought his whole restaurant crew up from Guangzhou.

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He's been passionate about cooking since the age of 15.

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On a good day, there can be as many as 500 guests to feed at one sitting.

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But he relishes the challenge.

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If you're being entertained by Chinese hosts,

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they're likely to do the ordering and simply ask you for your preferences.

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Prawns.

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Fish.

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Do you like to eat fish or prawns?

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Ni xihuan chi yu haishi chi xia?

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Wo xihuan chi xia.

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Wo xihuan chi yu.

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Ni xihuan qingzheng haishi hong shao?

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Qingzheng.

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Steamed.

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Cooked in soy sauce.

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Next they decide how to have their rice.

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Women chi bai fan haishi chao fan?

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Bai fan.

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They choose...

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Plain rice.

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Chaofan is fried rice.

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Restaurants catering for business clients offer more seats in private rooms

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than in the open area.

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These formal lunches often turn into banquets,

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costing thousands of yuan.

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It's the done thing to offer guests far more than they can possibly eat.

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Chopsticks.

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Designed, it seems, to make you

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savour every morsel.

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Yen Ying is well versed in cultural differences.

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In China, guanxi - connections -

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help to oil the wheels in business dealings.

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And often these connections start over a meal.

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For many Chinese, a fun night out

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means eating good food in good company.

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At this Sichuanese restaurant,

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traditional hotpot provides the best of all worlds.

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Sizzling spices and a friendly atmosphere.

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Most people order a double hotpot, yin and yang, mild and hot.

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Beware of yang.

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The main ingredient is meat.

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Beef.

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Chicken.

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You can also have fish and vegetables.

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Literally fish meat.

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Mushrooms.

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Lotus root slices.

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Greens.

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The process of cooking your own, the way you want it,

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is half the fun of hotpot dining.

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Zhe jirou zhen haochi.

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The chicken is really good.

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Everyone has their favourite ingredients.

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Wo xihuan chi niurou, xihuan chi jirou.

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Wo bu xihuan chi jirou. Wo xihuan chi yu.

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Wo xi huan chi niu rou. Wo bu xihuan chi qingcai.

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Eating out on the streets is what many Chinese enjoy.

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In Beijing, people flock to snack street for the tastiest morsels in China.

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Grasshoppers, frogs, not everyone's taste maybe.

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But there's plenty to choose from,

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and it's cheap, around five yuan a portion.

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To order you can simply say...

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I want...

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I want one portion of fried noodles.

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Wo yao yi ge chao mian.

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Wo yao yi ge mogu, liang ge xilanhua.

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A portion of mushrooms.

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Two portions of broccoli.

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Out in the countryside China's Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is when

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families traditionally come together to enjoy the fruits of the earth.

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Everyone expects a good spread.

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Cheers!

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Moon cakes are the centrepiece.

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Rich, heavy pastries filled with fruits or meats.

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There are nuts, dates and plenty of other locally-grown delicacies.

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Traditionally people gather and philosophise under the full moon.

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And there are poems extolling its magic.

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One legend has it that the moon is inhabited by a hare,

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endlessly pounding the drums of immortality.

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At his side is a beautiful woman, transported there with the help of a magic potion.

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She's achieved eternal life, but at a price.

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Eternal solitude.

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When the autumn moon is full, she gazes out on the world she's left behind.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Email [email protected]

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Real Chinese is an up-to-the-minute introduction to Chinese life, culture and language. This ten-part series is for anyone travelling to China for holidays, study or work - and anyone else who simply wants to find out more about this fast-changing nation. The programmes are set in and around Beijing, with visits to mountains, countryside and a popular beach resort.

The series covers the language essentials needed to get the most out of a trip and explore beyond the usual tourist trail: how to greet people in Chinese, order food and drink, ask the way, travel around, hold simple conversations and enjoy sports and nightlife. Each 15-minute programme also offers insights into the culture, both past and present, from ancient arts, architecture and beliefs to current tastes in shopping, fashion and entertainment.

In this episode, a taste of the huge range of food on offer in Beijing from morning through to night, a look at how to order and say what you like, and a flavour of home cooking during the mid-autumn Moon Festival.


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