Monday, August 30, 2010

Monchurian HotPot Dinner

One more post from Beijing....

What a night! Ekin's friends came to pick us up at our hotel. They called themselves Victor and Luna as they know Americans have a VERY difficult time pronouncing Chinese words/names. They were to be our translators/helpers for the night. We drove quite awhile before getting to an underground parking structure. Ekin's dad came and met us and walked us up to dinner. We were a bit overwhelmed, the smell in the restaurant was new to us, the atmosphere was really different and we were led to a private room where Ekin's mom was waiting. The table had a center area that was filled with boiling broth. The table had loads of little plates of watermelon, nuts, Chinese tea, and such. We were unsure of what to do! Then we were led to the hallway where there was a huge row of sauces that you could mix to come up with what you wanted to dip your meat into- we were so clueless, so Ekin's dad picked a mix for us which I LOVED. It was a peanut type sauce and was delicious. We then went back to our room and sat down. There were a few different servers in our room who would throw various things in the pots of broth. It was incredible and difficult to capture in pictures or even to try and describe. The meat was very thinly sliced lamb and beef that were rolled up and then dropped in the boiling liquids. One side was with Chili's and was quite spicey- the other was more mild.We enjoyed the meat very much. Then they had a paste of some sort in a bag and cut that open and squirted it into the boiling liquid, that was shrimp and there was a special sauce to dip that into. The food just kept on rolling out for two hours. We had fresh hot soy bean milk (was good, gray in color), we had mung bean "noodles, we had tofu, we had dumplings, we had Chinese Yam, different fruits, Chinese Hot tea, Chinese Cool tea-the food kept being added to the boiling flavored broth and then served to us. By the time we were done, the whole table in front of us was FULL of bowls and it was just so surreal. We also had a noodle dancer. A guy who danced with dough and by the time he was done it was a long strip that he then pulled into long thin pieces and threw in the broth. In the midst of dinner, Ekin called from USA to talk to each of us, it was so sweet of him.

It was a wonderful unique experience and we were told, one that is unique to Beijing. We were treated like royalty which really does feel uncomfortable. They said. they "worshipped" us for the kindness we have to take the baby and help her with her health. They expressed gratitude for us having taken care of their son for a year. They had ordered MoonCakes for us and gave us many wonderful thoughtful gifts, like a silk outfit for the baby, squeaky shoes, a dragon puppet, jade necklaces and a pearl necklace. They really just did too much. It was all so very thoughtful and kind. We will always remember our time with them and our only regret is that we don't speak Chinese so we could truly enjoy a conversation with them.

When we said, goodbye, I had to give them hugs, which I know was not a familiar thing for them, but to me a handshake just did not seem enough.

You all should have seen Kory with his Chopsticks, pretty great!

Off to pack for our very early morning and BIG day.

We hope the pictures can help you understand our night out on the town.


  1. I am LOVING all of the details! We had a Mary as a guide in Nanning too. Please post pictures so that I know if it is her or not! You have probably already met Hattie! Can't wait to see her in your arms!!

    Love, Laura

  2. What an adventure and what a special little girl! Your family is blessed!