We were ushered into the restaurant. A Chinese Muslim restaurant, by its interior look. Tired, cold and hungry we took our seats at the tables allocated for us. 10-12 persons per table.
Xinjiang cuisine with bread, fried eggs and shredded potatoes among other dishes
Some of my Malay tour members brought sambal belacan and chilli padi, hehehe. Any food will taste great when they're around. I consider myself fortunate because my tour group members were friendly and easy to get along with. Some families brought along their children (lucky ones) and the youngest among us was little 9-month old Nik Fatin Safiah. Bless her, she was so well-behaved during the whole trip. Such a darling.Then on the 4th day, we had steamboat for lunch. That's the first time I had steamboat using charcoal. How did it taste? Well, it was ok. As you can see, the plates were empty.
It looked old but the waitress told me it had been used for only a year.
One of the problems we had here was getting used to the small dinner plates. It was quite difficult eating rice using a small plate. Alhamdulillah we were given forks and spoons at every restaurants. Hot steaming rice was available at requests (large bowls for each table and we had 3-4 servings of it at each meal) and yes, I had second helpings, hehehe. Dieting is not an option when going on a tour.Alhamdulillah, food was never a problem in Beijing. There are many Muslim restaurants around and although there wasn't any halal food logo, the wall hangings will indicate that it serves Muslim food. There was even a restaurant with photographs of the cook doing his haj in Mekkah. Usually there're chicken and beef in the menu, with a large fish as a bonus in some restaurants. Vegetables are cheap so we were served several dishes of greens at every meal. Sorry, no hot curry. My Malay tour-mates missed the steaming hot curry :P
And when you can speak some Mandarin, it helps, hehehe. It helped when I needed to ask the waitress questions like "What is this dish?", "How many dishes altogether?" and "Anymore dish?" when the food arrived slowly. You see, our tour guides ate at another smaller table in another room.
And when Mas, my tour agent asked me how I find the food, what did I say?
"Sedap.. delicious.. I haven't eaten these types of food for more than 2 years!"
Authentic Chinese halal food is hard to find in Malaysia, at least where I live. When I miss them, I have to cook.