On rainy Portland weekends we like to head to Hot Pot City for an all you can eat pot of bubbling soup. Although Beijing was meltingly hot, when we found an alley full of hotpot places we had to stop.
A very friendly, young server set us up with two small pots of "light spice" broth which were set on top of a burner to simmer. Although she disapproved of us forgoing the mushrooms, she did like our choice of thin sliced beef, Chinese cabbage and amazing fresh egg noodles.
We simmered these in the broth and then spooned the broth and cooked bits into our tiny bowls. We topped these with fresh cilantro and green onions and dabbed on sesame paste, spicy mustard or red pepper. It was a memorable meal beneath the swinging paper lanterns and our servers approving gaze.
This is another small moment in China that made us laugh: In a moment of hungry desperation we bought a packet of cookies.
A bit of false advertising? Where are my three layers of cookies? Where is the chocolate? Hmmm