7Fresh in Beijing Yizhuang

Exploring new places

I admit I am pretty lazy and mostly don’t go far away from Sanlitun. A friend recommended 7Fresh in Beijing Yizhuang, so Renaat and Susan took me along to explore the 7Fresh Food Market that is next to the JD 7 Fresh Supermarket. That was in February 2019 before the COVID mess hit us all.
Covering 4000 sqm, the store is at the Dazu Plaza Shopping Center, near the e-commerce company’s headquarters in Yizhuang district. Closest subway station is Rongjingdongjie of the Yizhuang Line (Line 5).

We tried many of the dishes, all of excellent quality. Great experience!

More about the supermarket

Fresh goods and unmanned delivery service at JD 7Fresh Supermarket.
On February 18, 2022, 62 Chinese and foreign journalists visited JD Group’s 7Fresh Supermarket in Yizhuang District of Beijing. Founded in 2017, 7Fresh is a gourmet fresh supermarket providing consumers with instant and fast quality retail services through online and offline channels, and dedicated to creating a better quality life for customers. Journalists visited the fruit and vegetable, bakery, wine, Chinese food , meat, seafood, and catering sections in the store, to learn about the business and operation mode of 7Fresh, its supply chain, commodity power and innovation power advantages, and experience the convenient shopping experience first-hand.

Greek food or hotpot in Beijing


Greek food or hotpot in Beijing. Greek is an obvious choice: Athena Greek restaurant.
I finally made it back there after a long time, with all the COVID mess. Both Renaat and myself enjoyed it. We had Greek Salad, lemon chicken soup, other dishes and some deserts.

The beer I had: Russell Brewing Company, British Columbia, Canada. Pretty nice (but not Greek!).
Moussaka was very good, it’s a potato-based dish with ground meat. The best-known version in Europe and the Americas is the Greek variant created in the 1920s by Nikolaos Tselementes.
The “lamb” chops could be better – basically mutton and not lamb. Deserts, such as rice pudding, were very good.
Nice sitting outside (and inside too). The restaurant is famous for its good lunch buffet.
Located close to the Spanish embassy.

Favorite hotpot

I admit I like hotpot and my favorite is Haidilao Hotpot in Beijing Sanlitun 3.3. Rather cheap and very attentful service. Always ordering too much so I took home some doggy bag with left over vegetables. Their beer is quite OK. We had the noodle-making mini show too.
The cows? Going there we saw the cows in 3.3, they looked pretty real…

Haidilao Expects $600 Million Loss in 2021
Haidilao, a Chinese hot pot chain, announced Monday that it foresees a net loss of about 3.8 billion yuan to 4.5 billion yuan as of Dec. 31, 2021. The revenue in 2021 is expected to exceed 40 billion yuan, an increase of more than 40 percent, compared to 2020 revenue of about 28.6 billion yuan. (
Haidilao estimates losses mainly due to the following factors: First, in 2021, Haidilao closed more than 300 restaurants and dropped restaurant business performance and other factors resulting in losses totaling around 3.3 billion yuan to 3.9 billion yuan. In addition, the restaurant chain’s operations were impacted by the continuing changes in the global landscape and repeated outbreaks.

The best Belgian food in Beijing (2)

Dishes from my hometown

The best Belgian food in Beijing (2) you can find in Morel’s Restaurant. In this part: specialties from Ghent and more.
The most famous dishes from Ghent are Waterzooi of Fish and Waterzooi of Chicken. I am thus unhappy with Renaat as he has removed them away from the menu… But to make me happy he sometimes makes me a mini waterzooi of fish or a gratinated fish (pretty similar).

Waterzooi is a stew dish from Belgium and originated in Flanders. The second part of the name derives from the Middle Dutch terms sode, zo(o)de and soot, words referring to the act of boiling or the ingredients being boiled. It is sometimes called Gentse Waterzooi which refers to the Belgian town of Ghent where it originated. The original dish is often made of fish, either freshwater or sea, though today chicken waterzooi is more common. The most accepted theory is that rivers around Ghent became too polluted and the fish there disappeared.

Not really from Ghent but considered there a special delicacy is Atlantic cod fish, hard to find the real one in Beijing and very expensive. Atlantic cod has a slightly sweet taste, with large flakes that fall apart easily when cooked. See several ways to serve the codfish.
Kibbeling is sometimes on the menu and it’s a special part of cod fish. also called fried cod bits (normally the cheeks of cod fish).

Steak tartare

In Morel it is rather “Filet Américain” Belgian style. Filet Américain, steak tartare or quite simply préparé, is made out of raw ground beef, which is then often spiced with piri-piri, Tabasco, mustard, cayenne pepper, gherkins, salt, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Ingredients may vary. The Belgian way is to finely chop the meat with a knife to have a smooth paste.

On the Morel’s “secret menu” is also the Martino sandwich that uses filet américain plus plus. I add anchovies… Super! See the versions with and without anchovies. It has quite a history!
In Belgium the most popular sandwich is not ham and cheese, it is a spicy sandwich that was invented by Albert De Hert, a former football player who owned a restaurant in Antwerp for more than 50 years.  Albert also worked in a snack bar called ‘Quick’, it was located at “The Coninck Square”, near the central station. A square that at that time was full of nightclubs. There he would have launched his famous martino sandwich.
The story goes that another Belgian football player and friend of Albert, Theo Maertens, who called himself Martino, once ordered a spicy sandwich of meatloaf to get over his hangover.
“Put everything what you have in the cooler on it, he asked,” So Albert served him a sandwich with chopped onion, slices of pickle, tabasco, piri piri, cayenne pepper, ketchup and Worcester sauce.
The recipe struck and became a concept in Antwerp and later the rest of Belgium, the sandwich is still very popular today.
The Martino consists of filet Américain (raw minced beef) mixed with seasonings, mayonnaise, and egg yolk then blended to a pink paste and spread on a split baguette and served with pickles, onions, boiled eggs, etc.

Certain types of Martinos are made with anchovies (my choice!).
Martino” is the famous eatery in Vlaanderenstraat 125, Gent 9000.

Safe water

Some restaurants make a lot of noise about their “pure water”. In Morel’s, it is considered a normal component of high quality. They use OZNER equipment, supposed to be one of the best in China.
Ozner Water International Holding Ltd provides water purification systems in China.

The Company additionally develops technology for air purification systems.

Beijing Workers Stadium story1

The old and the new

The Beijing Workers Stadium story1 (“the gongti area”) is the first of a series of articles about this famous Beijing landmark, its history, what the future holds and the progress of construction.
I posted several earlier articles since 2020:

Gongti strip to disappear10 August 2020
The gongti strip to disappear, along with all bars, discos, restaurants and shops in the Workers Stadium area. Some historical facts and data. I announced the dramatic changes for my beloved Gongti Strip, the dramatic disappearance of many beloved nightlife spots, some history of the Workers Stadium like the WHAM concert!

New Beijing Workers Stadium – 23 August 2020
Few seem to be aware we will have a new Beijing Workers Stadium, expected to be delivered by December 2022. See here the first details of what to expect!

Beijing Gongti demolition – 23 September 2020
A latest update on the closing of Legend Beer, Thai Laburnum and others in the Gongti area. A last look of Legend Beer.

2020 is a tough year – 7 October 2020
A tough year for many businesses in Beijing, too many to mention. Some are the victim of the wave of destruction, for the other it is the impact of COVID-19.
Sadly since then it got much much worse. The old “Gongti Strip” is now dead. Sad.

The old stadium

As posted earlier, the whole area around gongti has lost so many nice restaurants and bars. Legend, The Den, and also Tairyo (Korean style) from where you had a nice view on the old stadium.

See some pictures of the old stadium. The statues have been removed and stored at the west gate of the Worker’s Gymnasium, they will be put back later.

The demolition of the stadium and many surrounding buildings is now pretty much done

See the dates of the progress.

The history of concerts and other events

I reported earlier about the WHAM concert.
Here a compilation of press articles about the many concerts, the interview with me and background of WHAM. See the official program.

I was also at the concert of Bob Dylan – Workers Gymnasium, April 6, 2011.
Not mentioned here is the impressive AIDA opera staged in the Stadium on 28 September 2003, see here:

I need to write about that, found back the pics.

Fighting mosquitos in the bedroom

We all hate mosquitos

They are so annoying, fighting mosquitos in the bedroom is a common concern as they wake you up and make you feel miserable.
For years I have been battling them in my bedroom, with disappointing results. Excellent windows, door always closed and with an installed additional insect screen at the door. Still often around 4 a.m. I would wake up with one buzzing around my ears.

I installed electronic insect traps (“zappers”), liquid RAID dispenser, RAID mosquito mats. But regularly they came back
Where did they come from?

Any standing water is breeding ground

How to Prevent Mosquitoes From Breeding? A few general tips.

I had put mosquito nets in the bathroom exhaust, as well as in the overflow holes in bath and wash basin – also against cockroaches that enter through the drain pipes.
I made sure mosquitos could not use the water tank of the WC by inserting some sealing under the cover,

I covered the floor drain with a transparent plastic sheet as there is water standing in the drain. One day I discovered a mosquito crawling under the plastic trying to get out. So I removed the sheet and closed the drain completely with plastic.

Mosquito repellent mats and coils

Among the several toxic and nontoxic methods that have been devised to keep the mosquitoes away, mosquito repellents are one of the most economic and widely used. Using a simple electrical heater, a refill that contains a liquid which disrupts normal activity of mosquitoes, one can get relieved from these small creatures within minutes.
That sounds nice, however those are repellents, they don’t kill. So next day the mosquitoes are back again.

All confusing as Raid Power Mats “kills and repels mosquitoes for up to 14 hours. Each mat is impregnated with a powerful slow-releasing insecticide that spells death to mosquitoes. Suitable for killing and repelling mosquitoes indoors.”
Problem, all BAYGON, RAID and other only sell the repellant types, see what I have in my Beijing home.
So, pretty useless somehow.

Electronic insect traps.

There are basically two types: the older UV-lamp type and the newer LED type.
The LED type has a near invisible light but seems to be more efficient to catch mosquitos, while it is mostly accepted they are not effective against mosquitos.

See the two types and what they caught. Well at least they KILL. And yes they caught mosquitoes!

Finally battle won

With all my efforts, zero “water breeding grounds” around – what I thought – still they came. Then I had an idea. The aircon! Yes, the aircon collects the condensation of water in the air that then is supposed to leave through the drain. But if the aircon is not tilting in the right way, some water stagnates in the collector.
Then the aircon repair man came, cleaned it well, I fixed the aircon tilting a little in the right way.

No more mosquitos.
That was it… Finally.