Never Leaving left Beijing

Another victim

In late 2019 we had a nice evening in “Lenore’s Bar – never Leaving”. Well sadly Never Leaving left Beijing, I guess another victim of greedy landlords, crazy rents and COVID.
Location was at the former Hacker-Pschorr on Xindong Lu, a bit north of Jingkelong Supermarket. That place must be bad karma, as Hacker-Pschorr went bust before, a huge investment (many million euro) wasted because of totally incompetent Chinese management.
The amount of bars and restaurant closing in Beijing is staggering, made worse with the COVID tragedy.

It was a nice place

Actually I liked the place, the interior was attractive, the service was trying its best even as it was still new. Beer and food were all pretty OK. See the pictures.

I only felt sorry I did not have the chance to visit it more, but in early 2020 COVID came and you know the rest of the story.
There is a new kind of pub there but I did not explore it yet.

CCTV4 in Morel

Never-ending

For several days invasion of CCTV4 in Morel ’s Restaurant and Café.
They are preparing a documentary about Renaat and his restaurant, to be shown worldwide. Not a surprise as Renaat has an impressive track record, see my previous post.
There were interviews with Renaat, Susan, with Renaat and myself. Then shooting in the kitchen, Renaat eating his famous fish soup, Willem eating mussels (poor guy, they were cold in the end), Renaat going to the market, Renaat in video call with Belgium, plus shooting pictures of some of the dishes… Several days to shoot, it seemed like never to end.

The crew seemed to think the restaurant was theirs, for once we were lucky as no customers were flooding in. And no any noise please!

Sometimes frustrating

I found the CCTV team not to be as professional as the BTV team I worked with recently, see earlier post.
Constant program changes, new questions, and again new questions, failure to be allowed to shoot in the market…
Annoying also: I had my CHIMAY polo shirt with a small logo, I thought cool because it’s a famous Belgian beer and we are in a Belgian place. No no no, no any logos allowed. No showing of beer brands. Not even to mention the concerns of self-censorship and related.
Working with Chinese media can be a real pain and frustration. And nothing we can do about it.

Old China Hands 4 March lunch

Good attendance

Old China Hands 4 March lunch had 33 participants, again a great get together to enjoy the great food and companionship. No special “event”, just having fun.

Another famous OCH

This time (finally) a focus on Renaat Morel, the owner and chef of Morel’s Restaurant and Café.
He has been in the same spot for over twenty years, a real feat as so many restaurant come and go.
He came to China a looong time ago, to actually start up the air catering business and much more. What many people do not know is his past as a celebrated chef in France. I have been trying to trace back some of his accomplishments, here listed in the latest draft.

See: Renaat Chef

He has served the famous people as you will see.
In Beijing he is also very well know and has many interviews and articles in the Chinese media.
Here one of the latest in TheBeijinger.
See: 19 December 2021 https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/sJ-S5BNN2vwRFS7VHZMVzg

The full article: 211219 MorelTheBeijinger

Yes you will see me there a lot as I not only love the food but also meeting my friends there.

See here some of my favorite dishes: the gratin of endive and ham (see here more!), spaghetti, chateaubriand.
You will not find the same quality in other locations (and surely not at that price). Even the spaghetti…

Deutscher Stammtisch Beijing

Blue Star Restaurant & Bar

The new restaurant, run by our friend Thorsten Eckert now hosts the Deutscher Stammtisch Beijing.
The place is a bit hidden, on Xindong street, in the middle of the buildings across the street from the Bentley shop. It was previously “XL Bar”, but Jane emigrated to Qingdao to help run The Tree by The Sea, you guess who is the owner…
The place is small and cozy, with a large beamer and yes its own (clean) toilet.
Food basically German plus many other dishes. Even Paella.
I wanted to see the place on 26 January and bumped into the German Stammtisch people… No quiet evening that was! With great food and that Prinz Kirsch…

Deutscher Stammtisch Beijing

Stammtisch in German means “table for regulars” but is a concept in itself and the translations into other languages do not really convey the real meaning.
It reminds me of the Flemish word “stamcafé”, that can be translated as favorite bar or pub, habitual hound or even yes Stammtisch…

See their sites:
https://www.peking.pro/
http://www.deutscherstammtisch.com/beijing

Actually years ago I was a regular member of the German dinners, mostly in Schindlers. So, I am “back”.
I joined again on 23 February.

The food

There are of course the nice sausages but also some specials.

Mett / Mettigel is a preparation of minced raw pork that is popular in Germany, Poland and in Belgium; a similar preparation is made from beef. It is normally served with salt and black pepper, and sometimes with garlic, caraway or chopped onion, and eaten raw, usually on a bread roll. Or presented as a hedgehog… as you see in the picture. It came with nice side dishes to spice it up.
See:  https://www.mettsalat.de/die-geschichte-des-mettigel
Here it is done with beef.Maatjes is very popular in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. I love it! This one actually comes from North China.
In Dutch:
“Een maatje is een jonge haring, die zich nog niet heeft voortgeplant. Aan boord wordt de vis meteen ‘gekaakt’, gezouten en ingevroren.”
See https://dagelijksekost.een.be/kookmagazine/maatjes-of-hollandse-nieuwe-wat-is-nu-het-verschil#type=articles
In English:
Soused (“pickled”) herring is raw herring soaked in a mild preserving liquid. It can be raw herring in a mild vinegar pickle or Dutch brined herring. As well as vinegar, the marinade might contain cider, wine or tea, sugar, herbs, spices, and chopped onion.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soused_herring

Old China Hands 11 February lunch

Year of the Tiger

With the golden week of Chinese New Year, Morel’s was closed on the first Friday, so we had the Old China Hands 11 February lunch instead. Great attendance with 38 present!

I organized a small lucky draw to celebrate the 2022 Winter Olympics. Two lucky winners got the pair of Olympic coins, Mark and Ferencz.

Hachis Parmentier

Morel’s Restaurant again offered a great lunch menu. I chose the Hachis Parmentier, that was a great but real filling dish!
See here some details about that dish:
French Beef and Potato Casserole
See: https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/hachis-parmentier
Hachis Parmentier is a French casserole made with layers of mashed potatoes and beef, topped with cheese.

and

Hachis Parmentier, pronounced HA-she PAR-man-TAY, is a classic French recipe that is pure cold-weather comfort food. It’s perhaps best described as the French version of Shepherd’s Pie. It combines seasoned beef with a layer of silky smooth potato puree and is topped with gooey gruyere cheese.
See: https://entertainingwithbeth.com/hachis-parmentier-recipe/

The desert was also special: “Tiger Chocolate Choux Pastry”!
Here an introduction:
See: http://lovingcreations4u.blogspot.com/2019/04/tiger-chocolate-choux-pastry.html

Edwin Maher, our CCTV star

Edwin and me we go a long way. I already mentioned him in my following post:
“The top 60 foreign experts in China”
https://blog.strategy4china.com/2010/02/the-top-60-foreign-experts-in-china/
It mentions the book “60 Foreign Experts in China”, published in 2009 by the Foreign Languages Press. Listed are the “usual suspects” such as Israel Epstein, Sidney Shapiro, David Dollar, William Lindesay, Norman Foster, Edwin Maher and even Henricus (Hein for the insiders) Verbruggen. Yeah and myself.

I was also on the float with him on the parade of 1 October 2009.
See: https://blog.strategy4china.com/2010/01/gilbert-in-global-times-newspaper-web/

and

Oct 1 Parade last pictures
https://blog.strategy4china.com/2009/10/oct-1-parade-last-pictures/

Many articles published about him… See here a few:
Article China Daily 28 January 2015

The full story: 150128 EdwinMaherCD

Article China Daily 27 October 2017

And in TheBeijinger:

Edwin is currently away to be with family. Looking forward to see him again in our lunches.