Wood Garden House in Beijing

A colorful new venue

Wood Garden House in Beijing or as it says “Wood Forest Garden Restaurant” is in Sanlitun, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu east of Hotel InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun.
Not much about it on Google but it is on Dianping and mentioned by Thebeijinger:

“A spacious eatery with two floors and a theme that borders on jungle-like, serving Spanish and Latin-style food. There’s also a large stage that hosts alternating performances of DJs and live music.
The menu is full of Instagram-worthy photos of salads, power bowls, soups, and entrées including the herbal salad with hot spring egg, chestnut pumpkin and creamy mushroom soups, pasta with shrimp and asparagus, chicken quesadilla, tacos, a Spanish seafood paella, and more.”

Location is of the former Salsa Caribe

Located behind the Pacific Century Plaza at Changhong Qiao east of Sanlitun, this was Beijing’s best place to go for Latin music lovers and salsa aficionados, featuring a large dance floor, high-tech DJ booth, and house Latin band – a raucous blend of sweat, sin and extremely tight pants. Sadly gone.

The place is now attracting many young Chinese to make tons of selfies. Food is reasonable.  Decoration is indeed colorful and “different”.

Chez Soi Bistro in Beijing

Been there more than once!

I had several visits to Chez Soi Bistro in Beijing, see also earlier post: “Discovered Chez Soi“. That was in August 2020. Since then the bistro has tried its best to improve the food, organize events and have more staff.

See some pictures from my visits on 2 July, and in May on 12th, 16th, 17th, 24th and 29th.
On 29 May Chez Soi celebrated its anniversary with a free buffet and drinks. It was a pleasant evening.

New menu

I tried the couscous, it’s tasty but not the real stuff. The have specials every day, they organize a number of activities and also have life music every Wednesday. Caroline is trying her best!
Sometimes the dishes take a “creative” turn away from the official recipe (e.g. the Niçoise Salad) but it is all enjoyable. Some of the pizzas are tasty. The Basque Chicken got also better.

Old China Hands 2 July lunch

Always well attended!

Our Old China Hands 2 July lunch again drew a full house with 37 attendants!
Renaat Morel and myself made a frame of the previous celebration, one frame above the fish tank in the restaurant and one frame in my office.

This time no special performance, we all simply enjoyed each other’s company, and the food.
Later in the day the restaurant gave me this BIG “hongbao” for my support to the restaurant. Hm I am rich?

Next lunch

Next round planned for Friday 6 August, right in the middle of Beijing sauna week. Hopefully not flood week. The disastrous floods in many regions were really horrible but also showed so much solidarity.
Hopefully Beijing will be spared, I still remember the deadly floods here years ago.

La Maison Lyonnaise in Beijing

In front of the Brazilian embassy

I finally made it to La Maison Lyonnaise in Beijing, located in the building that has seen so many eateries and more come and go, Hopefully this French restaurant will stay for a longer time. I think they changed little of what previously “Caravan”. Caravan has ceased operations as of February 14, 2020 after 5 years of operation. It served Moroccan and Cajun food. The 2nd floor is now basically vacant, where we previously had a book shop and a (great) Brazilian restaurant. About Caravan, see here earlier post with the details:
“Reality started to sink in” https://www.beijing1980.com/2020/02/28/reality-started-to-sink-in/

I asked the French owner for the special Lyon dishes, and see what he recommended and we ordered. The bread is nice and special. Then Lyon Quenelle, Saucisson de Lyon, strawberry cake. And a Belgian beer. See details about the dishes.
When I was often visiting Paris (for work) I always tried the regional restaurants. Sadly many have closed to make room for something like “Western International Restaurants”… So, good to have this in Beijing.
The service was nice, the food interesting. Not a cheap place. All customers were Chinese… (except me)

Lyon Quenelle de Brochet

See: https://www.regions-of-france.com/regions/rhone_alpes/food-gastronomy/lyon-quenelle#

The quenelles de brochet indeed represent the authentic Lyonnais cooking, made out with really local ingredients amongst which pike, usually fished in Rhône-Alpes streams, and free-range eggs from the neighboring French region of Bresse renowned for its quality poultry.
The well-known quenelles from Lyon are famous for their delicate mousse consistency and subtle taste of fish. The word “quenelle” is believed to originate from the German “knödel” meaning dumpling, but the Lyon recette has actually no equivalent in other countries – and even in French gastronomy.

or in French:
See: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quenelle

La quenelle est une pâte moelleuse de forme cylindrique pochée dans l’eau bouillante. Elle est confectionnée à partir soit de farine, de mie de pain, de semoule ou de pâte à choux, mêlées de viande et pochées à l’eau ou dans un bouillon. Elles sont typiques dans la cuisine traditionnelle de plusieurs régions de l’Est de la France — en particulier les cuisines lyonnaise ou alsacienne. Elles peuvent se préparer en incorporant divers ingrédients, généralement des poissons (notamment le brochet), des viandes blanches (veau ou volaille), ou parfois de la moelle ou, en Alsace-Lorraine, du foie.

Saucisson de Lyon

Saucisson de Lyon is a large cured pork sausage in Lyonnaise cuisine. It sometimes includes some beef or a liqueur. It is similar to other large French cured sausages such as those of Arles, Lorraine, and Burgundy.


Véritable Saucisson de Lyon
Originally, the Lyon saucisson was a sausage made of a blend of meats: donkey or horse at the beginning, today beef, to which a mixture of lean pork is added (ham, shoulder, etc.). Its uniform, dark red filling, renowned for its delicacy, allows the cubes of lard to remain visible. It’s a lean sausage (only 10 to 12% fat), only consisting of lean trimmings, with the fat provided by the diced lard.

Dinner and show in Mango Restaurant

Mango Restaurant and Club

On 22 June 2021 I organized for some friends a dinner and show in Mango Restaurant. See my previous post about Mango: https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/06/15/mango-restaurant-and-club/
I prepared the menu and drinks and I think everybody was pretty happy. Very reasonable price!

The show that started 8:30 pm was well received! I had never seen the pole dancing as it comes much later, well after 10 pm, this time a few of us were still there and we could watch it. Pole dancing is now very popular in China and is considered as a new workout, with many gyms organizing lessons. Years ago I was in the Hilton Hotel where I watched a pole dancing competition. It is certainly not easy and requires dexterity and a flexible body! At one point belly dancing also became very popular, even our daughter took part in it in the gym. Others prefer flamenco,  salsa, tango and other dances. Often just as a pleasant way to exercise. Sadly many people look at it as “sexy stuff”. Chinese don’t. In Mango many families with kids come to watch the shows…

Our musicians

I could organize the floor for our two musician friends. Great performance by Kevin and Brian, real professionals. It took some work to get them wired but they brought most of the equipment so, all went perfect. They got an extra pizza to reward them.

See a few short clips of our musicians and of the late-night pole dancing. Need VPN in China to access Vimeo.