Peking roast duck

Looking back at the reviews I wrote of my Trans-Mongolian train trip, I see I’ve written up 5 meals in Ulaanbaatar and just 2 in Beijing. This needs to be corrected. Even the bad meals in Beijing were a sensory explosion compared to the bland meat’n’wheat fare we stopped up our [...]

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Big plate chicken

Let’s time travel back to early last October, when DJ, Leonard and I were wandering around Beijing in sandals and t-shirts (The Enigmatic Mr S had also flown out to join us). It was our second day in Beijing and we’d already decided on the train into China where we going [...]

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Chuanr stand in Wangfujing Snack Street

2 weeks after we left Moscow on the Rossiya, DJ, Leonard and I arrived triumphant, excited and on time in Beijing. On the flight to Moscow we’d discussed which bit of the holiday we were looking forward to most. ‘Beijing,’ we all [...]

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The awesome dining car on train 024 to Beijing

It’s 6am on the 8th October and I’m watching dawn’s fat pink fingers slowly work their way up the track outside Ulaanbaatur’s train station. I’m also trying to wipe the taste of the worst cup of tea from my mouth.

I’m [...]

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This is Mongolia’s idea of a vegetable soup

When DJ, Leonard and I arrived in Ulaanbaatur at the start of October, there was only one thing on our minds: buuz. We had declared our train trip the Holiday of the Steamed Dumpling and we were determined to eat as many [...]

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Dough, dough and more dough

There is nothing like being denied something to make you want it. In Mongolia, it was vegetables. I don’t normally really fancy vegetables, I’m a carb girl. But there is something about being offered meat and dough or meat and rice all the time, sometimes [...]

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Disappointing picnic

DJ, Leonard and I had had quite a day. We’d rode truculent, semi-wild horses at fences and down ditches. We’d crossed the Swinging Suspension Bridge of Death so we could wander around a Buddhist monastery in our socks. We’d gone off-road in a bright yellow Hyundai [...]

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Mongolian milk tea

On November 6, 2009 By

Mongolian milk tea

There are places in the world where the British habit of splashing cold milk into hot tea is discussed in hushed tones. The kind of hushed tones used to describe a suppurating carbuncle on your undercarriage or a friend’s brainstorm conversion to UKIP. What would these tea [...]

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Baylag Buuz

The hard white sunlight and high blue sky suggested a fresh autumn day when we arrived in Ulaanbaatur in early October. Stepping out of our fantastic, definitely-stay-there-if-you’re-in-Ulaanbaatur hostel, Zaya’s Guesthouse, I soon realised that you don’t breathe deeply in Ulaanbaatur, you chew thoroughly.

You want to blame the glittering [...]

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Happy grilled pork chop

In Snezhinka we came up against our worst dining fear: a menu entirely in Russian. And not a small menu either. 8 pages of Cyrillic stood between us and dinner. Would we starve to death in a cosy cafe, slumping decorously over striped satin cushions and [...]

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