Whole Roasted Lamb | Beijing Chang Ping Ma Yu Fang 北京昌平 麻峪房 刘士莲 烤全羊

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one of the days in beijing, we took a day trip to a small town of chang ping 昌平, couple hours outside of beijing, for some whole roasted lamb.

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the small town, ma yu fang 麻峪房, has a few places like this that serves whole roasted lamb. these places are not restaurants but someone’s home. this particular we went to, they only serve to one group of people (2 tables) per day. you can spend the entire day eating, drinking (BYOB), hanging out, playing cards (ma jiang in my case), fruit picking, or hiking on nearby mountains. they also provide rooms for overnight stay for an extra fee. pretty much like a small resort but at someone’s house.

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we went with a group of my dad’s friends. due to crazy traffic, we arrived kinda late and the lamb was almost done cooking. most of my dad’s friends got there early in the morning and went hiking to work out an appetite.

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the lamb was freshly butchered in the morning
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the lamb is bathed with tons cumin and other spices.
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the lamb was delicious of course. beautifully charred on the outside and tender flavorful inside. October 01, 2014-DSC08091

the lamb comes with a set of meal, mainly rustic dishes.
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my cuz
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hanging out in their yard after lunch
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we took a walk while waiting my dad to finish his lunch.
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green dates
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after everyone finished eating and a short rest, we drove 5 mins to a nearby park for some walking/hiking

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昌平区长陵镇麻峪房民俗村,陶家大院,士莲农家院
beijing chang ping district ling zhen ma yu fang, house of tao and shi lian
phone: 011-86-10-89721953
cell: 011-86-13683071469

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Dong Fang Chuan Dian 東方串店 (一號店)|Palisades Park, NJ

(Porkbelly) Dong Fan Chuan Dian is a DIY Chinese-Korean Skewer joint, like Feng Mao LA or Feng Mao NY Please check out my post on the Feng Mao location in NY for my explanation on the Korean Minority in China.  We rolled up to this spot late at night on the drive down to Washington DC.  Since I’m an absolute fanatic when it comes to meat on a stick, I had to eat here.   This is their 一號店 or number 1 store, indicating that there is another location.  The store in located in Palisades Park NJ, or else known as the Korea town of NJ.

It was a cold ass day, I was looking forward to something warm…

Out came some Pan Chan, some Celery, Kimchi, and a spicy mix for the meat.

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The coals were laid down, this warmed us up real fast

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The first part of our order, some Quail and Mushrooms

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The second part of our order, Lamb, Beef, and sausage skewers

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some more coal action
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We placed the meat over the coals to cook
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After the meat is cooked, it is transferred to the top rack to keep cool
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Garlic they had laying on the table. If you want to eat some raw garlic you can go for it….

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sometimes the juices from the meat would drip down
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and cause this
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After the meat is cooked, you can dip it in the spice rub

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A few condiments on the table
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Our Quail cooking
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Our Second Quail doing a Bruce Lee Dragon Kick
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Overall this restaurant was okay. It’s not as good as the flushing carts, but it is open late and on the way to DC if you are rolling down 95, unlike the restaurants in Flushing. The quail was disappointing, not as good as the one in FengMao in K-town LA. The lamb tasted average, nothing too memorable. Service was decent, there seemed to only be one lady working, she was prompt with our food and it came out fast, duh it’s Cook-it-yourself meat. I would only go to this restaurant if I wanted lamb skewers at night and had no means to go to Flushing, Queens.

DongFangChuanDian
6 East Columbia Avenue
Palisades Park, NJ 07650

Top Bread | Chinatown Boston, MA

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we were in chinatown today and saw this new top bread bakery (former Bao Bao Bakery location which moved across street). i was never a fan of bao bao bakery because it smelled like bathroom and their bakery/store just looked unappealing to me. unlike bao bao bakery, top bread looks a lot cleaner, bright, and inviting so we went in and checked it out.

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i assumed today was their opening day?
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i picked up a taro swiss roll and a melon pan for breakfast tmr morning. i havent tasted them yet but they feel nice and soft. will update later.
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77 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02111
b/t Knapp St & Beach St in Chinatown

Sony A7 + Canon FD 50mm SSC with Fotodiox adapter

Hi All Porkbelly here,

We got a Sony a7 not too long ago and love it. The portability and image quality of the camera is great. We still haven’t bought a native FE mount lens for the camera yet. Manual focusing with this camera has been extremely easy with focus magnification to make sure the pictures are super sharp and focus peaking to let us know when the image is in focus. Our current go to lens is an old Canon FD 50mm S.S.C that has been with my family for a while now.

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It’s awesome how the A7 gives new life to old lenses. Here are some shoots from the a7 with the Canon 50mm FD SSC 1.4 in Raw Format unedited….

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Canon FD lenses offer great value, on the market a FD 50mm 1.4 SSC is around $100 used, compared to the 50mm EF 1.4 which is $250+

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From the Beijing Cat cafe

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1.4 gives great Bokeh!

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Breakfast in Beijing

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At our Wedding planner’s place in Beijing

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From our wedding venue.

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I feel like the Sony with a manual lens is helping me slow down, focus on the basics of photography instead of my usual pray and spray. Kind of like a Leica at 1/8 the price? So what do you think?

Costa Rica 2014 Day 5 La Mansion Inn | Manuel Antonio National Park | Naranjo River – Whitewater Rafting | Mar Luna

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this is day 5 in manuel antonio costa rica and also the last post of costa rica series. we did stay for 1 more day in costa rica; however, i accidentally deleted all my day 6 pictures :'(

day 5 we went to check out manuel antonio national park in the morning and we did whitewater rafting in the afternoon with Iguana Tours. our schedule was pretty tight and our hotel la mansion inn was very helpful to squeeze two tours in one day for us.

la mansion inn dining room/lobby
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we had complimentary breakfast on the balcony
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good ocean view
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after breakfast, we waited outside to get picked up by the tour guide.
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our hotel la mansion inn
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after a short ride we arrived to Manuel Antonio National Park. you can come here without a tour or tour guide, but it was a very good idea that we came with one. it was ridiculously hard to spot animals. it took forever for me to find the animals even the tour guide pointed out for me. i probably wont be able to see any otherwise. the tour guide also carries a telescope with him and he can take pictures of the animals for you through the telescope.

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it’s a sloth
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there’s a beach inside manuel antonio national park and there are a lot white face monkeys on the beach.
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bats – so cute
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more sloth
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after Manuel Antonio National Park, we joined another whitewater rafting on Naranjo River tour with Iguana Tours

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after a full day of activities, we went to grab a few drink and relaxed in the hot tub in our hotel. our hotel pool area had a pretty good view of the ocean but too bad i lost all the pictures.
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for dinner, i was too lazy to do researches, so we went to Mar Luna which was recommended by a girl that worked in our hotel.
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mar luna sits on a hilltop overlooking the treetops and sea coast, but too bad it was pitch black outside.
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grilled seafood for two. they dont have this on the menu, so just ask for it. RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS!!!!! i was really mind blown by this grilled seafood platter. probably best grilled seafood ive ever had. they were freshly caught in the morning and grilled over volcanic ash (instead of charcoal). super flavorful and tasty. buttery, juicy, super fresh seafood with a bit of smokiness. this worth the trip to manuel antonio alone. simply amazing!
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it was so good we had to get second round of shrimps. was afraid i will never taste something like this ever again.
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some flan for desserts
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on our way back to our hotel, our cab driver saw a sloth climbing on the power lines and stopped for us to take pictures. it was an amazing night full of surprises.
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Costa Rica 2014 Day 4 Monteverde | Hotel Belmar | Don Juan Coffee and Chocolate Tour | La Mansion Inn | Manuel Antonio, Quepos

Costa Rica 2014 Day 3 Arenal – Monteverde | Sky Adventures | Hotel Belmar

Yank Sing | Financial District, San Francisco CA

(PorkBelly) This Summer I had the opportunity to go to San Francisco on a Business trip. I got the OK from my boss to take my co-worker to Yank Sing for Dimsum. It was a short walk from our office in the financial district.

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There is inside seating and outside seating. We were seated outside.
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Shanghai Dumpling – A Yank Sing signature dish of minced Kurobuta Pork, scallion and ginger wrapped and steamed in its own aromatic broth.

We started off with some soup dumplings, they were decent. Not Shanghai levels of good (JiaJia)
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Heaven in a cart
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Yank Sing (7 of 22)

Pork Siu Mye – Hand-chopped shrimp with pork, shiitake mushrooms filling hand-wrapped in fresh pasta skin and hand-formed into a fluted ‘basket.’

Shu Mai 燒賣
Yank Sing (1 of 1)

Shrimp Dumpling (Ha Gau) – Hand-chopped shrimp embedded with crunchy bits of sweet winter bamboo shoot tips and fashioned into a bonnet.

Har gow 蝦餃
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Steamed Pork Buns – Warm fluffy bread buns stuffed with nuggets of honey-glazed BBQ pork.

Char Siu Bao 叉燒包
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For Dimsum I always order Chrysanthemum tea. I don’t know why I just like it. Tea wasn’t watered down like most dimsum places.

菊花茶
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My guilty dim sum pleasure, dim purist hate it, but I love it….It’s a bit Americanized

Stuffed Crab Claws – Light and fluffy crab and shrimp mousse croquette encasing a whole snow crab claw, deep-fried until golden brown.

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sweet and sour sauce for the crab claw
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Pork rib – pretty fancy for pork rib at a Dimsum joint. It was good, meat was tender

排骨
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Don’t know how to explain this one, tofu skin thing with chicken inside.
腐皮捲

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Turnip Cake
蘿蔔糕

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It was a cool San Francisco in May. They were heating lamps placed outside to keep us warm.
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Dessert time
Coconut Cream Roll – A soft sweet rice roll filled with a custard cream filling and topped with coconut flakes.

outside is a coconutty gluttonous wrapper, and the inside is delicious custard filling. I like coconut and I like custard filling, so this was a hit in my book.

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I also ordered a Nai huang Bao, It’s a bun filled with a custard filling

奶黄包
At this restaurant they look like boobs
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Always best when hot
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Overall the dim sum was good. The ingredients are very fresh and clean, everything came out hot and quick like dimsum is supposed to. I got a Americanized vibe from this place, they missed a few dimsum items I love to order i.e Chicken Feet, and 腸粉. It’s rare finding Chinese food like this in a middle of a financial district, so I’ll take it! One major down side is that it’s fucking expensive. I spent almost $100 including tip for all the items pictured. That’s pretty ridiculous for dimsum. Nonetheless I had a food coma went I went back to work…..

Yank Sing
101 Spear St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Yank Sing on Urbanspoon

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