Nov 28, 2008

Thanksgiving in Beijing

This Thanksgiving blog post is mainly to put my family in the US at ease -- yes, I had a great traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, in terms of the taste of the food, it was the best Thanksgiving meal that I've had in Beijing so far. It seems like each year in Beijing there are more and more choices of where to go for Thanksgiving. Gone are the days when you'd think you'd be stuck with oily fried duck as a substitute for turkey (see this post).

This particular Thanksgiving dinner was catered by Culinary Capers, a Canadian catering company, and it was hosted in the dining area of the Sequoia cafe. Those Canadians may talk a little funny, and they celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day than us regular folk, but they sure do a good job with the cooking.

Here's a picture of the main part of the meal. They incorporated all the traditional stuff in a semi-artsy way. The turkey was unusual in that it didn't turn out dry and leathery, which was quite impressive.

Sequoia is quite small, probably enough seating for thirty people or so at a time. Here's a long table that was set up near to where we were seating. A few minutes after I took this picture, a gaggle of Chinese and a couple Westerners popped in and occupied the table. From the group dynamics of the people, it was clear that the Western Boss, at the head of the table, was taking his office staff out to experience an American tradition. From the way that the local employees poked and prodded at their appetizer salad, it was clear that they would have much more enjoyed a Chinese greasy spoon.

This pumpkin pie, like the main dish, looks pretty artsy. In China, it seems like the more artsy-looking the food, the worse it tastes. In this case, it wasn't the case at all. Excellent pumpkin pie, very sweet and full of nutmeg, much tastier than Sara Lee.


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