Monday, June 15, 2009

A day of natural high (海)!

Rosabelle woke up fairly early enough on 13 June, but did not enjoy her cereal which the nanny added fish to (it was the first time she was eating fish with cereal, so maybe she did not like the combination of the taste). So, in the end, we had to feed her plain cereal with bread.

However, it also meant we could go out early enough to enjoy a fantastic ala-carte buffet dim sum lunch at Kerry Centre Hotel, Horizon Restaurant. I had a friend working in the Sports Centre there who raved about the dim sum, and I've read reviews about it, and I'm glad I had the chance to bring my family there to experience the freshly-made and exquisite dim sum. Children under 6 dine for free, and each adult only had to pay RMB88+15% service charge (total of about SGD20 per person for hotel buffet) - so yummy! We were all bursting by the time we left, and we headed to Houhai (后海)area for an afternoon of sightseeing.
They'd been there at night when we brought them for dinner at one of the restaurants on the previous trip, but it was a different experience (and less rowdy, given it's a nightspot as well) in the day time.
We walked along the quaint shops of 烟袋斜街, where the children bought some paper kites, and my sis got some cute T-shirts from the famous Plastered8 shop (and the aunty there was so taken in by the children she nicely agreed to giving Simon and Marianne each a sticker they retail for RMB1 each).
You can see that Marianne obviously loves to start posing herself, and my sis says she always makes good use of 'props' to strike a good pose. Guess girls will always be girls!
There will of course always be over-priced tourist souvenirs (which Marianne posed with and we did not buy - RMB65!!!)...
And the kids enjoyed a 40-minute hutong trishaw ride (bargained price down from RMB160 to RMB80), where the poor rider got glares of amazement from his counterpart for being able to fetch 4 people at the same time (usually two people) - they even saw one empty trishaw turn turtle! My sis even tipped the poor man RMB20, for being such a sport and giving concise narratives on the tour.
They went to a hutong home, where the kids gamely posed on the opium bed (Simon's lazy pose).
And on a nuptial bed as well.
They also saw kids doing sketches on the way.
Whilst Mum, Wayne and I brought Rosabelle on her first pub-hopping experience as we took a rest at a nearby bar when waiting for them. It was a rather dingy place with mouldy-looking sofas, and we each paid RMB30 for small glasses of (packet) juices and coke. This series of photos Wayne took of us looks rather artistic, with the lighting, non-deliberate poses, and contrasting colors, huh?
We headed home after that to wash up and leave Rosabelle at home -- she did not enjoy her fish dinner that night, only eating the noodles - my sis said children can taste if a fish is fresh (as with Simon and Marianne), and the fish had been frozen for a week, so guess razor-sharp-tasting Rosabelle also decided not to take odourous fish. The nanny said when she washes the dishes/sink, she also can't get rid of the fishy smell, so we've decided to get her fresh fish and chicken every week (and we adults can eat the leftovers).
At night, we again went back to 海底捞 at my mother's request (or should I say, repeated hints??), where we stuffed ourselves silly for only RMB317 (about SGD65). Since it was a steamboat place, it would not have been conducive to bring Rosabelle anyway (steaming bowls, dark, crowded...).
We did not have to wait long for our seats (a lovely private room) as we had kids with us and thus had priority.
During our very short wait, they served us fruits and tidbits, and the children had a room where they could watch cartoons.
We took the mushroom soup base and tomato soup base (the chilli-looking one on the right that doesn't taste as hot as it looks), where my sis and I enjoyed drinking the latter soup.
And of course, the children again loved the noodle-dancing performance, shouting and smiling in glee especially when the noodle was going to hit them.
Simon, being the first to finish his dinner, had the honour of awarding our dedicated wait staff with a smiley sticker to thank him for the great service.
Here's a very happy bunch of Singaporeans at their favourite restaurant in Beijing!

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