Date registered: May 26, 2010
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Come on, how long have you lived in China? Have you ever been to a pool here? The majority (not all of course) of Chinese people cannot swim or their ability is severely limited. It isn't fair to fault Chinese people for not jumping into the river to save someone. Now if the entire Chinese olympic team was standing around then I think it would be fair to point a finger at someone.
About 3 weeks ago I saw a man have a seizure on the 82 bus. At least 10 people got out of their seat and went over to help the man. It was one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen but plenty of people tried to help the man. The bus driver stopped the bus and let everyone off but some people stayed to help out. While the media can point out that Chinese people are "cold", how often do they post anything where people actually do help out? People are people and not everyone in China is indifferent.
I agree with Don on this. I just wish I had this 3 years ago when I first got here. Perhaps GoChengdoo can email this to all of the restaurants that post listings in your magazine. Thanks again!
Hot pot restaurants should be obvious although most of us don't eat hot pot on a daily basis. I just realized that I didn't correctly label the vegetarian restaurant I go to. The one called vegetarian lifestyle is definitely clean and that is the one I usually eat it. I don't know about the other ones. That particular vegetarian restaurant is owned by a Taiwanese businessman, definitely not monks. From what I gather he is just religious so that is why I doubt they would use that kind've oil there. The owner of Peter's tex mex is known to be a very religious Christian. Because of that I believe that they wouldn't use the cheap recycled oil as well. Obviously most of the foreign owned restaurants I trust for reasons that I do not have to state :-).
The Tibetan area is definitely not vegetarian as only Mahayana Buddhists practice vegetarianism.
I worked out in Wenjiang this past semester and I am convinced that the entire city only uses recycled oil. I had to cook my own lunch when I went out there as I had my doubts about the whole city. Maybe I'm just paranoid or perhaps I have been here too long.
In California, there was a big movement in the 2000s for converting old diesel Benz's, school buses, diesel pickup trucks and other miscellaneous diesel cars like VWs to run on recycled oil. There have been 1,000s of articles written about that movement. I had a dodge truck for awhile with a Cummins diesel in it that I was planning on converting over. I ended up selling it before I came here. My wife and I thought about purchasing a Great Wall diesel SUV to convert over but then we looked up the reviews on that vehicle and decided against it.
Just out of curiosity, how many places do you think use the recycled cooking oil? One of my students told me that her family owns a restaurant around Chengdu and I asked her as a joke if they used the recycled cooking oil. Her response, which was alarming, was "Of course! Every restaurant uses it. Didn't you know that?"
When I asked her if she would eat it she replied "Of course not, that stuff is disgusting."
With the obvious follow up question "What does your family eat?" she replied "We buy separate cooking oil for our family."
Ever since this episode I have been eating at home or at a few restaurants that I trust like cafe-z, peter's tex mex, pure vegetarian (They are Buddhists that don't serve alcohol, so I doubt they would serve that recycled oil), Mishang (Macau style hot pot that doesn't use any oil) and the Tibetan area because if the monks are eating there you know they would never serve them something they know is bad.
What about the rest of you? Do you order something and stare at your dish a few seconds questioning whether there is something toxic in your dish? I have become a bit paranoid in the past 6 months as I've noticed that the recycled oil is EVERYWHERE. You can usually tell if the oil container is the square plastic box that is extremely dirty. Or if you eat street food, the oil looks as thin as water. Even the street vendors use it. Ever notice that they use a dirty plastic bottle with oil in it? Why isn't the bottle new?
Thanks for the warning invisible. There were several protests in Chengdu today. One protest involved over 2000 people that apparently tried to enter the US embassy (at least according to today's SCMP...) These are interesting times, to say the least. For all foreigners here in Chengdu, keep your eyes open and you should probably have a plan in place in case the Shyt hits the fan...
They have several different water filters that you can find at any Chinese supermarket. The cheapest is the brita style pitcher which I saw at Carrefour about 6 weeks back for several hundred. I've used this for awhile and personally feel that you get what you pay for. It depends on what you can afford to be honest. You can get delivered water for 2-300 a year (if that), a cheap water filter for let's say 399, a counter top water filter for 6-700 and then the high end stuff that goes into the several thousands.
Outside of China in other Asian countries you can get a really nice Panasonic water filter for less than 500 RMB but I still haven't seen this sold inside of Mainland China. I personally brought one from the US that costs me $82.00 (http://www.amazon.com/[...] and it lasts about 1 1/2 - 2 years without replacing the filter. This includes using the water for just about everything except bathing.
The water tastes significantly better than any other filter I've used in the past. I hope this helps
I had to write a review on here as I feel that cafe z is a bit under rated. Obviously this is not the cheapest restaurant to eat at in Chengdu nor is it the most expensive. My wife and I go here on a regular basis and we both agree that the service is by far the best in Chengdu. The managers are extremely diligent and will go out of their way to cater to your needs. You can order off of the menu and expect to pay between 40-80 RMB per person without a drink. We always get the lunch buffet which costs about 150 RMB per person. If you venture around Chengdu and look at the other 5 star hotels, the buffet at cafe z definitely has the best value. The selection is a mix of Western and Asian tastes so it is a bit more balanced. I've personally found that the other 5 star hotels are too Cantonese and are a bit too rich on the meat side. That usually includes all kinds of crabs, shrimps, whole pigs (like Hawaiian), strange Cantonese organ meats, etc. The Shangra La also has some of these items at Cafe Z but they also have a full salad bar, sushi section, middle eastern section (kabobs, hummus, babbaghanoush (did I spell that right?), etc.), seafood section, high end Sichuan food, Indian food section, Dim sum bar and a noodle bar. I think they still may have pizza although you would have to ask. We know some of the staff at cafe z and they have informed us that they actually don't make that much money at cafe z since the restaurant is there to cater to the guests. Most of the vegetables are organic and imported from all over China, the seafood actually costs a lot for the restaurant to purchase and a lot of the items are imported from overseas. I look at this from an American viewpoint as this buffet would compete with some of the hotels in Las Vegas. 150 RMB is roughly $24-25.00 so I definitely think you get a lot for how much you pay. This also includes coffee and tea so if you add up how much everything that your consuming actually costs, you definitely get your money's worth. BTW the Shangra La's buffet in Hong Kong is 4-5x as expensive and the selection is totally different. If this buffet was offered in any tier 1 city, it would definitely cost at LEAST 2x as much. Thanks for taking the time to read this review.
Come on, Peter's isn't that bad. If you go to any of the Western restaurants in Chengdu you know it is going to be more expensive than a comparable Chinese restaurant. I've found that the service at Peter's is fairly decent. This could be related to some of the older locations as their staff has been there for a couple of years and speaks some English. Of all the Western restaurants in Chengdu, Peter's service is better than some of the more popular alternatives. The quality is about the same every time I go there so I am usually happy with the few dishes that I like to eat. They will also give you a discount if they know your face.
At the same time, I have a few criticisms of the establishment but they are not necessary to mention as there are plenty of bad reviews on this site. If you haven't been there, go try it out. The two locations on Tongzilin are pretty decent and I've had the best service at the location next to the ZongBei (did I spell that right?) International across from the Trust Mart by SCU.
The food here is above average. It is not 100% Thai food as it is more Chinafied as another reviewer mentioned. The service is among the worst in Chengdu. I don't know what it is among some of the foreign restaurants in Chengdu although I would assume it is most likely the Management. Say what you want about Peter's Tex Mex but they do have excellent customer service. I will not be going back to this restaurant ever again.