So, 2K9 is down in the books. we’ve jumped head first into 2K10 and the door was slammed behind us signaling a “no going back” policy!
I made it to loads of concerts, managed to eat plenty of meals and have a boatload of drinks. Which ones stood out?
Best Live Performance:
– Dirty Deeds for their reunion show at Yugong Yishan in September. The energy, the fun and musical ability of the band combined with a JAM PACKED venue and great tunes is a rare occurrence in Beijing. Hands down the best show of the year and i look forward to a possible repeat in the near future.
– Xie Tian Xiao (谢天笑) at MIDI: The passion exhibited by the crowd when he took the stage was amazing. The only thing i can compare it to is when the crowd rushed the stage during Cui Jian’s show at Chaoyang popfest a few years back. He is definitely deserving of the “Mr. Live Music” title. more here
– ZIYO’s show at 2 kolegas during the Christmas shindig. I remember vaguely being at a “Pet Conspiracy” concert a few years back but i wasn’t so impressed with Helen Feng that time. Things changed last month when i saw her perform with ZIYO and I needed plastic surgery to get my tongue back in my mouth. more here
Best Find (restaurant):
Na Jia Xiao Guan: To say that this restaurant impressed me is an understatement. I found out about it while researching dianping for the best rated Chinese restaurant in Chaoyang district and I was not disappointed. Yes, the staff can be a bit rude but when you make a venison stew that is to die for, I’ll cut you some slack.
Kashgar Provincial Restaurant: Best Xinjiang food in Beijing.. no contest! It’s a bit hidden, the decoration plain but the meal I had there was nothing short of amazing. The lamb melted in my mouth, the vegetables walked that fine line between crunchy and mooshy to perfection
Best Find (musical):
– ZIYO: yup, the same as above! I think I’ve gotten past the whole stalking idea but that lady still haunts me. Great live shows, amazing energy and they actually CAN play music as opposed to a whole bunch of pretenders out there.
– Lions of Puxi: Great live band! I won’t hold the fact that they are from Shanghai against them and urge you to go check them out next time they are visiting ol’ smoggy.
– The Redbucks: Bluegrass in China.. need I say more? if that’s not enough, I’ll tell ya that these cats know how to play their instruments, can out-stomp you on the table, out-drink you under the table and one of their singers has the best voice in Beijing not to mention a smile that will melt you down.. that’s what i thought, see you at their next show!
Best Daze Hangouts:
– Fubar: Somehow, I have followed the Chad Lager trail through Beijing and his newest is the closest thing to a local I’ve had since I left the US. The staff is friendly, the alcohol top notch and the pours are generous! The cocktails are improving steadily and I dare anyone to find a better value in Beijing. Their headhunter happy hour is pretty unusual but everyone reaps the benefits!
– Salud in Nanluoguxiang: Still my favorite dive in this city! I love love love love the Rums and would be there way too often if it was closer to my hunting grounds. It’s unpretentious, friendly and warm. that said, I only go there for the rums… I’ve had some of their cocktails before and I won’t be trying them again.. but the rums keep me coming back for more!
– Enoteca: Best value and quality as far as wines go in Beijing. I love what they’ve done with that place and how inviting it has become. The minervois at RMB 159/bottle rocks my socks off everytime! Their Friday all-u-can-eat tapas w/ red wine is almost hazardous to one’s health.
Other Dazed Mentions & Moments:
Beijing Boyce: For being a great inspirations and continuously keeping up and informing the readers with the latest happenings in Beijing! He is the reference in terms of Beijing’s nightlife
Eileen Wen Mooney: This lady knows her Chinese cuisine! Definitely get her book and follow her blog for great eats and insights into Chinese food in general, may it be restaurants, recipes or places.
The Beijinger Blog: Thank you guys for spreading the word about BeijingDaze and your encouragements.
Of course, there’s a lot of things that went unmentioned in here but as far as outstanding goes, that’s where it’s at!