How was the food in China?

Whenever I return from China I am  asked “how was the food?” The food is fabulous; not every dish suits the western palette but most do. Don’t be put off visiting China because of the food, that would be a big mistake. Spicy food doesn’t agree with me and if you also have a delicate constitution then watch out for the chillies.

My recent trip was 12 days in Shandong province. The food was plentiful and exciting; mostly served as a Banquet or Buffet with so many courses; usually ending up with rice. The Buffet food was usually identified in English so that helps with the decision-making.

I was on a group tour and the Buffet style food was extensive, you could eat Western style or Chinese. The Banquets were unreal, course  after course, seriously maybe 20 dishes would arrive one after the other. One of my favourite selections was the Peking Duck which I can thoroughly recommend as being mouth wateringingly good!  The fungi are excellent, not common button mushrooms but all sorts of interesting specimens.

Above: Peking Duck preparation

The hotels were all 5 star and chefs all wore the white chef hats. Food presentation was beautiful. Some buffets included sushi and salmon and tuna sashimi. Others had pasta areas where they would cook your choice on the spot. Steak was as common as fish. The selection of breads was very good and french pastries were on offer daily.

Above: preparing an omelette to order

 Above: A small floral arrangement from our table and a marzipan peacock that stood over a meter tall, very impressive.

Below: I saw cylinders of tiny New Zealand apples and noticed these odd-shaped grapes and flat peaches. Dragon fruit is refreshing and colourful.


We visited a modern food hall one day; unfortunately not to eat but to view  their cuisine. We were offered the odd nibble. The place was absolutely spotless. The bean curd pasta being cooked and hung to dry was fascinating.

I don’t suggest you eat the Intestines as above…and be wary of the fish,; these were fresh but not all fish is fresh.
Okra and a variety of Bok Choy and Broccoli were the frequent green vegetables and often salads and tomatoes but I was weary as to what sort of water they were washed in so  tended to stick with cooked vegetables. Water melon and bananas were plentiful  as was the fabulous dragon fruit and fresh rambutans.  Cakes, cakes cakes and more  cakes …a selection at every meal of 20 or so little cakes!  Fruit Cake was actually Green Tea cake.


Qingdao is on the Coast however many cities have large lakes where they catch fish daily for restaurants.  Shandong food features  a lot of seafood and a variety of cooking techniques. It is known for its fresh, salty, crisp, and tender flavors. Shandong cuisine chefs are very particular about making both clear broth and creamy soup and soup was served at every meal. Sometimes 2-3 types of soup.
I was on a photography trip and the organisers went to a great deal of trouble decorating these plates of welcome.   

If you are concerned about the food in China, don’t be..the choice is outstanding, the hygiene excellent. Street food yes beware.

Below: Dumplings served on warm stones

The fast train from Qingdao to Beijing was fabulous, we travelled at 307 k’s per hour. however the food selection on board was pretty standard. It tasted pretty much how it looked!! There was no choice, and drinks were limited to bottled water. I did manage to buy some ice-cream. The ice-cream in China is very good, perhaps because it was 38 degrees C.

So put China on your bucket list – stay in 5 star hotels and enjoy the  journey. Any queries contact me


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