Bon Bon, restuarant in the Chongqing Tiandi development is indeed that, bon(bon means good in French for those who don't speak "freedom"). And on Sundays and Mondays I'd go as far as to add another Bon, with specials to rival any in town.
On Sunadays drinks are buy one get one free, making for a perfect place for the timeless hangover cure... more booze. Mondays from 12 -21:00(Tues. 0 Fri. 12 - 14:00) hamburgers are also buy one get one free, and this my friends is a deal not to be missed. Bon Bon's burger is possibly Chongqing's best, and worth the standard price, let alone the two for one. Juicy, flavorful beef, a well baked bun, with a side of salad and and perfectly crispy fries, is a meal that very well could find its self at restaurants back in the states. The only downfall being the everpresent(in Chongqing at least) use of processed cheese, that though not bad, isn't quite the real deal.
Tracking down hamburgers in Chongqing has been a passion of ours since here at cqscene for a long time. Times have not changed. I admit I've been a little slow on this one however, first hearing about the Beer Garden Bar and Grill, in Jeifengbei's Deyi Shijie bar area. In my defense however, we were still in a time of gray skies, and that unpleasant cold humidity that plagues the city. Needless to say, the weather then, was not the weather it is now, and last Friday, in the early evening nothing sounded better than sitting outside with a burger and a beer.
The beer, your standard "outside bar" Carlesburg draught, was made better solely for it being a cold beer on a warm day. The burger my friends, was one worth returning for. And though the food at hand gets its name from Germany, its no secret that America is where she was born and bred, and it was of no surprise to see the man behind the grill, to be from one of the 50 states. Cooked to perfection, the burger can be enhanced with a variety of items such as white chedar cheese, grilled mushrooms, and bacon to name a few, along with "gramma's secret sauce," and delightfully seasoned, hand-cut fries, the Beer Garden and Grill's burger rivals any to be tasted on either side of the two rivers. Being a passionate consumer of mustard after some good time spent in Germany, my experience was slightly soured by the lack of god's condiment, but head Chef Mike Shane was quick to assure me that they would be having it soon, as chili dogs are destined for the menu in the near future.
about a year or so ago I read this article, about a little known culinary treasure, that lay within our grasp. Shan Cha You(Mountain Tea oil), or Camellia oil, made from pressed tea seeds, and apparently has some fatty acids and antioxidants that are good for you. After doing some searching when I first heard about the oil, it wasn't until recently that I found it at one of those Yong Hui supermarkets that have been popping up all over town. The City Weekend article I linked to and wikipedia can do it more justice than I'm willing to give time, but I do cook with it and must say, prefer it other cooking oils, with the exception of olive, but at a fraction of the price you can't go wrong.
Moving to CQ 4 months ago, I made a decision to assimilate into the Chinese culture. The first stop: food.
We all know about Hot Pot. A big ole Pot that’s as hot on the way out as on the way down. But, as I have started to discover, Hot Pot is the tip of the iceberg…
A week ago I tasted my first “Bone Soup.”
The special treat of the meal is the bone (of course)! The diners put on the glove, take a bone, and proceed to use the straw to suck out the bone marrow. A bit of meat is on the bone as well, and can be gnawed off.
Overall, I was a bit perplexed by bone soup. The straw was a bit much for me, but the marrow was quite tasty. If your wanting a new adventure, check out one of the many Bone Soup shops around China.
Many times in my life, I have craved nothing more than a good burger and a Belgium waffle on a stick. Okay, maybe not on a stick, but after experiencing the joy of Waffei’s 2rmb sugar/syrup-infused waffles…..I AM HOOKED!
Of course, the waffle is nothing compared to the thick, juicy goodness of the Waffei-Burger. Real sesame-seed bun, a pound of juicy meet, sautéed onions, mushrooms, ketchup/mustard/mayo, real cheese, and BACON! Oh my sweet bacon cheeseburger, how I have missed you. The fries were thick cut, with light seasoning to compose a great compliment for the burger.
I will be heading back to Waffei for another Belgium-created burger experience. I’m still debating if next time I splurge for the Ultimate Waffle in addition to my burger.
Waffei is located on the 4th floor of HongYaDong, just outside the riverside elevators.
The rumors have been abound for years. Urban legends of trips to Shanghai and Shenzhen, dining on a pizza with flavors non conforming to the chinese pallet. A pizza that when eaten eyes closed, might evoke a sense of calm, of peace, of home.
The legend is true. Such a pizza does exist within the the walls of the middle kingdom, and now, also in Chongqing. Papa John's(棒约翰) opened their first CQ location last week at Wan Da plaza in Nan ping. And though the prices a bit high(130rmb for 14 inch), the pizza is GUUUUUUUUU. And for anyone who's rendezvoused with the big papa before will be happy to hear that, as always, your pizza comes accompanied with garlic sauce and peperoncinis. Now I don't know about y'all, but thats enough to make me want to throw my hand in the air regardless of the fact that i'm not a true player.
any one who's been a fan of cqscene for a while probably noticed last spring, that I have an affinity for the sweet, circular fried batter that we call doughnuts. So much so, that I am now dedicating my second post to the subject matter.
I have come across yet another legitimate example of what a doughnut ought to be, here in Chongqing(presumably throughout China). This time it comes from the fine folks at Qin Yuan bakery who have recently introduced a sugar sprinkled specimen that, though not excellent, could hold its own anywhere from here to Baghdad (traveling eastward).
Though not all of the Qin Yuan location carry them, most of the bigger ones do, and at a mere 1.5 RMB you cant go wrong.
"Ohhh.. it big" and she is not the only one who said it, when i asked a patron before i entered the so called Big Pizza. As usual a skeptic i was, as i have seen, been and tasted what is supposed to be, but cant come close to being American style pizza. unlike most things CQ Big Pizza does it bigg, American style big! and its not the very authentic tasting American pizza that does it , but its variety and service. Boasting an all you can drink beer and wine, a good size salad bar and selection of meats, veggies and side dishes that cater to foreign and local tastes a like, it is not hard to see why it is an easy choice for one CQSCENE'S best of Chongqing. So if you find yourself in Shapingba's san xia guang chang around lunch [45 RMB] or dinner [45 RMB] drop in to capital retail on the 4th floor. Don't forget to bring an empty stomach and pick up a CQSCENE sticker while your at it.
as i mentioned in my previous post, chonging can get damn hot come the summer-time. and with humidity to match the heat, often time you find yourself looking for a way to avoid becoming the world's largest jiaozi, that doesn't involve speanding the entirety of the day in -front of the AC. fear not friends! we have the solution, or shall i say solutions, for you.
all summer long we'll be giving you tips on how to "beat the cq heat." and first on the list(with the exception, of course, of our friend mentioned below) comes to you all the way from the usa. yes, cq now has a dairy queen(aka DQ). and though it lacks the burgers, fries, etc., found in the DQ you may be used to from home, it does have quite the offering of frozen treats, the highlight of which being the blizzard(oreo w/ banana in my case). to get there just hop on the light-rail to yang jia ping, or take a cab or bus(i take the 402 from shapingba) to yang jia ping bu xin jie(aka"fu an bai huo") and go into the "grand ocean" department store building right next to the station. your escape to ice-cold extacy awaits you in the bottom floor. though not hard to find by merely keeping your eyes open, a simple "DQ zai n'ar?" asked to any of the workers ought to get you there.
2 new locations are in the works and will be opening in the near future @ Hong Ya Dong in Jeifangbei, and Paradise Walk in Jiangbei.
great coffee, descent pastries.
...actually i prefer a mocha, more so an espresso. and when i want one, i now know where to go thanks to cqscene reader Tiankong, who put me on to Holiland, which i am eternally grateful for. Holiland, the bakery chain found throughout CQ, has good coffee/coffee drinks, at an unbeatable price. to quote tiankong,
"if you're on the go... the best cup of coffee is holliland... 6 kuai quick and deliciously caffeinated,"
products range from espresso and americanos(goes great with a dico's doughnut), to mochas and vanilla lattes, at a cost of 6 -12 kuai. and to top it off, the coffee they use is one of my personal favorites, illy. and if you happen to be in longhu/xin pai fang, the holiland there has tables and free wi-fi, though it lacks atmosphere, its well suited for your coffee sipping web-surfing needs.
and as you know by now, i take any chance i get to share music with you that i can tie into my posts(however 'loose' the knot may be'). this song has been on my summer playlist non-stop since i came across it. the Super Viral Brothers' "hot chocolate + polar bear rug" (dada life rmx). download the song here.
p.s. if a you have any suggestions, tips or questions, please leave them as comments or email us through the contact page.