Lambchops

Andrei Marks · June 13, 2008

Well, yesterday was my last day at my internship. For my going away dinner they took me out to this really amazing, if slightly odd, place.

First of all, the whole shtick of the dinner was that we’d be having 烤全羊 as the main course. Kaoquanyang, literally “roast whole lamb”. And it was certainly very whole! They plopped it right there in the center of our table, red and spiced. Haha, we had to cut it ourselves. The thing was maybe three feet lengthwise (missing the head and all the innards of course), I wish I had a decent camera because I would have taken pictures to put up. I’ll try and get some of the pictures from my colleagues. Anyway, the lamb, the staff said, was about a year old, roasted for between three and four hours, and then served like so. Pretty good, although I prefer more flavor, I need sauce!

The odd thing about the place was its location. We had to drive out 40 minutes from the city center (well, we left while there was traffic so maybe an hour or so), to a place not far from the airport. Then we drove through all these walled off farm/light industry plots of land, down these sometimes dirt roads, to a closed gate. It was already dark by then, because it was late and extremely cloudy; I felt like we were in the mafia, heading out to meet with the don or something. We get to this gate, honk the horn, and they open the gate and wave us in. There was a big courtyard, with a building that had lots of Christmas lights hanging up over the entrance, no name or anything. We had to walk maybe 10-15 yards to the door through a neat little orchard in front of the building, and over a little glass bridge that spanned this tiny running moat.

And inside, was just wow. Not flashy or ritzy, just spacious and rich. Rich, is the best way I can think of it, and extremely tasteful. Sparing and clean. High ceilings, very few tables, wide spaces, and lots of wood around, plain walls save the well-chosen art. Very different from the city center. It looked almost like a home. Just not the sort of thing you’re expecting out at a 农家 place. The 13 of us had a private room, also impeccably decorated, although this room’s art was a little more eclectic than the main room. Aside from the Chinese calligraphy and other art there was this large renaissance cupid playing a lute tapestry, and then slightly more puzzling, this panoramic painting (maybe 7-8 feet long) of a futuristic sci-fi city. Bizarre, haha, I liked that one the best though.

So all in all, good food, good people, good fun! Here’s a joke I learned:

在一个屋子里有四个人在打麻将。

突然,警察们闯进了!

过了几分钟,他们就把五个人抓走了。

第五个人是谁?

Nobody got it then. Scroll down for the answer!

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第五个人就是麻将!

哈哈哈!

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