As you can see, I am not done posting about food I've eaten in China! I think eating was my full-time job!
I attended many banquets throughout Northeast China, and could only steal a few shots from each. Some dishes were really awesome, others, not so much. I will refrain from long commentary and just categorize the dishes to give you an idea of the spectrum.
BBQ Pork-Northeast China take on a Cantonese Star Dish
Sauteed Clams-the server actually plucked off the clam meat out of the shells one, by, one in front of us!
Candied Fried Yams with Confetti Sprinkles! Nice use of the very American Betty Crocker-like sprinkles!
Fried and Steamed Sweet Buns with Condensed Milk as a Dip-Absolutely addictive! Unfortunately, I only had it once
Delicious But Appeared All Too Frequently:
Pot of Braised Potatotes, Pork Ribs, Clear Potato Noodles, and Corn Bread-It was awesome the first two times...then I grew tired of having meat & potatoes for every meal
MaLa (Tongue-Numbingly-Spicy) Sauteed Cabbage-Tasty but is the only vegetable dish at most restaurants in Northeast China (NE China is a very meat & potatoes kind of place)
Sauteed Spicy Eggplant-the best way to cook eggplant! But I had it for every meal!
And Of Course the Inescapable Dumplings-I was, afterall, in Northeast China, the home of dumplings
Dishes I Simply Didn't Care For (Very Few):
Spicy Jellyfish and Cabbage Salad (I like jellyfish salads, but the sauce they use in Northeast China just ruins this common Chinese banquet appetizer)
Spicy Cucumber Salad-I'm not fond of the vinaigrette
Most Memorable, Which I Would Like to Make Forgettable:
What I Call, "Papaya Surprise!"-A Sea Cucumber/Slug Floating in a Delicious Clear Broth in a Steamed Papaya-I give them props for creatively substituting the slimey dark brown papaya seeds with the slimey gigantic sea cucumber. Kudos! However, creativity, excellent broth, nor anything else, can ever make sea cucumbers taste delicious.
Soy Sauce Braised Whole Fish with Dried Bean Curd, Tofu Skin, Fried Tofu, and Eggs-Delicious and homey, but knowing that the 2 fish came out of polluted waters scared me. I had visions of walking out of the banquet all radioactive.