Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pizzas in Hou Hai


As you can tell, Hou Hai is fast becoming my favourite Beijing haunt. I think it's because of the relaxed atmosphere, with so many things going on there, from the wonderful smells emanating from the restaurants to the singers performing cheesy numbers in the bars, the stalls selling Mao posters; and the people wandering the area, young and old, each finding their own adventure in Hou Hai.

A friend took me to a pizza place hidden among the hutongs. She had only been there once before and had forgotten exactly where it was and tried to locate it before I arrived.

The lotus flowers are just in bloom now and their brilliant pink petals are a beautiful contrast to their giant green leaves.

And just past the lotus flowers is Hutong Pizza, just off an alleyway.

It's a quaint old place, with many colours of paint on the beams. Local and expats frequent the place, which serves thin crust pizza, my favourite.

We started with Caesar salad, but it was Chinese style with cherry tomatoes, slices of cucumber and slightly toasted bread cubes. Nevertheless it was still refreshing.

Then arrived the main course. We ordered a small pizza with two toppings -- one was spinach with mushrooms and onions, the other with parma ham, artichoke hearts and olives.

The square pizza was sliced into triangles and both toppings were good, but I have to say the parma ham one was better. The former didn't have much spinach, but more mushrooms and onions instead.

Needless to say we were quite full after that and decided to take a walk all the way around the lake.

We stopped periodically to see some landmarks like a temple and a store selling Buddhist books and Chinese tea; children were crouched around pointing at what looked like a dead dragonfly; some men were still out on the water in the dark having their evening dip; and others had fishing lines cast in hopes of catching something in the water.

If Hou Hai wasn't so far from where I live, I think I'd hang out here more often. Each time I go I see or experience something new.

1 comment:

ks said...

that giant pizza makes my mouth water. in venice i tasted the best pizza i ever have. next time when i am in beijing i have compare it. after all the italian learned to make spagheti from the chinese it is also conceivable they learned to make pizza from the chinese as well. we too have ' bok tsung' and 'sui beng'. the former is a southern style fried pancake using sticky rice powder mixed with green onion or some dry shrimp. the latter is northern style oven baked plain flat bread using flour something like pita bread.