Soup dumplings from Fu Fu Cafe were one of the best snacks I ate while watching the Beijing Olympics. When I stopped into Dun Huang Plaza at Bellaire and Beltway 8 for take-out, I noticed that the center had set up a big screen television set and a bunch of chairs outside on the sidewalk. On the Chinese station it seemed like the table tennis competition was on all the time. I guess television crews from all over the world choose to cover the sports that are most likely to inspire national pride. And that’s why we have to watch so much beach volleyball. But no matter what event I watched during the Bejing games, I found myself craving Chinese food.
It started on the Saturday morning after the opening ceremony when I found myself at Fung’s Kitchen eating dim sum with a bunch of other friends who were similarly afflicted. Something about the 2008 synchronized drummers, the floating Chinese dancers and the technological miracle of the Bird’s Nest made us all crave xiao mai, sesame balls and hot tea.
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Chinese cooking lessons and scenes from Bejing restaurants on the
made it necessary for me to run out repeatedly throughout the week. I ate jellyfish, salt and pepper squid, and pork roast in garlic sauce while I watched Phelps win his eighth gold medal; baby bok choi and Shanghai noodles while the Jamaicans won the sprints and soup dumplings during the soccer finals.
Four years from now the games are in London. I guess we’ll be eating a lot of fish and chips and shepherd’s pie then. The candidates for 2016 games are Chicago, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo. From a purely culinary point of view, I am pulling for Madrid. – Robb Walsh