My first evening in Beijing my new friends Fred and Pockey took me to a beautiful restaurant on HouHai Lake in the center of Beijing. Very pretty at night with the lights on the water. It was very dark though and we all struggled to read the menus by the light on Fred's cell phone.
So I'm picking out what I want to eat and going through the menu and something stops me in my tracks. A collision between Web 2.0 and food in my first hours of Beijing.
I look down at the menu and say to Pockey, "Okay, I know my Cantonese is barely passable and my Mandarin is non-existent, but you have got to tell me what 303 is."
She says "What number?"
"Sam ling sam"
She finds it and starts laughing.
It is Stir-fried wikipedia.
So, after much discussion, here is what we think happened.
"Hey I'm making the new menu, what's the english name for those flat crispy mushrooms?"
"Um, there isn't one."
"Well what should I put down here?"
"I don't know, look it up in wikipedia."
Wikipedia with peppers looks like this:
And it is delicious.
So, thanks Jimmy Wales, for adding to the experience.
Update: Many people asked what the name of the restaurant was. While I was in China, things were happening so fast that I just didn't notice. But Pockey was quick to tell me. She says:
- "South silk road (cha ma gu dao) is the name and its at the (hou hai)"
Another Update: Mr. Codeman38 in the comments to this post directs us to another photo of Wikipedia in Beijing! Utterly bizarre.