A blue light shines on the transparent duck tongue jelly so that it resembles the Water Cube. Tasty deep-fried chicken and fish meatballs are served with a taro sculpture of a man wielding a golf club. Braised prawns are shaped like fire on a torch, while abalone and asparagus are made to look like dragon boats.
These are some of the genuinely creative dishes at Quanjude Peking Roast Duck's Asian Games Village branch, which officially changed its name to Quanjude Olympic Village Restaurant on July 8. The above-mentioned dishes are part of a large sports-themed menu from last year's Beijing Olympics. Start with a foie gras served with a piece of bread resembling a table tennis bat, and a tasty tennis prawn salad (网球虾球沙拉) or rugby kidney bean (橄榄球芸豆). Try a soup with bamboo, mushroom and cabbage, which is like a badminton ball (竹笙白菜菌汤) served in heated purple clay pot. For the main order check out the "torch" prawn, and ice hockey mutton racket and rice (冰球羊排). Finish with a walnut tart shaped like sailboat.
The average bill for this athletic meal is 160 yuan. Menu comes with English and Chinese dish names, with color illustrations.
Starting from July 8, Quanjude's roast duck souvenir cards have bar codes, which allow customers to trace the origin of the duck they ate, for the sake of food safety. Quanjude has installed a touch-screen machine at 10 to enable food safety enquiries.
Daily 11 am-9 pm. Bldg 1-3, A block, 309 Huizhong Beili, Chaoyang district, Asian Games Village. 6480-1686.
(China Daily August 17, 2009)