Archive for the ‘Eat’ Category

thePULL: Intl Children’s Day (follow-up)   Leave a comment

Now I know it’s a little late, but everyday is essentially an “International Children’s Day” (annually June 1st)!
One of Pullman’s special little guests tastes the great desserts and became a personal mini-chef! Quite a determined little one, I’ll say.
See here for the offer we added on the day of.




Bon. Très bon.


Success! – Yak Poutine!   Leave a comment

Success! I have done it. Yak Poutine.

With the first trial of the yak poutine, it was definitely something along the normal frites, gravy and cheesecurds of Montreal.

To introduce, la poutine originates in a small county town somewhere in Quebec Canada (specific location argued), and is a staple in many restaurants in eastern Canada.

The basic components of the poutine are french fries, cheese curds and a gravy or salty sauce. Available in many chains, the likes of KFC

and McDonald’s will never compare to St. Hubert’s or other small Quebec shops. It’s true that the platter is loaded with oils and fats, but if you have the right ingredients and the right chef, it’s an amazing mixture that ignores being scientific and enjoys the life of eating. I prefer my fries crunchy, not soft, with the cheese soft but supple, warm and aromatic, and the gravy spiced and salty and hot, not warm.  Some prefer an entire soft mass, like mashed potatoes with toppings. But that’s not poutine then.


Scroll to China.

It is by far a long stretch away to get anything remotely related to poutine, especially good cheese.

So I improvise.

In a quaint little hidden secret alley of  Lijiang is a grungy but homey Tibetan restaurant. I first came to have a great meal of Tibetan cuisine, and a large variety of dishes were all exceptional. I was served a dish with sweet, fried yak cheese, put some in my mouth and finished it, licking the plate clean and all.

A ‘Reminder Revelation’ occurs. Cravings, deep cravings for poutine emerge. Eyes open wide .O_O.  A soft, low, heavenly voice, whisper-to-the-ear chill came: …~ Poutine ~…  it chimed so sweet, tastebuds rejoicing in the memories of Montreal …~ Poutine ~
And I was determined to have some the next time I was here. I hope I am credited with bringing the style of poutine the mountain regions of China ..!

From the image at top, it was trial 1. Clearly something awkward and confusing to the chefs, waitresses and customers of the restaurant, but I persisted. A small crowd formed. I continued the request …

Details of the yak poutine:

1 / Fresh local potatoes sliced and deep-fried to a crisp, with a bit of chili for taste. No salt added.
Individual result: Absolutely amazing on it’s own, requiring no salt to taste. It had a natural potato aroma, sort of yam-like, and not the empty starch taste you get in your local fast food chain. Crunchy. The ‘nacho’ chips were one thing, but fries will be next.

2 / Fresh yak cheese fried cut to small chunks and sweetened.
Individual result: Again, another amazing thing to have. A light cheese aroma, a bit oily, but sweeten quite a bit. Great with bread, dry roast baba (a type of local cake), rice and crackers. Soft and delectable. Perhaps less sugar for the next platter. Great with the chips.

3 / The sauce. Made of a previous Tibetan beef stew and boiled with added corn starch to thicken.
Individual result: Was not warm enough, was watered-down (from the less content) and had too much starch. But individually, it had a slight hint of the stew and the peppers and light spices that made it a great stew. Again, the starch was a bit much, as it quickly cooled into a gelatin. Next time add more salts and chili powder, less starch, no added water.

Combination: High potential to be a great dish! A few modifications and it’ll be a huge culinary wave across China and the Himalayan countries! … at least with Canadians.

“Which restaurant is it? I want some!”  Said earlier, it’s a little hidden restaurant in Lijiang, off the main road of 七星街 (Literal translation: 7 Stars Road) and the following is their plaque… Care for a try? Drop me an email as you wish.

Zang Ba Bao Butter Tea Museum (Tibetan Restaurant) : 藏八宝酥油茶馆 (ZhanBaBaoSuYouChaGuan)


…~ Poutine ~
Darwin Ma
Pullman Lijiang Resort and Spa team 

thePULL: 黎明村 Liming and Mushroom Season (snippet of Cordyceps)   Leave a comment

Continued from ‘黎明 Liming and the Old Man’s Tale‘  , the following is moreso of the natural explorations of 黎明.

The following pictures are of the mushrooms while climbing 千龟山, literally translated to ‘Thousand Turtle Mountain’.  The mountain is a signature karst red rock formation that looks more like brains rather than turtle shells, but I would suppose turtle shells sounds more dinner-friendly.

Mushrooms and fungi of Yunnan are popular all over China and internationally.  Many importers seek Yunnan to supply their kitchens, from Italy to Thailand, from the Arabs to Australia.  I was on the lookout for any and all types of species of mushrooms and fungi, so see below on what we have found!  They come in all sorts of colours, shapes, sizes, and smells, though the latter I was weary of my safety ..

AS A GENERAL RULE, have the utmost caution for all wild mushrooms.  Even regular mushroom hunters get mistaken sometimes, as many may give ill-effect after a few weeks with required liver or spleen transplant for some intense species.

Also, we at Pullman Lijiang can help to find a guide if you are interested in the Mushroom Season, between July to early September.
A general trip would not need a guide, but if you want to know what’s edible, find a local!

Enjoy the (few of many many many) mushrooms of Yunnan!


I am curious what these white sacs are…  whether they are draining rain and nutrients from the leaf (pathogen shroom), or an interesting insect sac …


[above]   Do you see three types at the left?

[above]   Baby octopus mushroom of the Geastraceae family (earthstars)!  Brown poison on the right..
[below]   Left: looks like a piece of liver!  Centre: Big and Red (鸡肝菌?).  Right: Big-time gills.

These and a few more will be on our FLICKR Page!

There are some neat things called the Cordyceps sinensis, a fungi family of parasitic species that affect larvae.
The larvae of ghost moths burrows into the ground then the fungi spawns out and continues it’s spread with other ghost moths and larvae, whether airborne or consumed or passed on from parent moth to larvae, it is unknown. But we know that this little phenomena of biology is used a lot for Chinese medicines and slowing going into Western, as more research is conducted..


See more at or  As per Mr. Daniel Winkler, professional mycologist of northeast Tibet.

Keep Mushroaming,

Darwin Ma
/ Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa exploring around Lijiang!


thePULL: Orchard Outbreak   Leave a comment


Location: Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa. Lijiang Yunnan.


Synopsis: We have a curiously large mass outbreak of what seems to be deemed a subspecies of Malus domestica : apples.
Their origins are yet to be identified, as they are invading the Pullman Lijiang complex at an alarming rate. Scientific examinations are showing fluctuating seasonal growth, with the most infestation occuring within the next few months, as the seeds are preparing for remanifestation.

We need reinforcements.

Some researchers has found the following on related species:

LONGEVITY…: The Chinese University of Hong Kong discovered that fruit flies who were fed an apple extract lived 10 percent longer than other flies who were fed a normal diet. Maher, Theresa. “Antioxidants Found in Apples May Extend Lifespan”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Retrieved 24 March 2011.

BUT TOXIC: However, apple seeds are mildly poisonous, containing a small amount of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside [raw material for toxic Hydrogen Cyanide]; it usually is not enough to be dangerous to humans, but can deter birds. Juniper BE, Mabberley DJ (2006). The Story of the Apple. Timber Press. p. 20. ISBN 0881927848.

The local guests are welcome to enjoy the organic, unsprayed apples, but be wary of their seeds … !
A mass harvest will take place once we identify their date of full maturity. Until then, we will await the impending challenge of these Malus domestica leeching away at the red soil …

Darwin Ma
– doesn’t eat apples.

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