I don’t understand why Big Easy (Chaoyang Park, south gate) doesn’t get more exposure. The layout, bands, bar grub and Bloody Marys are all good. I’ve been there a half-dozen times and always enjoyed myself. / I’m increasingly finding myself at The Pavillion. Last Saturday night, I sank into one of those huge leather chairs and split a bottle of sherry (RMB280) with a friend. I was back the next morning for the buffet brunch – its hardy fare with bottomless coffee and tea (how about adding juice?) for 68 kuai. / My friend K-Dog [Kraft-D] wonders why every bar seems to use those bland bottled olives in their martinis. Is anyone out there using high-end garnishes? If not, why not? / Beijing’s service industry took a serious hit when Li Yan moved back to his hometown in Henan Province. He was a security guard at my office and was friendly, courteous and efficient. Whether helping to direct traffic, unloading parcels or loaning taxi money to office workers who had forgotten their wallets, he epitomized good service and will be missed. (Note: this guy should be training the guards, not working as one.) / Finally, it being a new year and with the newsletter now eight issues and 20,000 words old, I extend thanks to six people who have gone above and beyond in backing my little e-newsletter project, whether it be in terms of testing the city’s establishments (Sherry Tan, Mike Wester), giving background on the food and drink scene (Frank Siegel, Don St. Pierre) or providing moral support (Ro King, Kevin Dempsey). I really do appreciate their help and that of everyone else who has written to me. Cheers, BB.
(From Beijing Boyce VIII, first emailed on January 13, 2006)