Sips & bites: Beijing ‘Ham’bulance, plus Backyard BBQ, Bloody Caesars, Tim’s Texas BBQ, Cava de Laoma, Migas

andy horowitz hambulance meat ambulance craft sausages beijing china
Sausage emergency? Call The Hambulance…



“Help! I need help!”

“What is your location, sir!?”

“I’m desperate [muffled] help me!”

“Sir, what is your location?”

“Central Park! In Central Park! Building 32!”

“What is your situation?”

“Sausage! I! I! I don’t have any! And I [muffled] boss is coming over [muffled] loves sausages! Aarrgggghhlluuggaaaooorrrwwweee!”

“What is that last sound you made?”

“I don’t know. I can’t read.”

“Stay calm. What specific sausage is affecting you.”

“Chorizo! I need chorizo. A dozen of [muffled] now!”

“Please stay in your location. We’re dispatching assistance.”

While Beijing residents have endured needless suffering through the periodic sausage shortages that have occurred in our fair city, a new development means no one need go chorizo-less again. Nicknamed by some “The Ham-bulance“, the vehicle above will soon be available to handle sausage emergencies in Beijing. Note: Owner Andy Horowitz prefers the name, “Meat Ambulance“, saying it is less cutesy and of more substance. You can see his sausage prescriptions here.

Also of note:

Simon Ge BBQ has secured a steady supply of Clamato juice and has thus permanently added Bloody Caesars, a Canadian twist on the Bloody Mary, to the menu at rmb40. Co-owner So Chan has also named the barbecue area out front, where he has been grilling sausages, burgers, corn, marshmallows and more the past few weeks, as The Backyard Barbecue. Even though, as noted, it’s in the front. And there is no grass. I’m predicting an appearance by some AstroTurf.

Look for Tim’s Texas BBQ to celebrate six years in its location near the Silk Market with a big bash on August 24. Get free barbecued brisket and cold beer from 4 PM to 8 PM, says owner Tim Hilbert. Get ice-chilled beer anytime from that cooler just inside the door.

Chilean wine shop La Cava de Laoma opened in Sanlitun Soho last week with a portfolio tasting that some intriguing wines, including a couple of Pinot Noirs and the budget-friendly ‘Urban’ Cabernet Sauvignon at rmb110. You can the shop in Building 3, first floor, near Bella grocery store.

Finally, in need of a poolside brunch in Beijing? Book a space at Migas on Sundays and get free-flow burgers, salads, ice cream, cocktails and more, plus one pool, shower and umbrella for each group. Check the poster below for contact details.


Big Tree Cookie Company: ‘Canadian’ cookies and more for delivery in Beijing

A new venture focused on ‘Canadian homemade gourmet cookies‘ — that should be ‘gourm-eh’, surely — is up and running in Beijing. Headed by Canuck baked goods specialist Dustin Merrett, the lineup from Big Tree Cookie Company includes peanut butter chocolate chip, cranberry white chocolate (‘full of Canadian cranberries and oats’), ‘jammies‘ (with seasonal fruit), ‘energizers’ (with nuts, fruits and grains), and a weekly special. Big Tree also does brownies. See the menu below for more details, including prices and delivery. A website is coming soon.


What the duck!?Massive Da Dong outlet opening at Workers Stadium

da dong roast duck and sea cucumber restaurant workers stadium beijing china (4)

Not sure how I missed it but a massive branch of duck restaurant Da Dong has been going up within view of my apartment near Workers Stadium. I drove past dozens of flower arrangements near the east gate earlier today and once home, with curiosity piqued, I pulled out the binoculars and saw, yes, there in the distance, the familiar logo of Da Dong in his tall chef’s hat. The restaurant is at the east gate, just before you enter, on the north side, and it includes a multistory restaurant, patio, garden and private car entrance. And for those who think Da Dong is only about duck, the sign argues otherwise, stating: “Dadong Super Lean Roast Duck & Chef Dong’s Braised Sea Cucumber“. (To be honest, it is best sea cucumber I have tasted.)

da dong roast duck and sea cucumber restaurant workers stadium beijing china (1)

da dong roast duck and sea cucumber restaurant workers stadium beijing china

da dong roast duck and sea cucumber restaurant workers stadium beijing china (3)

da dong roast duck and sea cucumber restaurant workers stadium beijing china (2)

Wham, bam, thank you Ssam: Last call for Briebimbap in Sanlitun Soho

After more than two years in Sanlitun Soho, Korean restaurant Ssam is closing, with plans to reopen early next year across the street in Sanlitun Village. This restaurant tends to evoke “love it or hate it” reactions: I am in the first group and enjoy the way chef Andrew Ahn puts new twists on Korean food. But it’s been hard for Ssam to gain momentum given that the food focus is a better fit for Nali Patio or The Village, that the restaurant is hard to find even by Sanlitun Soho standards, and that one of its neighbors is a club where patrons pay to spray sparkling wine at each other on the nearby sidewalk and leave a sticky mess (classy). Despite this, Ssam has left its mark on numerous food lovers in the city and hopefully will do it even more in the new location. You still have time to grab a bite at Ssam, with a planned closing date at the end of the month. Some items tried over the years (some are no longer on the menu)…

ssam sauteed chicken
Sauteed chicken with rice cake (dduk), sweet potato, sesame leaf and more. Hot stuff. (I had it yesterday.)
ssam dukpukki
1950s-style ‘dukpukki’. Ahn says that means glutinous rice and fish cakes cooked using pork fat. Add egg and serve.
Ssam Korean Restaurant Sanlitun Soho Beijing Bibimbap
Deconstructed bibimbap about to be destroyed by a pair of chopsticks.
ssam briebimbap bibimbap korean restaurant beijing china
‘Brie’bimbap. Quail eggs, asparagus, Brie and other goodies on top. A medley of veggies hidden inside. It’s like Christmas and your birthday at the same time.
kimchi mandu dumpling ssam korean restaurant sanlitun soho beijing china (1)
Kimchi, pork and cabbage dumplings topped with soy jelly. Ssam also had a version with foie gras inside.
Seaweed soup being made via a coffee filter.
Ssam Korean Restaurant Sanlitun Soho Beijing Bulgogi 1930s style
Bulgogi: A meaty lunch menu favorite.
ssam kimbap
Rice rolls a.k.a. kimbap, with mackerel.
Ssam Korean Restaurant Sanlitun Soho Beijing Caesar Salad with Tofu Lotus Seeds
A Korean ‘Caesar’ with tofu cubes and lotus seeds. Plus chicken nuggets rolled in nuts and seeds. Plus kimbap and kimchi pancakes on the side. From the original menu.
G.I. Stew at Ssam
G.I. Stew at Ssam. (That can’t be easy to carry around during battle.)
Ssam Korean Restaurant Sanlitun Soho Beijing Dessert including Baeksaeju Tiramisu
Tiramisu layered with the herbal Korean alcohol baeksaeju. One of the best desserts I’ve had in town.

He’s crafty: Horowitz to launch his sausages in Beijing this week

Ever been hanging out with your buddies and knocking back that second bottle of Jack D and found yourself saying, with a heavy sigh, “Man, what I wouldn’t give for an English-language, Beijing-centric, sausage-focused site complete with an image of an animated piece of bacon holding a gun or of Darth Vader using his lightsaber to grill some meat”? Because if you have, that’s one world class-length sigh.

Also, lucky you, because Andy’s Craft Sausages is slated to launch its site — — as early as tomorrow. (I wonder If he’ll agree to trade links, ha ha ha ha.)

You can catch Andy Horowize and his sausages out front at Tavalin Bagels at night this weekend. And he says he’ll have corned beef ready in ten to twelve days.

For now, you’ll have to make do with these screen shots: