Beijing Salad Bar

salad bar.jpg

This is from an amusing post over at Boing Boing. The caption:

This is the best thing I’ve seen in a long while. Robyn Miller sez: “This is a photo from a Chinese PDF manual. The manual explains, via text and a lot of fun photos, how to cram as much food as possible on one of those tiny Pizza Hut bowls at the salad bar. They’re only allowed one trip. My cousin lives in Beijing. When he goes to Pizza Hut, he says this is what most people are busy building.”

The post has links to more reflections on salad bars in China.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

Chinese Salad Bar

I was reminded of this via Richard at The Peking Duck, who found a similar thing posted on BoingBoing last week. Posting this photo—taken in a Pizza Hut in Beijing—has been on the back of my mind for a while now. I was dining solo at the time (my m…

December 15, 2004 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

They must be pretty good at Jenga too… 🙂

December 16, 2004 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

I’ve spent many a happy hour in Beijing Pizza Huts watching these things being built.

Then watching the builders leave having eaten a fraction of their creation!

December 16, 2004 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

I too can vouch for the authenticity of such claims, for I occasionally dine out at Pizza Hut too, here in Shenzhen, and I have sat and watched in amused horror at how some people are greedy enough to pile their plates up with food, as if they were building a salad highrise.

What’s more bizarre are the strange combinations that people construct: huge thick dollops of salad mayonaise piled onto slices of pineapple, followed by a layer of lettuce and cherry tomatoes, then thin slices of watermelon, smothered once again with mayonaise, ad infinitum….

No wonder these people usually end up eating only a small fraction of what they have accumulated. Such combinations must surely taste disgusting.

I actually find such behaviour to be quite disturbing. To remove that much food from the “communal” salad and fruit bar, only to then disgard most of it, is not only wasteful, but also anti-social and outright inconsiderate.

Meanwhile, out on the nearby streets, are people to be seen daily scraping food scraps from bins. I gave 20 RMB to a woman I saw feeding her young child soggy bits of bread retrieved from a street-side bin only the other day in fact. I continued my walk to the bus stop quite literally in tears.

China is certainly a country of great extremes.

Mark Anthony Jones

December 16, 2004 @ 10:35 pm | Comment

“anti-social and outright inconsiderate”

Just arrived in China?

December 17, 2004 @ 2:11 am | Comment

RE: they must be good at Jenga, this is a game that I used to play frequently with Chinese kids when I wasn’t teaching in a university. You can actually find a rip-off Chinese version in some of the toy markets and if you’re willing to spend the 25 yuan, it’s good for hours of classroom time. You ask a question, they pull a block is how it works. They are indeed very adept at Jenga, though some of the brattier ones just want to knock it down the first chance they get.

December 17, 2004 @ 5:15 am | Comment

The Nanchang Pizza Huts have a policy now that you have to pay more if you don’t eat all (or at least most) of your salad. I think it’s the craft and skill that attracts people to make these – they even have salad-tower-building competitions. One of my students won one once.

December 18, 2004 @ 7:28 pm | Comment

Umm, that was me just now.

December 18, 2004 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

hmm….looks like us Singaporeans are going to lose the ‘kiasu’ title very soon. Being ‘kiasu’ is so uniquely Singaporean, as you’d remember, Richard, kind of afraid-of-losing-out-on-the-best-deal-meets-me-first attitude.

December 22, 2004 @ 7:26 am | Comment

The Singaporeans would never be so rude as to hog all the food on a salas bar.

December 22, 2004 @ 8:28 am | Comment

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