Romance & Coupons

1.pic_hdToday marks the one year anniversary of my current relationship. Yes, time has gone by fast as a Ramones record, and I have now been dating the same woman for 365 days. But, since today is a Sunday, we celebrated our anniversary yesterday and she’s back at her apartment now. I mean, really, who wants to celebrate anything on a Sunday? Personally, I can’t be truly happy unless the prospect of going to work is at least one full day away.

So, how does a couple in Beijing celebrate their one year anniversary? We decided to book a table at one of Beijing’s most well-known fancy restaurants – Temple Restaurant Beijing. When we arrived, I realized that the restaurant actually is in an old temple. One would think the name would give that away, but I didn’t connect the dots.

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See, it’s one of a great maze of temples and there are monk statues outside. One of the things I found weird was that our reservation came with a coupon. Yes, a coupon. Maybe this is a sign of my age, because a coupon just has such bad connotations for me. One uses a coupon to get thirty cents off a box of cereal, not to dine at an upscale restaurant. The coupon would go on to dictate our meal and, although I was apprehensive about it, that turned out just fine.

Now, I’ve noticed that there isn’t a lot of content on the Internet regarding Beijing’s restaurants (not very in-depth at least), so I thought I’d do a little run down of what we experienced at Temple. Here’s how our night went:

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The coupon got us both three course meals with wine pairings. First course was pumpkin soup for her and a caramelised onion for me. Both were nice and the wine pairings were excellent.

4.pic_hd9.pic5.pic_hdCourse Two. The restaurant surprised us with free salmon. Then I got the white tuna with a sweet fruity sauce and she got crab wrapped in carpaccio. All three dishes were excellent and better than the appetizers. The coupon was kicking ass!

6.pic_hd7.pic_hdMain Courses. She got the sea bass (good but not great) and I got the steak (fantastic). We had exhausted the coupon but were not ready to call it a night, and so we ordered chocolate melting cake for desert.

8.pic_hdI have to say, I was highly impressed with Temple Restaurant Beijing. We’ve gone to a lot of the nicer restaurants in Beijing and our experience here was one of the best. And, to be honest, also one of the most modestly priced, due to the ridiculously helpful coupon. The service was good, although the wait staff don’t all speak English (which was a little surprising) and my girlfriend (who is Chinese) had to do most of the ordering. We both left stuffed and slightly boozy, which is exactly how I want to feel leaving a place.

Tomorrow our relationship begins its second year. So hooray for us.

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