Tag Archives: Steaks

Getting to Know Milo Bar 8

For awhile, it seemed like Thuringia was the only thing remotely western at Wujin Wanda Plaza. This is, of course, if you discount the fast food of Dairy Queen, KFC, Burger King, and Starbucks. Oh, and Pizza Hut, too. Even then, that really isn’t saying much, because Thuringia is a chain that likes to call itself German but fails miserably in the execution.

The times I have eaten there in the past, salads seemed skimpy and glazed with sugar water. Their sausages were of poorer quality that the ones that can easily be bought at Metro — and the slogan, You can make much better food at home will never inspire you to fling money at an eatery trying to be foriegn in China. Somebody from Eastern Europe once complained Thuringia’s borscht tasted like Campbell’s tomato soup from a can. Wujin Wanda had better, at one point. Right after the mall opened years ago, there was a place called Erdinger, and the food was decent. However, it closed because it never attracted consistent customers — leaving Thuringia to foist it’s substandard cuisine onto hungry mall shoppers.

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Recently, I found what might be a credible alternative at Wujin Wanda: Milo Bar 8. I don’t know how long it has been open, because I don’t live in the southern part of Changzhou anymore. Today, I went to Wujin to get some eBike maintenance done, and I thought to reacquaint myself with the area and see how some it has changed since 2014 and 15.

Milo Bar 8 seems to be a mixture of a restaurant and a bar with live music entertainment. I haven’t actually seen any musicians performing, because I went in the middle of the day for a late lunch. But they had all the equipment to serenade diners in a cozy, somewhat posh looking setting. As for it’s location, it’s located on the ground floor and at the north end of the mall. The entrance is on the outside of the building, not the inside. So, how was the food? I felt only peckish and cheap. I very much wanted to be a tightwad (I had just doled out 1000 RMB for 10 new bike batteries), so I opted only for two chicken related appetizers.

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This was a slightly spicy chicken and cheese combo on top of garlic bread. It rain for about 38 RMB — for one piece of toast. Two other options include garlic shrimp as well as salmon and avocado. I found myself enjoying the cheesy chicken thingie. In a way, it was sort of a nostalgia moment for New Jersey. I haven’t really seen actual garlic bread around Changzhou all that much. While I thought this was pricey, I would order it again.  I would probably confuse the non-English speaking waitress by want two or three on one plate. Then, there was this…

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The menu listed this as “chicken burritos.” The “burrito” concept here is close, so I’m not going to argue with the restaurant. Chinese food has something similar in concept called 薄饼卷肉 Báobǐng juǎn ròu. It’s basically meat rolled up in thin flatbread,

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So, this is definitely not Mexican food, but as a sort-of international fusion dish, it works. This was definitely much better than anything I ever ate at Taco’s at Wujin Injoy, and that place DID call itself Mexican (and quite wrongly, too. Who puts mayonnaise into a beef soft taco and calls it sour cream?). The spiciness seems to come, here, from Chinese green peppers. It wasn’t too hot, and I would order this again, too.

Both appetizers intrigued me enough to want to try other things on the menu some other time. They do have steaks, a Caesar salad, and other things that look more western than Chinese. Some items are absurdly expensive. For instance, Milo Bar 8 has a slab of meat that will run you 1288 RMB. I neither kidding nor being sarcastic.

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Dear God, that has to be a typo! What is it? Super select Kobe beef marinated in the preserved sweat of Elvis Presley and sprinkled with the dandruff of unicorns??? I would NEVER order this.

To be honest, the service was extremely slow, but I will be forgiving of that because I walked into the place in the downtime between lunch and dinner. Many places in China lock their doors at that time. The hostess actually invited me in as I curiously flipped through the menu. The other thing is this: I live in Xinbei, now. I would cross town for Kaffa and Jagerwirt on occasion. For Milo Bar 8, I definitely wouldn’t.  Maybe I would if I was in Wujin on other business, like I was today? However, it’s on my radar now.  Yet, I also know this; I know how excited I would have been if I found this when I actually lived in the area a few years ago.

 

Western Beer Beef Steak

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Western Beer Beef Steak is a chain of restaurants with several locations throughout Changzhou and other cities. Some are more schmaltzy than others. Male staff wear cowboy hats, and the walls are adorned with pictures of rugged American cowboys — with thick mustaches. It’s weird to just go into these places to laugh at the strange ambiance.

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As for the food, it’s passable. It’s your standard set of cliched western food: steaks, pork chops, and more. Still, it’s still just “not quite.” For example, last time I ate there, I was served lamb chops on sizzling metal plate. Those lamb chops came with a sunny-side-up egg on the side with a few potatoes. The sides I got were also not so impressive. I had mashed potatoes with meat in them, and not to mention potato wedges with chili, sausage, and cheese on them.

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Loaded mashed potatoes is something I haven’t seen in Changzhou all that often with the exception of the now-dead Belahaus, but messy french fries are. Daniel’s, for one, serves what is called “Chilli Cheese Chips” in Xinbei; it’s very good. I dare say it’s currently the best in Changzhou when it comes to that particular dish. Chocolate’s German Bar, down in Wujin, also has something similar. At one point, Burger King had them. Belahaus, when they were in business, had them, too.

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There are two selling points to this restaurant. First, it’s relatively cheap. While the steaks are not the type you will not find in a high end restaurant, you have to realize that you are not paying high end prices. Also, Western Beer Beef Steak falls into a category like Pizza Hut. While it’s not a great restaurant, it’s an easy to find chain, and it’s a decent place to eat if you are in a place you do not know, and therefore do not have a lot of dining options.

Saucy Onion Sirloin at Monkey King

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So, I haven’t written anything for this blog in two days. The reason is simple: my university is at the end of its term, and I had to get grades calculated over the weekend. And one should always prioritize their visa-holding day job over what is an unpaid writing job done for fun. Once that task was complete, I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch at Monkey King Italian Restaurant in Xinbei. It was officially the end of the semester now, and I could celebrate.

Once I sat down and started looking at their new menu, I realized that coming to this place may not have been a good idea. Why order pizza when I will be in New Jersey in two days? Same for pasta and most other things on the menu like lasagna. So, I thought maybe I would opt for something NOT similar to average Italian American fare back in The States.

The end result was a sirloin topped with a rich, brown onion sauce. It complemented the steak rather well. Honestly, I do not eat steaks all that often; they are expensive, and I can be a cheapskate. So, this is one of the rare times I gave into the temptation. I had the sirloin medium, and the sauce blended nicely with the juices. Grilled vegetables and a few potato wedges circled the meat. At first, I thought the portioning of the sides were rather small, but I was rather full afterwards. It made me realize the the veggies were there likely to mop up the delicious sauce afterwards, and that is exactly what I did.

Note: While this post is categorized “Xinbei,” Monkey King has another location in Wujin. They have the same owner and the same menu. 

Chocolate’s Cheesy Steak

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When I want German food, I’ll go to Jagerwirt, and when I want a steak, I’ll go to Chocolate’s.

I used to say this all the time when I lived in Wujin. It might seem strange, because both German restaurants are run by the same people. While both share the same high quality of food, there really is a difference between the two places. Jagerwirt has a longer menu with more options. Chocolate’s menu is more concise, and it strikes one more as a general bar and grill. There seems to be less “German” at Chocolates and that is not necessarily a criticism.

I usually ordered the same thing each time I visited. It was called “New Zealand” steak. Whether it’s authentically Kiwi or not is another question.  It is, however, very good.  Essentially, it’s a thick cut covered in cheese and served with gravy and potato wedges.  The beef itself is of high quality and cooked well enough to be tender to the cut, and priced extremely reasonably when compared to steaks in other Changzhou restaurants. This was usually my go-to item on their menu.

Chocolate’s is located near Yancheng historical area, the Wujin Musuem, and the Spring and Autumn amusement park. If going by bus, the B1 is the easiest. It;s basically in the same row of eateries where Wujin’s Monkey King Italian Restaurant can be found.  Getting there requires passing under three metal dragons that arch over the road.