The Deep Dish: Go for the Innovative Foie Gras and Blueberry Pizza at Tiago

As online voting continues for the 2017 Pizza CupThe Deep Dish will be previewing a few of the restaurants vying for the title of Beijing's most beloved pie. So take a look, grab a slice, and pick the team you want to be victorious.

Opened in late 2014, the Tiago brand is proudly expanding, now with three locations (at Indigo, Chaoyang Joy City, and Xidan Joy City): family-friendly Tiago, sister venue Casa Talia in Dongzhimen Raffles City, and the recently softly opened fine dining restaurant Combal in COFCO Plaza.

READ: These Are the 30 Pizza Vendors That Will Feed You 'Til You Drop at This Weekend's Pizza Festival

We went back to the very first Tiago in Indigo to try their pizza (of course), and during our visit on a weekday at lunchtime, this airy place with high ceilings was quite busy but in order. We opted for a half-and-half pizza: one half being the premium rustica-parma mushroom truffle sauce and honey pizza (RMB 128 for a whole), and the other half being foie gras & blueberry pizza (RMB 99 for a whole). No matter how ungratefully we've complained how much pizza we’ve had to eat as of late, this steaming hot pizza left us stuffing our mouths in silence and secretly wishing for more. Those who follow our blog might know how much we like their premium rustica-parma mushroom truffle sauce and honey pizza, an upgraded version of their original rustica-parma mushroom truffle pizza which has enjoyed incredible popularity since it came out last year. The sweet truffle honey sauce mixes beautifully with the salty prosciutto di parma and the thick dough topped with grilled mushrooms, parma ham, and fresh mozzarella.

The other half – the foie gras & blueberry pizza – may sound bizarre, but it was tasty. How could posh diners like us refuse foie gras? The foie gras provides a savory flavor and rich texture, while the fresh blueberry brings a contrasting fruity and sweet flavor, and the soft cheese and sliced almonds give the texture interest. The secret of the pizza? “We use the best Farina 00 flour, and ferment the dough for 18 hours,” said owner Katie Li,

Other popular dishes are various and sizable salads, Angus tomahawk steak (using 150-day grain-fed Australian beef), half Boston lobster with Australian Angus grain-fed tenderloin (RMB 288), and their signature tiramisus with original, strawberry, and matcha flavors (check here for our impression of matcha tiramisu). They also have a lunch set: your choice of seven 10-inch pizzas with a mini salad for RMB 68-98, reasonable enough for the Jiuxianqiao working bees nearby.

Despite their pizza's unconventional flavors and upscale-yet-rustic appearance, the pricing and flavors are fit for anyone. We hope that Tiago's recent growth spurt continues, bringing these pies to every corner of the city.

More stories by this author here.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @flyingfigure
Instagram: @flyingfigure

Photos: Tiago, Tracy Wang

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Companies Increasingly Accept and Cash In On China’s Underground Anime Culture

This post comes courtesy of our content partners at TechNode.

Bilibili might be a lesser-known name for those who are not interested in the ACG (animation, comics, and games) culture or for those who live outside of China, but its impact on the Middle Kingdom is obvious: the site's number of total monthly active users is on par with that of Pinterest, especially with young demographics now commanding more mainstream influence over the past few years.

Bilibili, widely known as “B Station” (b站 in Chinese), is the spiritual home for Chinese ACG fans. Founded by Xu Yi in 2009, the site models itself on the early days of Japanese ACG video portal Niconico with its  integration of danmu (弹幕, “bullet screen” in English or “danmaku” in Japanese), a feature that allows viewers to plaster the screen with instant comments that move from left to right.

READ: Foreign Video Content Purged From Streaming Sites AcFun and Bilibili

The rise of B Station finds its root in the spread of “2D culture” in China, characterized by fans who develop a strong attachment to 2D characters in cartoons, tradeable cards, comics, games, and youth novels. In 2015, iResearch estimated that this community had reached 219 million people.

Influenced by this underground trend, China’s mainstream culture is embracing a more open attitude toward content generated by 2D fans. The concept – people freely entertaining each other as an anonymous collective, akin to 9GAG – is gradually being adopted by broader society. For example, an autotuned remix of a Lei Jun’s speech and other memes created on B Station have recently gone viral.

The mainstreaming of 2D culture underlines a great demographic shift as China’s post-'80s and post-'90s groups – both highly-educated digital natives – are coming of age, giving the marginalized ACG culture a demographic dividend. According to data from the company, the average user age is 17 years old, with 75 percent of users being under the age of 24.

China's millennials are growing into independent consumers, bringing their tastes and wallets with them. And it’s no surprise that the latest fads among Chinese youths are already changing the way brands behave.

Among a hall full of teenage elves and fantasy warriors at Bilibili World last week, we found booths for a roster of international brands from KFC, Nike, and Maybelline to Kotex. However, these outlets are somewhat different from what you could find in downtown shopping malls.

In the Nike demo zone, cartoon characters replace NBA stars to show off Nike sneakers. Feminine hygiene brand Kotex turns its booth into a Japanese-style temple where visitors can wish for good luck during periods or whatever they want. (We are still wondering why this booth was so popular with the boys).

KFC continues its partnership with Bilibili after a joint live-stream marketing company last year when two anime-styled girls competed to eat 50 pieces of fried chicken. Over 200,000 users watched them in real time.

READ: Bilibili Stars Bypass China’s Fame Machine

The brands are still finding their approaches in marketing to this special group. “On the first day of the show, Maybelline’s booth was basically a typical representation of their department store versions. They became more popular in the following shift when helping cosplayers freshen up their makeup,” said Yang Liang, Bilibili’s marketing and PR head.

What we saw at Bilibili World is just a part of China’s efforts in co-opting manga and animation as marketing tools. Xiaomi launched a limited edition of its Redmi Note 4, dedicated virtual idol Hatsune Miku, complete with accessories adorned with Miku’s color scheme. Alibaba’s e-commerce website T-mall was heavily decorated with manga-style artwork to help boost sales in the lead-up to the Chinese New Year in 2016.

Even government entities are attempting to reach the younger demographic with 2D appeal. China’s Central Communist Youth League established its presence on Bilibili to better propagate its message, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs used cartoon figures to add flavor to their public WeChat account posts.

Image courtesy of China Film Insider

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Say Cheese: Spot Yourself Among the 17,000+ People at This Year’s Pizza Cup

Another year, another successful Pizza Festival in the bag. As expected, this year's festivities were the biggest on record, with over 17,000 hungry pizza lovers coming out to Wangjing Soho over two days to feast on the wares of more than 30 pizza vendors.

Saturday got off to a slow start, in part due to a threat of rain, a smattering of pollution, and some electrical issues on our part. However, once the ovens were on, the crowds began to gather and by early afternoon bellies were filling up in record time. Attendees were treated to entertainment from the National Hockey League's very own Beijing-based cheerleaders as well as music from DJ Cousin Kippy, and Club Mix's DJ Bombaklat Lee and DJ Freshmoney.

READ: How We Ensure a Fair Fight for Our Pizza Cup Balloting

Sunday, however, passed hitch-free and the combination of beautiful sunshine, a slight breeze, and near-zero pollution brought the people out in droves. Stevie Mac and The Mac Daddies and Caribbean jazz band Time Out provided the tunes before a carnival performance by the ladies of Moonglow Burlesque, as well as a lion dance, and a dama parade to close out the show. Finally, a special thank you to our hosts throughout the event: Marlon Ma, Choize Ma, and Joshua Lally.

On that note, we'd also like to thank everyone who came out and made this event our best yet, but our work isn't over yet. It's worth reminding you that stuffing your face over the weekend at our annual Pizza Festival only marks the beginning of voting in our month-long Pizza Cup. If you happened to discover a new favorite pizza over the weekend, our know who you want to win this year's championship, give the restaurant some love by scanning the QR code below and voting through our WeChat-friendly system.

Finally, get an eyeful of this year's event in the pictures below. See you next year for more of the same!

Photos: Uni You

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The Job Hunt: Music Management, Travel Journalism, and Basketball Coaching

Who wants to spend their Beijing days locked up in a boring, dead-end job, with horrible colleagues you'd rather never see again? As our beloved reader, you should know that you don't have to submit yourself to such an unbearable life of sadness. Instead, take a look below at the best of our job Classifieds.

Outdoor Activities Organization Need Hiking Guides
China Outdoors Club is seeking guides to lead hikes, treks, walks and camping trips to the Great Wall and in the mountains. They also host historical tours of Beijing, hoping to offer guests a "local's perspective" on the city's well-known and lesser-known attractions. Interested parties "must be fit, have a lot of hiking experience, and be eco-friendly." If you love the outdoors and struggle to find the time to get outside, knock out two birds with one stone with this job.

Travel Video Planner and Anchor
Chengpu Communications is seeking a Network Short Video Planner and Anchor to "find amazing China" and produce photos and videos of their travels. The gig seems relatively casual and fun – the job requirements make no mention of a college degree or any experience in broadcast journalism. They simply require that you be bilingual, interested in travel and Chinese culture, familiar with video storytelling and that you be "humorous." If you're looking for a hail-Mary with which to justify more trips to the remote regions of China, click the link to apply! You never know.

Business Developer and Executive Assistant for an Entertainment Company
FutureONE is looking to fill not one but TWO positions: a business director and an executive assistant. The business director is responsible for "detailing executable growth and go-to-market strategies and bringing them to life," while the executive assistant will serve the organization's CEO, gaining valuable insight into the industry and its major players. The roles both require that applicants be bilingual as the jobs will involve extensive travel between China, the US and Europe with heavy translation. But during those trips, the lucky chosen candidates will be able to run shoulders with some heavy hitters in the international music and entertainment management industries, including the company's founder and star producer Zeng Yu. I feel intimidated just writing about it.

Basketball Coaches in Wudaokou
Providing children with the gift of knowledge is beautiful. Providing them with the necessary basketball skills to stunt on their friends is ballerrr! A small private "basketball company" is seeking part-time coaches for programs in the Wudaokou area. Classes are typically two hours, for which teachers are paid RMB 500. Not too shabby, when in reality you're just playing games – no lesson-planning, no grading of homework, just you and your new air buds having a good time.

Copy Editor of Beijing Review
Speaking from experience: copy editing is a really sweet gig. There are few to no screaming children around, regular/sociable office hours, and plenty of interesting things to read. For lovers of the English language and Chinese culture, the Beijing Review needs your help. Being a relatively small publication, the organization has plenty of potential for you to have a big impact and make a difference. Copy editors will help plan, produce and manage content, and implement social media campaigns. Applicants should be a native English-speaker, have a degree in journalism or communications, three years of experience, and awareness of Chinese current events and culture.

As always, if these positions don't suit your next big career push, there's a neverending supply of jobs waiting for you to apply over in our Classifieds section.

Image: Wikimedia

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Street Eats: Pian’erchuan Noodle Soup and Hearty Shumai from Hangzhou

If you’ve ever been to the notoriously beautiful city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, you may have tried their famous noodle soup pian’erchuan (片儿川), created by time-honored noodle restaurant Kuiyuanguan (奎元馆) starting in 1867, during the Qing Dynasty. The restaurant's history makes for a fine tale steeped in character: students in the past would flock to Hangzhou for the civil servant examinations, and the kind and generous owner of the restaurant would cater to these poor students with his noodles and bamboo shoots, pickled Chinese cabbage, and pork. When one young man couldn’t afford anything but plain noodles, the owner gave him a bowl of pian’erchuan for free, including three tea eggs to wish him good luck. Of course, according to the legend, that student got the highest score in the province and came back to write the nameplate for the restaurant in return. It has been popular ever since.

To make this special pian’erchuan noodle soup, lard is used to fry the sliced pork, which is then combined with sliced bamboo shoots and soy sauce. Hot water and pickled Chinese cabbage are added to the sauce and brought to the boil, before al dente noodles are thrown in.

Pian’erchuan has since become a signature dish among Hangzhou restaurants, and the newly opened Ershao on the fifth floor of the 3.3 building is no different. Similar to the Taiwanese restaurant Taiyuan Village on the first floor of Taikooli, this venue revolves around canteen-style dining, employing long wooden tables, a counter, and a window from which to pick up your food – the most efficient way for the people who work nearby to tuck in.

They have three categories: noodle soups (RMB 22-52) including fish, shrimp, braised pork, pork liver, ribs, beef tenderloin, and shrimp with pork; noodles served with various sauces (RMB 36-58); shumai, a type of steamed dumpling (RMB 22-28); and wontons (RMB 12-18). The most popular dish, noodle soup with fish and pickled Chinese cabbage (RMB 38), took a while to cook and when it came, the steaming hot savory broth was a little lighter, and the noodles a little softer, that the bowls we've had in Hangzhou. But the fish slices gained some points back, and the addition of sliced bamboo shoots and mushroom brought a certain umami to this soup.

If you are not a big fish-eater, try the braised pork instead – the thick cuts of well-seasoned pork are paired with a rich, dark broth. The shumai (烧麦, RMB 22 for a tray of seven) are large and come filled with juicy meat and bamboo shoots that clear the palate of grease. Pair with vinegar and these will go down a treat.

Ershao is more expensive (around RMB 50 per person) than the average street eat (think RMB 8 pan-fried baozi, or RMB 15-duck blood and vermicelli soup), but similar in price range to hot dry noodles (RMB 23) and Lady Chai beef noodles (RMB 28) nearby. There are no big dishes on offer, and it’s unlikely to become my favorite Hangzhou restaurant, but it does provide a quick way to fill hungry bellies with humble and hearty noodles.  

Ershao
Daily 11am-10.30pm. 5/F, 18, 3.3 Shopping Mall, 33 Sanlitun, Chaoyang District (5136 5989)
二烧:朝阳区三里屯路33518

More stories by this author here.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @flyingfigure
Instagram: @flyingfigure

Photos: Tracy Wang

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A Full-Course Meal of Music, Art, and Fashion at Ketchup Festival, Sept. 23-24

For someone who goes out to shows just as often as I do, it can be easy to burn out on the music scene from time to time. The same bands playing the same set you heard two weeks prior, the same trip to the corner store for cheap booze, and the same fans rallying for their buddies on stage. After a while, it becomes like clockwork and the spark begins to dim. Luckily there are folks out there looking to expand our horizons and push us out of our comfort zones. Enter Ketchup Festival – the two-day, multi-venue gig marathon spearheaded by scene wranglers Cab (of Motorbike Girls) and Alex (of Dirty Fingers) that’ll take place over the weekend of Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24 at Temple, DDC, and fRUITYSPACE.

Described as a ‘multi-course buffet’ by its organizers, Ketchup stands an expertly curated melding of different flavors in the field of sound, fashion, and art. The event kicks off with a daytime pop-up market at DDC on Saturday before transitioning into an early-evening showcase featuring some of the scene’s most offbeat and ear-catching acts. Those include Shanghaiers Gao Jiafeng and Dirty Fingers, as well as the latest "Face Me On Stage" at Temple, which literally pits two bands against one another on the dance floor.

The following day gets an early start with local experimental guitar demi-god Li Jianhong and Not In Catalog bringing the mayhem at fRUITYSPACE before dovetailing into a symphony of high-octane rock & roll, beats, and electronica at DDC with SUBS, MC Dawei, and more. And if that wasn’t enough, many of the events will be seasoned with talks from the acts themselves.

A full course indeed. As Alex of Dirty Fingers told me over WeChat – it’s best to dive headfirst into the affair – "grab a drink and enjoy every act as an interesting conversation." Just remember to bring your own tomatoes.

You can find out more about Ketchup Festival here and buy tickets (RMB 80; RMB 60 advance) here.

Images: Live Beijing Music, courtesy of the organizers

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EAT: Sureno x TRB, Italian Barbecue at Bottega, Bollywood Night at The Brickyard

We're all for fabulous collaborations here in the EAT column and it doesn't get more fabulous than TRB and the Opposite House. Sureno, the Opposite House's boundary-pushing Mediterranean restaurant is teaming up with the grande dame of Beijing’s fine dining scene for two nights only on Thursday, Sept. 21 and Friday, Sept. 22. The intrepid teams behind TRB and Sureno have worked closely on a menu of six totally original dishes – guests can look forward a taste of the unexpected, the unfamiliar and the extraordinary, with dishes such as Rougié foie gras with plum and tomato consommé or rack of halibut with burnt leeks and smoked sour cream. Priced at RMB 888, the six-course menu includes six wine pairings created in tandem by TRB Forbidden City’s award-winning wine cellar and the Opposite House’s sommelier.

Last week we wrote about Bottega's weekly Sunday sessions at their Xinyuanli location and this week they are taking things up a notch further on Sept. 24 by adding an Italian barbecue. They'll be grilling up fresh seafood, marinated meats, and giant Italian sausages for RMB 18-28 a piece alongside their usual selection of hourly half-price drink deals. A good place to enjoy the temperate weather while it lasts. 

If Indian food is more of your thing, plan a weekend night out at The Brickyard near Mutianyu for their Bollywood Night on Saturday, Sept. 23. Their executive chef Randhir Singh will be cooking up a feast of Indian dishes made with ingredients from the kitchen garden at the nearby Schoolhouse, accompanied by live Indian music. Expect dishes such as Indian-spiced grilled trout (trout is a specialty of the Mutianyu area), butter chicken, and a salad of Schoolhouse greens with spicy lamb. Dinner is priced at RMB 278 per person (RMB 148 for children 4-18 years) and there is an option to stay overnight in one of the Great Wall view rooms for RMB 1,988, including dinner and breakfast for two. More menu details and booking via Yoopay.

More stories by this author here.

Instagram: @gongbaobeijing
Twitter: @gongbaobeijing
Weibo: @宫保北京

Photos: Opposite House 

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LTL Mandarin Schools Recommends the Best Apps to Complement Your Mandarin Studies

LTL Mandarin School

This post was written by Max Hobbs, the Marketing Manager at LTL Mandarin School. With locations in Beijing and Shanghai, LTL Mandarin School believes that Chinese study should not just be limited to the classroom. When you study in China, you can fully immerse yourself in Chinese culture, giving you a deeper understanding of the Chinese language. 

I originally come from a small town in the southwest of England called Cheltenham, which has just over 120,000 inhabitants to its name. You can, therefore, imagine swapping Cheltenham for Beijing was quite the change in lifestyle. From 120,000 people to over 20 million people, just like that!

Beijing is busy but also full of energy, full of history, and full of people to meet. In just a few weeks I’ve heard some fantastic stories. Whether local or foreign, everyone has their own tale to tell. That said, to communicate properly with local Chinese people, you need to add Mandarin to your armory.

Working at a Chinese school helps. I see students studying hard every day for up to six hours and I am around the Chinese language all day. LTL’s staff are predominantly Chinese and only includes two other foreigners. 

Thus far, my progress has been steady and I’m content. Of course, one of the perks of the job is taking part in our language classes and I’ve been improving my speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills. The classes are well-structured and actually really fun!

However, as the job becomes more demanding, finding time to learn Chinese becomes more difficult, so I turned to learning on the move. Using your commuting time wisely is key. Beijing is very spread out, and the resulting travel time is actually a free opportunity to learn.

I have been using two apps during my commute: Skritter and Hello Chinese.

Skritter
Skritter is dedicated to learning characters.You write characters and learn stroke order until it becomes second nature. I cannot stress enough how useful this is. I would absolutely advise any beginner to not neglect those characters. Learn them alongside speaking, listening, and all the rest. This will pay dividends in the long run.

You probably won’t enhance your spoken Chinese with this app but that isn’t the aim. You will still see the pinyin, the tones, and the meaning of the characters, but I find other apps are better for drilling those aspects. Use Skritter to start learning Chinese characters and you’ll very quickly find that you can pick out characters you recognize all around you on a daily basis.

Hello Chinese
Where Skritter is focused on one specific area of Chinese, Hello Chinese is more of an all-rounder. You can choose from a number of different tasks, including:

  • Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice picture questions
  • Multiple choice pinyin questions
  • Arrange the Sentence
  • Stroke order

I find Hello Chinese works great hand-in-hand with Skritter. I love the versatility of Hello Chinese. I feel I can practice my sentence building, increase my vocabulary and study characters (as well as write them) all at the same time. To date, I’ve yet to find an app with all of these capabilities.

A feature I really started to warm to as of late is the audio questions. You are told to speak for a number of questions and this really helps you keep your tones in check. It’s very easy to ignore the tones and just focus on the vocabulary. Do not do this. Tones are absolutely essential and one of the first things you should crack. You might not be anywhere near perfect early on, but stick to it. Every single foreigner started somewhere and everyone has made mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t learn. Make mistakes and laugh them off!

Make the Leap to China
If you’re reading this while preparing for your trip to China, I’d advise getting the aforementioned apps before you arrive to give yourself a head start. If you can arrive in China with a few basic phrases locked in, it’ll make a big difference to your overall experience. If you can at least master the simple things like taxis, buying drinking water, checking into your hotel, and making introductions, you’ll fit right in!

On the other hand, if you are already here and have maybe neglected to learn Chinese thus far, give it a shot. I can say with confidence that you won’t regret it. 

This post is provided by LTL Mandarin School

Images: Skritter, Hello Chinese, LTL Mandarin School

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The Deep Dish: Delicate Roman-Style Pizzas and Unpretentious Vibes at East Hotel’s Xian

As online voting continues for the 2017 Pizza Cup, The Deep Dish will be previewing a few of the restaurants vying for the title of Beijing's most beloved pie. So take a look, grab a slice, and pick the team you want to be victorious.

As far as hotel bars and restaurants go, East Hotel's Xian has been a favorite of the Beijinger's since it opened back in 2012 for its comparatively relaxed and no-snootiness-necessary attitude toward service and atmosphere.

Our visit this time around, specifically to try their pizza, proved no different, with the live band already in full swing and covering various contemporary pop hits and diners scattered throughout the sleek wood-and-brick bar, enjoying Xian's reasonably priced cocktails. Deciding to make the most of Beijing's hospitable weather, we settled into a booth outside and got to ordering.

Before we get to the food, I'd like to take a moment to sing the praises of Xian's newest addition: the Craft Container opened in June. Dedicated to selling craft beer, this repurposed shipping container makes for the perfect one-stop tour of some of the city's best-respected brews (albeit a small selection), and one of the few places that you can chase a Jing-A Flying Fist with a Slow Boat Monkey's Fist with NBeer's hefeweizen (all three excellent beers but very rarely found in one place).

Xian's pizza (approximately RMB 78) is equally refreshing, it's thin Roman-style crusts baked so that an initial crunch gives way to the smooth doughy insides. If there's any salt used at all, it's kept to an absolute minimum, which lends the base a light and delicate consistency and taste. In fact, the staple toppings – tomato sauce and cheese – are both restrained in order to let the fresh ingredients speak for themselves.

Stuck as to which to order? The 'build-your-own Margherita' puts the customer in charge, allowing you to select four of around 10 toppings. Of the mixture of red peppers, mushrooms, salami, and anchovies, it was the mushrooms that shined through for their deep flavor and bouncy consistency. The four stagioni replaces the cremini mushrooms found on the build-your-own pizza with a fresh Yunnan variety, giving an extra depth to the accompanying artichokes, ham, and olives. As my dining companion noted, the result is something akin to a "healthy person's pizza," thanks to their balanced, less-is-more approach.

Xian as a venue, just like the kitchen's seemingly no-fuss but high-attention-to-detail pizza, makes for a perfect haven in the northeast of the city and one that just as easily caters to a mid-level meal among family, friends, or for business. Coupled with reasonable prices, a strong drinks selection, and a laid-back contemporary aura, it's also one that consistently delivers with small tweaks and additions to their already reliable formula.

Haven't yet voted in our 2017 Pizza Cup? Simply scan the QR code below to have your say before the winner is announced on Oct. 19:

More stories by this author here.

Email: [email protected]
WeChat: tenglish_
Instagram: @tenglish__

Photos courtesy of East Hotel

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Yugong Yishan and White Rabbit Founders Team Up to Open Beijing’s Hottest New Club, Zhao Dai, Sept. 30

Dancefloor diehards, get ready to get down at an exciting new venue in Xinyuanli. That's right, Zhao Dai, a new underground electronic music club spearheaded by Yugong Yishan and White Rabbit's founders, is aiming to shake up Beijing's underground electronica scene upon its September 30 opening with a debut set by esteemed Detroit-hailing DJ Patrick Russell (pictured above).

The new club will be located at the Glass Hotel on Xinyuanli Xilu, and its 250 square meters should be enough to accommodate 300 patrons. The brains behind the project – Lu Zhi Qiang, founder of Beijing's premium livehouse Yugong Yishan; Fu Yan co-founder of the now defunct, but innovative-in-their-day White Rabbit and Haze clubs; and Zhi Qi, a DJ and founder of the well-regarded Shadowplay, the electronic music promotional outfit – are working with musical direction from Carmen Herold of the Cultural Department Goethe-Institut.

That team of electronic music enthusiasts announced Zhao Dai's opening via a press release late last week. That statement also detailed their plans to reach the absolute peak of sound quality. It says: "The initial and most important idea behind Zhao Dai was to give electronic music enthusiast a high-end sound experience, which is why we are very lucky to cooperate with renowned sound acoustic label Void Acoustics. Together with Void Acoustics we are not only equipped with a very high-quality sound system, but they also supported us with the sound treatment of the venue, which was key to a good sound for us. This is complemented by Technics Turntables, CDJ 2000, and the Rane MP 2015 mixer."

Patrick Russell seems to be a fitting guest for the Sept. 30 opening, given the acclaim the DJ has garnered in his native Detroit and in New York, where he's currently based. He's been described by Resident Advisor (RA) as "a true veteran of the US underground" and "perhaps one of the last unsung heroes" of his genre. Since the early '90s, Russell has been steadily making a name for himself behind the turntables, and his biggest claim to fame is likely being one of the driving DJs behind the venerated No Way Back parties that dominated Detroit's underground scene. RA went on to describe Russell as: "A genuine sonic storyteller, he magically transforms the diaspora of acid, pure jack energy, and hints of IDM into a deep, fluent sonic dialog that never fails to devastate both minds and dance floor."

Though the promoters are so far keeping their cards close to their chest, expect a full write-up of the venue once we get a chance for an in-person visit. There's one thing for sure, Zhao Dai's opening, along with the forthcoming debut of One Third, not to mention the hip-hop offerings of Sir Teen, and Dada and Lantern's continued staying power and deepening bench of visiting star talent, all make this fall appear to be a memorable one indeed for Beijing club-goers.

Zhao Dai
Glass Hotel, 19 Xinyuanli Xi Lu, Chaoyang District
朝阳区新源里西路19号

Photos courtesy of the venue

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