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A Bite of the World Cup: Blazing Brazilian Bites
   2014-06-09 16:44:43    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Chun

Easteat Culture Group's Li Jiayin and Irene Zhai enjoy sampling authentic Brazilian fare at Beijing's restaurant Alameda. On June 6, 2014, CRI's crew went to the restaurant to kick off their "Bite of the World Cup" series. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

By William Wang

As the World Cup dribbles towards us at breakneck speed, CRIENGLISH.com gets into the soccer spirit by visiting some key restaurants in the capital. Naturally, Brazil (host of this year's World Cup) was the first theme to cover.

To get into the spirit, a motley collection of food critics and media hype specialists came out to test the wares at Alameda, arguably Beijingers' favorite Brazilian restaurant (the eatery has been voted as one of the city's best by DiningCity.cn users).

Chef Xiao Fei (a Brazilian native with an adopted Chinese name) specially designed a Brazilian set menu that ranges from goose liver with grilled artichoke to filet mignon with red wine risotto.

"Brazilians like beef," Xiao Fei stated, noting the prevalence of the meat in three of the main dishes. "I also really like it." But Brazilians aren't the only ones who appreciate their meat. The attending food critics and social media maestros alike gushed over the Brazilian picanha steak with the pork sausage.

For these Chinese diners, the chance to eat at Alameda was a unique one, and it was interesting to see how their palates reacted to the Brazilian fare. The quinoa salad with feta cheese certainly raised eyebrows; the crew examined the quinoa with a scientific curiosity usually reserved for things from outer space. The feta cheese struck them as equally bizarre, generally striking them as "too salty" (whereas this reviewer would have termed it "quintessential").

The Tencent Weishi video enthusiasts hardly had time to eat; they were so absorbed in using their food as a source of creative material. Who has time for crab cakes when there's a prawn that needs animating?

Post-meal, the gang burned off calories by playing some finger football. Not everyone in the group was a football fan, but all cheered the players on and helped search for the ball every time it disappeared from the table.

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