Each month, we ask noteworthy Beijingers to imagine their final meal before leaving the city for good.

After a six-year stint in China, Guangxi-born Ying-Ying Lu is moving back to the US for the second time. She is a co-founder of Weipin, a social enterprise with the mission of applying technology to transform the process by which low-end workers connect with employers in China, and with an April expiration date for Beijing, she imagines what her final fantasy meal will be like before heading to San Francisco.

The venue
It would have to be at one of my favorite restaurants: either Huajia Yiyuan on Gui Jie, Jin Ding Xuan, or Haidilao Hot Pot near Tuanjiehu. Each of these is an accessible, reliable, and tasty establishment of size at which I’ve previously hosted friends and events.

The starters
The first starter that comes to mind is actually from a trendy Guizhou restaurant in Fangjia 46. It is greens wrapped in beef slices and mint, and I forget the exact name, but my mouth waters just thinking about it. Everyone I introduce to this dish loves it, and I order the dish every time I go. Everything at this restaurant tastes incredible.

Main course
Main courses would center on the ample selection from Hua’s and Haidilao. We’d keep the hot pot running both spicy and non-spicy while feasting on classics such as duck, crawfish, mushrooms, and hearty vegetables. I am hosting a goodbye party in late March, and have hired Fatface Dining to cater. I think Eric is the best chef in town, and he is my go-to for small and large events. Fatface’s mission is to bring people together through food, and the brothers call me their number one fan. I will miss them and their food very much.

The dim sum dessert selection at Jin Ding Xuan is to be marveled at. We’d get our fill of warm, sweet pies and buns, as well as the delicious yogurt and classic bubble tea. Then, we would head to Bellagio to fulfill our craving for iced Taiwanese treats.

The music and entertainment
Thomas Reemer and his team from Paishouba, which promotes media and music, would craft a personalized soundtrack. They have fantastic taste in music and would provide something upbeat and eclectic. We’d round things off with a drink at Jeff Ji’s Parlor before engaging in some early morning KTV and heading straight to Jingshan Park to watch the sunrise. I’ve visited the Park on several early mornings and have cried tears of joy at the beautiful view and its accompanying Beijing memories. Looking out across the slowly dawning city, I know that I will miss Beijing very much.

This interview first appeared in our March 2014 issue.

Photo: Frank Yu

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