One Mocha Banana Milkshake, Please. Easy on the Sugar.

Written by Sheiran Phu, (Yale University) Student Correspondent CET Harbin, Fall 2018

“Oily and a little saltier. But also large portions to share with friends.” This is is how one roommate described Northeast Chinese cuisine to me.

As someone who likes her food on the less greasy and, I admit, blander side…me ordering something typically goes like this:

Me: “I’ll take one of those. 我不吃辣 I don’t eat spicy.”

Them: “Ok. That’ll be [insert price here].”

Me: “Yep. Also 少盐可以吗?Less salt please? 我喜欢更清淡一点 I like my food just lightly seasoned. My base-level saltiness is already pretty high you see.

Them: “Yea sure.”

Me:  “而且别放味精 and no MSG please!”

Them: thinking internally 天啊 oh jeez

Ah, ordering food. All in Chinese of course! Hi, language pledge. Good times haha.

On that note, HIT has several student cafeterias you can eat at. Try them all out; see what you like. Sometimes when I’m looking for something with more vegetables in it, I go to the second floor of 饺子院 Dumpling Hall. It’s self-serve buffet-style, with lots of different veggies and meat dishes, as well as fruit and some dessert. After you choose everything you want, they weigh your dish to determine price. My total typically comes out to around 14RMB.

Pro-tip: If you’re looking for a coffee shop, Café BuBu is just a 5 minute walk from our dorms (this year we’re in dorm 6 by the way). It’s a good place to study. Lots of awesome drinks like “mocha banana milkshake” and “sweet potato red bean milk tea.” Their chocolate cake is also SO DELICIOUS.

太恬 making some classic mac n cheese in the CET kitchen.


美团 and 饿了吗 are two apps you can use to order out in China. It’s cheap (unless maybe if you’re ordering Western food haha), and they can deliver right to the dorm’s front door. 佳屹and I decided to get some pizza for our movie night. We watched天才枪手aka Bad Genius. Would recommend.


My roommate 家慧 took some of us out to try 铁板烤鱼 or grilled fish on a clay (or metal?) plate. The name of the restaurant is 夯鱼.


家慧 also took me to the local night market. I’d recommend taking a taxi to visit in the first half of the semester because the weather turns cold quickly! The food in this pic is梅菜扣肉饼 and it’s a Harbin specialty!


Speaking of Harbin specialties, there’s also 肉夹馍! It’s a Chinese hamburger. If you go to黑点 (which is a minute away from the classrooms and has a ton of food options), you can choose from chicken, pork, and beef.


If you’re in the mood for veggies, try some 砂锅儿,which is a bunch of boiled veggies, plus your choice of meat, and rice or 饼. This is also at 黑点.


烧烤 or barbeque is especially popular late at night. This pic was taken at the local night market but there’s also a ton of options near the dorm. Just head out to the West Gate aka 西门儿.


烤冷面 is something else you’ll find at西门儿. This specialty originates from China’s Korean ethnic minority.