Biden baulks at Chinese restaurant speciality

US Vice President Joe Biden took time out from official talks in China Thursday to have lunch at a local restaurant, but his courage failed when it came to the house speciality -- pig intestines in soup.

The 68-year-old opted instead for pork buns, noodles and cucumbers when he stopped off at the small, family-run eatery in downtown Beijing with his granddaughter and daughter-in-law and the travelling press.

"The meetings were great. But it's harder to order," Biden joked to reporters when asked about his talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, widely expected to be the next president of the Asian power.

The restaurant was full of Beijingers when Biden arrived, and the US number two apologised for the commotion.

"You came in for a quiet lunch and I show up," he said.

The dish -- known as Chao Gan in Chinese -- consists of pork liver, lungs and intestines served in a broth, and is particularly popular in Beijing, where it is served without chopsticks and slurped from the bowl.

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