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Beijing dining


cwyc
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We stumbled upon an area where every restaurant was making crawfish with spicy red sauce and kebabs, for example, among other things. If you take a cab to the Asia Hotel and just walk south along the street, you'll see them. One of the restaurants is Muslim, and it seems like they're serving the same food (except for haram [forbidden by Islamic Law] stuff, of course) as all the other eateries on the block, all of which have sidewalk cafes as well as indoor areas. We had a tasty dinner at one, but man was the place smoky!

There are a lot of these streets all around the city and a number in the area you described which would be around Workers Stadium-GongTi. The crawfish would be mala xiaolong xia and are a staple night food anywhere in China, but far more common in Shanghai (at least I would say so). Beijing's night food are those kebabs you are talking about, with the most popular being lamb. The reason the food was the same inside the restaurants is that the vendors on the street were more than likely Muslims from Xinjiang and probably had a connection to the restaurant they were selling their kebabs in front of (or nearby).

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The crawfish would be mala xiaolong xia and are a staple night food anywhere in China, but far more common in Shanghai (at least I would say so).

I believe the spacing xiao longxia is less confusing (and less provocative to me, the xiaolong bao fiend) than xiaolong xia :laugh:

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I believe the spacing xiao longxia is less confusing (and less provocative to me, the xiaolong bao fiend) than xiaolong xia :laugh:

sorry, once again you're right...what can I say, its late! Or perhaps its thinking about eating these little creatures that caused me to bang the keys with reckless abandon...

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I believe the spacing xiao longxia is less confusing (and less provocative to me, the xiaolong bao fiend) than xiaolong xia  :laugh:

sorry, once again you're right...what can I say, its late! Or perhaps its thinking about eating these little creatures that caused me to bang the keys with reckless abandon...

Confess, you were really thinking of eating xiaolong bao. :raz:

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  • 1 month later...
for peking duck, as mentioned earlier, Quanjude (all over the city, but the oldest and original is at Qianmen) is a bit touristy, but there are also tons of Chinese that go there...Much of the "fine" dining as in "hip" places are western, but the Palace Hotel opened a highly, acclaimed Cantonese restaurant. There are also a number of places to go for Imperial style banquets. For street food, there is the overpriced joke on Wangfujing, but near the end of Wangfujing (by XinDongAn shopping center) there are stands that open at night. For dumplings, just look around for some local place as there should be many. Snake isn't a food often found in Beijing, some Cantonese restaurants serve it and there is the Dai Village Restaurant, a popular tourist place based on the Dai minority cuisine (never been, so not sure how authentic) that serves snake among other things.

Peking Duck is a must at Quanjude at their Qianmen location if nothing other than the history of it and the service is great. It is a bit expensive by local standards, but go and enjoy at least once, and then you can try the other Peking Duck joints around the city.

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  • 6 months later...

Hey this is a great coincidence, I'm going to be there mid-May. Don't know if I'll have any "personal" time to get out and about but I'm definitely interested in any responses. :smile:

Edited to add: don't want to hijack your thread, so I'll just stand back and listen!

Edited by BCinBC (log)
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I need restaurants that have fish and vegetarian options. I haven't been there since 1991.

Basically everywhere you go will have fish options, but vegetarian may be a bit harder...One of my best recommendations for a fish place is Xi Hai Yu Sheng (phone: 10.66180466). Its located right on Xi Hai and there are even some "boat restaurants," its a lot of fun and a very popular place, so I'd say a reservation is advisable. Sort of hard to find, but there is a sign as you're going down Xinjiekou that will lead you down the hutong to find it.

Other than that, doing a search (sorry, to lazy to link it myself) will find a few previous discussions of BJ dining (this may be a bigger help to BCinBC as they doesn't give any restrictions).

I'll think about it and perhaps be able to offer some more...

edited because I couldn't get the Chinese address to show up...

Edited by chengb02 (log)
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(Steps forward to say)

I actually did do a search of this board, and produced these notes:

*Laohanzi Kejiacai - hakka

*Tianjin Baijiaoyuan (near Marco Polo) - dumplings

*3 Guizhou Ren - south / Cantonese

*2 Kon Yiji's

*Uigurville (near Teacher's College SE of Tiananmen) - mutton sandwich

*Quan Ju De - duck

DO NOT: *Gourou Dawang - "Dog Meat King"

Any updates / comments?

Thanks for the help!

(Retreats)

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(Steps forward to say)

I actually did do a search of this board, and produced these notes:

*Laohanzi Kejiacai - hakka

*Tianjin Baijiaoyuan (near Marco Polo) - dumplings

*3 Guizhou Ren - south / Cantonese

*2 Kon Yiji's

*Uigurville (near Teacher's College SE of Tiananmen) - mutton sandwich

*Quan Ju De - duck

DO NOT: *Gourou Dawang - "Dog Meat King"

Any updates / comments?

Thanks for the help!

(Retreats)

Wo bu xi huan chi gourou!  Isn't that a standard 'da  bizi' phrase?

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oh here's a quick one... ZuiSanJiang in the old torn down sanlitun area. Only a couple of bars standing still so if you ask about the area you should find it quick. It's great Guizhou food, and their fish is fantastic.

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Haven't been back since 1995, but this rule of thumb should work: Around Buddhist monasteries there will be shops there to cater to hungry pilgrims: These will be largely vegetarian. Some exclusively so. There's an *enormous* Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in the southern part of the city.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Haven't been back since 1995, but this rule of thumb should work: Around Buddhist monasteries there will be shops there to cater to hungry pilgrims: These will be largely vegetarian.  Some exclusively so.  There's an *enormous* Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in the southern part of the city.

I have eaten a many a Buddhist Temple, but it would not be appropriate for a Business lunch with clients.

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Laohanzi is pretty good for Hakka cuisine (the foil wrapped fish appears on every table). They just opened a new branch just off Xinfucun Zhong Lu which is nicer in ambiance then the branch in Sanlitun. If you want to take clients, then the branch in Houhai, called Han Cang, may be a better bet as it has private rooms.

I haven't been to Qianjude for peking duck and have no desire to do so. I really like Da Dong (it claims to have a leaner duck) and Liqun (this is deep in the hutongs off the southern corner of Zhengyi Road, and has an authentic Lao Beijing atmosphere; foreigners love this place, although I hesitate greatly to take clients there unless they are old friends - it's quite run-down and it's level of hygiene could be a problem for the fastidious). I also like Jiuhuashan over in the western part of the city (not far from the Shangri-la).

Tianjin Bai Jiaoyuan (in a lane opposite the Marco Polo) is great, but the main attraction here is the many varieties of jiaozi or dumplings. Not sure that this makes for a great client meal.

If you like to splurge for client meals, there's Meifu (a Shanghainese restaurant in a lovely hutong residence in Houhai), and Tiandiyijia (imperial and Cantonese cuisine served in a rare example of lovely restrained remodelled courtyard residence close to the Forbidden City).

For Sichuan, I like Yuxian Renjia in the Jianwai Soho complex and Transit (just opposite the Worker's Stadium), both which are quite suitable for client meals. As for Sange Guizhou Ren, the branch in the Jianwai Soho complex is more elegant and has more celebrities (though both branches can get a little smoky when the pots of suantangyu get boiling).

There's also Chama Gudao, a Yunan restaurant housed in spare, striking branches in Houhai and the Soho New Town complex.

Two relatively new Cantonese restaurants, both offshoots of Singapore chains are client-worthy as well - Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant, and My Humble House, both in the Oriental Plaza. Both serve pretty good food and are resplendent in different ways in decor.

Hope this helps!

edited to add that all these restaurants have vegetarian and fish options, although such offerings are not the highlight in any of the roast duck restaurants.

Edited by Makan King (log)
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Seems slightly perverse hunting for fish and veggie in BJ (sort of like going to peter lugars and ordered a large, medium rare green salad :biggrin: )

If you are, the best place you're likely to get for vegetarian is the Gongdelin Vegetarian restaurant, a couple of hundred yards south of the Qianmen gate (unless they're redeveloped it by now, which is perfectly possible)

Probably the best established veggie place in Beijing, its very famous for its mock-meat dishes made with glutens, and its beancurd.

Decent fish I wouldn't hold out that much hope. Perhaps jump on an overnight train to Qingdao on the Yellow Sea? (good beer there as well, thanks to the Germans). Or try the Obligatory Cantonese Restaurant to be found in all major ***** hotels...

regards

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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If you're into spending some money, try Made in China at the Grand Hyatt. Or for a real splurge, a very nice place to take clients is My Humble House. These restaurants both offer modern, elegant Chinese cuisine in sleek surroundings. Definitely catering to the expat/business traveler community, but you will find plenty of Chinese customers as well. And the dishes I had at Made in China were all fairly traditional, there should be plenty of vegetable and fish choices at either. And both are worth going into for a look at the decor.

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Well with the help of one of our work colleagues – a local – we managed to eat much of Beijing and Tianjin. I apologize for not getting the names of pretty much any of the restaurants, but between the insane work schedule and the jetlag, there just never seemed to be enough time to make notes! However, highlights are as follows:

Shanghai-ese place across from the Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing

-long spouted tea pourers pouring hot water into our 8-treasure teas (really impressed the Caucasians in the group)

-personal highlight was this white fish (no English translation, but it had tiny white bones that branched into a Y which I’ve not seen before) both smoked and steamed

200 year old BBQ place in the center of Beijing where there the lakes / canals are

-we had a lot of lamb here, which personally didn’t blow me away, but the setting was very cool. I wish we weren’t so tired, there were a lot of interesting bars in there.

Goubuli in Tianjin

-dumplings of course, each one with 18 folds (didn’t catch the significance of this); the pork ones were great, I much preferred them to the veggie ones

-besides the dumplings, my favourite dish here was this simple appetizer of peanuts and cucumbers in a dark soy vinegar

-actually tried white liquor, only the 38% stuff, it was terrible

-another cool setting of a restaurant

Some hotel in TEDA for lunch

-I only mention this place because I had something I’ve never had before here: they make these taro “cubes” (or really diamonds) that they serve covered in piping hot sugar syrop; you take a cube and dunk it into a bowl of water so the “caramel” hardens. The novelty was great, but it was also one of the more interesting ways I’ve seen taro served.

Another really old place in Tianjin, this one filled with old (700 years+) statues, carvings, etc. As you enter, the far right wall is filled with small stone statuettes, kind of like ancient Chinese Oscars. Outside the door and yard seem to be guarded by larger statues, some missing their heads completely. Also the yard is flanked by tanks of live fish. Sounds weird I know. We stayed at the Renaissance, and passed through a market street on our way back (on foot), so if you work your way backwards you might get an idea of its location. Or not.

-this was my favourite meal of the trip, highlighted by: smoked white fish again, this time almost candied, even better than the other place; slow braised pork all fat basted and loose; and deep fried “donuts” (actually like little pillows pre-cut into 3 sections) that you dip into the condensed sweetened milk on the side… soooo gooood

Oh one final place I must mention is a bar called Latino in Beijing. They had a 6-8 piece Cuban band playing live Mandarin-lyric-infused salsa or rhumba or whatever. It was a lot of fun. Plus there were lots of cute girls there just waiting for someone to ask them to dance… (But it was our last night in town and we were too alcohol-filled and sleep-deprived to help them out!)

The only low point was my 4.5 hour delay on my return flight on Air China. :wacko: !

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[...]200 year old BBQ place in the center of Beijing where there the lakes / canals are

-we had a lot of lamb here, which personally didn’t blow me away, but the setting was very cool. I wish we weren’t so tired, there were a lot of interesting bars in there.[...]

There are a whole bunch of lakes all over Beijing, but I have a feeling you're talking about one north of Beihai whose name slips my mind.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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He's talking about Houhai, or sometimes some restaurants are located in Qianhai, they are adjacent and separated only by a bridge really.

I wish I got here earlier, but I was taken out on monday to the absolute best restaurant I've yet been to in Beijing. It was way out in the north-west 4rth ring area, a massive Hunan restuarant. It was too good for pictures, really. I'll post more when i think about it more. Blew my mind...

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200 year old BBQ place in the center of Beijing where there the lakes / canals are

-we had a lot of lamb here, which personally didn’t blow me away, but the setting was very cool. I wish we weren’t so tired, there were a lot of interesting bars in there.

That's Kaorouji in Houhai. I wasn't impressed by the restaurant either. There is a much more stylish and hip Vietnamese type place next door called Nuage.

I really like the Houhai/Qianhai area. While there are a lot of bars and cafes lining the streets facing the lakes, the hutongs behind these streets are more interesting. In summer, a bar opens on a tiny island in the middle of Qianhai, and you have to be rowed in a wobbly boat to and from this bar. Great fun!

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[...]In summer, a bar opens on a tiny island in the middle of Qianhai, and you have to be rowed in a wobbly boat to and from this bar.  Great fun!

I went there last summer!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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200 year old BBQ place in the center of Beijing where there the lakes / canals are

-we had a lot of lamb here, which personally didn’t blow me away, but the setting was very cool. I wish we weren’t so tired, there were a lot of interesting bars in there.

That's Kaorouji in Houhai. I wasn't impressed by the restaurant either. There is a much more stylish and hip Vietnamese type place next door called Nuage.

I really like the Houhai/Qianhai area. While there are a lot of bars and cafes lining the streets facing the lakes, the hutongs behind these streets are more interesting. In summer, a bar opens on a tiny island in the middle of Qianhai, and you have to be rowed in a wobbly boat to and from this bar. Great fun!

Okay I've dug up a pamphlet. The place, in English, is called "Barbecue Ji" which sounds like it could be the translation of Kaorouji (sorry, Mandarin skills nonexistant). It's located in "Shishahai" (a bit of a stretch to "Houhai"?), was established in 1848, and has hosted an assortment of world figures including George Bush Sr in 1973. :raz:

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