Beijing Eats - just WOW

I’d last visited Beijing 8 years ago. In China time, that’s a lifetime. My wife and I are totally enjoying the city and already planning a return trip for next year.

Landed Thursday afternoon. First restaurant of the trip had a glassed in noodle/dumpling/steamer display kitchen upon entry, a promising sign indeed.

No English signage on the building facade or on the menu. Menu’s with English captions and pictures by each item with item number. Write your item numbers on the order sheet, your server punches into her handheld right at your table side. Quite user friendly.

Lightly seasoned pea sprouts. Beautiful, tasty and healthy.

Three Sichuan dishes with plenty o’ red chile.

  1. Duck blood and pig intestines over flame. A classic favorite.

  2. Fried chicken joint bits in a basket of chile with fresh fried ruffled potato crisps.

  3. Glass noodles and peanuts, with more chile.


Your must have Dan Dan Mien.

Taro, pumpkin, bean and barley in a slightly sweet coconut soup. Perfect accompaniment to the peppery dishes.

Our only nod to the fully loaded Dim Sum menu (dim sum for dinner??!!) braised beef honeycomb tripe.


Local Beijing beer.

A delicious and fun start to the trip. The entire FOH staff heartily belt out the welcoming greeting to each arriving party. The staff all wear the requisite ear/mouth piece, but seem to find it quicker to just shout to each other. A bit jarring at first, but becomes totally appropriate for this hustling bustling restaurant.


Lovely, super hot meal!

First morning in town. They must have taken down all the “FORBIDDEN” signs. The Forbidden City was, for lack of a better word, mobbed.

After our cultural interlude, we retreated to the relative calm and quiet of a nearby Hutong. When my Hong Kong buddy and I strolled through a Beijing Hutong years ago, most of the residents openly stared at us. We’re both Chinese, but by dress and mannerisms obviously non locals. They’ve since gotten used to outsiders.

This morning as we explored, I spied some activity in a dim cubbyhole by the road. A man was doing something on a large hot plate, interesting.

Turns out this shop was turning out Shao Bing, it as my friend calls them, Chinese hamburger. The fresh bing had just the right crisp and a faint yeasty sourdough flavor. So good with the simple chopped beef filling. No sauce needed.

Onwards to a local shop that has been dishing out their specialties for decades.

Pork intestines with rice cake and gluten puffs in a light gravy.

A gloopy bowl of liver something or another. Not a fan favorite.

Introduction to these dough chips. Seems to be dough fried into thick chips, with plenty garlic. Rather tasty.

My friend warned about the scalding soup in these pork baozi. But alas, struck a couple of dried ones. Oh well, win some, lose some.

After this less than stellar sampling we enjoyed a real treat, steamed milk. Wife had hers plain, me topped with mango. Deliciously creamy with a slight sour yogurt taste. Addictive.

Can’t pass up on the giant soup dumplings soup. Just Ok, methinks I’m not a soup dumpling kinda guy.

By then, almost noon, meeting my buddy’s friends for lunch. Yes. Lunch to come.


Ha, I think I will skip that liver bowl too, weird texture that gelee thing. It seems it is Yaoji’s famous dish though.

I would gladly try the giant soup dumpling. What was in it?
Shao Bing looked very yummy too, I like gelatin meat.

The filling was only a bit of soup. I had to dump the skin on my local friend’s instruction. I snuck a couple of bites first, skin was edible but we had bigger fish to fry.

I will alway remember that first bite. Will be chasing that the rest of my life.

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First lunch, at an Islamic restaurant. The facade not outstanding during the day, but quite pretty when we strolled by again in the evening light.

My friend’s mom is Muslim, nice to get a taste of a different culture from a local’s perspective.

Pea pods and onion with a single ginkgo nut. We saw many ginkgo trees throughout Beijing.

Rolled Napa cabbage, mustard sauce sprinkled sesame seeds.

Beef and tendon slices. Seems it’s ok to eat beef as long as it’s Halal.


Za Zhang Mian (sp ?). Sucks to be locked out of GOOGLE.


Finely minced tofu. Mala with some good chile and Sichuan peppercorns. Numbing good.

Chicken with cashews. Very tasty tender chicken. I complimented the chicken. Later, my wife whispered to me that my dining companions were deriding this as a dish for foreigner taste. Sigh.

A fun dish. Stir fried lamb served with sesame rolls and condiments. Split open and scoop out the fluff, stuff with the lamb and condiments. The lamb was just delicious all by its lonesome, thank you.


Some kind of plain grain gruel. A palate cleanser I think.

Whole fish.

No Islamic meal is complete without lamb kebab.

Dessert was a “pizza”. Lots of chives layered on a crispy round. Stuffed to the gills by the time this arrived, could not give it full appreciation.

This was the first 24 hours. I’ve already gained 2 kilos and counting. Yikes!!!


Short on descriptions and commentary. Typing on iPhone. Keep losing my drafts to the China internet Great Wall.

2nd time having Yunnan food, ever. Very enjoyable, nicely spiced.

Yunnan tea service.

Tofu, fried.

Chilled beef.

Cured beef, fried.

Frog. Very tender and spiced perfectly. best in recent memory.


Mushrooms soup.

Vegetable. Does anyone recognize this? New to us.

Fish. Nicely done.

Yunnan rice.

More than enough food for the three of us. Will look for more Yunnan foods after this enlightening meal.


Friday dinner at China Lounge. A beautiful two levels restaurant set in an uber dramatic park-like compound.

Napa Cabbage salad tossed with sesame dressing.

Pork trotter (deboned) braised on aspic.


Duck Web (boneless) with wasabi sauce. Webs were prepped like Cantonese white chicken paws. Delicious!

Beijing meatballs.

Pea sprouts.

Raw walnut salad.

Haw berries (thanks NAF and ccj) gelee.

Sichuan peanuts.

Star of the show: Beijing Duck.

Skin dipped in sugar. Paper thin pancakes. Heart shaped brioche like bun.

Steak Cubes.

Sea Cucumber.

Kung Pow Prawns.

Lamb Onion.

Italian organic red.

Belgian Beer.




Thanks the write up. Great meal, very beautiful duck, skin was so perfect!

One thing I noticed: this place tends to make dishes of “mono” ingredient. Example, duck web, pea sprouts, pig trotter, meatball etc. Meatball is just meatball, not meatball with vegetables. It shows their confidence and unnecessary stuff shouldn’t be there. I like it.


Very astute observation. All the dishes were prepared with a light touch, yet seasoned well to complement the main ingredient.

My wife loves spicy, and raved about the wasabi sauce for the duck web presentation

The chef could not divulge his self developed proprietary formula. But he did gift wifey a bag of his dry ingredients mixture.

Super restaurant. Prices surprisingly affordable.

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Woke up bright and early Saturday, surprisingly unhungover. A very nice stroll checking out the ‘hood around our hotel. Love mingling with the locals as they go about their life.

Beijing has morphed into a beautiful city with many parks and trees. Public toilets all over, each unit (wo)manned by its own dedicated sanitation engineer. An army of sweepers pick up any litter almost before it hits the ground.

Persimmon trees line the street by the diplomat residence compound.

Egg sandwich, Beijing style. Warm bean/soy drink.

Ain’t nothing like a warm fresh steamed baozi in the morn.

Tofu skin salad and Spinach congee.

We had to stop, as we had to meet our friend for lunch.

Sunday breakfast. A nice nourishing lamb offal soup to start the day.

A food that I’ve seen often on YouTube videos. Crepe, egg, youtiao, pickled veg and sauce. Can’t GOOGLE the name but the best USD$1 ever spent. Very delicious.

Lunch at noon. Stop.




That’s it!!! Have you had before?

Simple. Simply delicious!

Islamic Hot Pot lunch.

Chestnuts and haw berries.

Dough chips again, with a dip instead of raw garlic this time. These chips are growing on me.

I mistakenly thought this was minced tofu It was actually tofu curds, a byproduct of tofu production. With a light lamb flavored sauce.

Napa Cabbage Roll with mustard sauce.

An interesting Beijing (?) dish. Round You tiao shaped like onion rings with a pickled vegetable. The custom is to take a bite of yt and veg, chased down with the slightly sour Leftover water from tofu making. Interesting, but not particularly delicious.

Bowls of sesame dipping sauce, chives, green onion and cilantro provided.

Various cuts if lamb and one beef. The meats were super tender with a great meaty taste. I’m a Halal meat convert!

Lamb tripe strips. Black?? Also saw this tripe sold as street food at Halal stands.

This was a very meat-centric hot pot. Just a token bit of bok choy and napa cabb for greenery.

A fizzy citrusy beverage, akin to a Jarrito. No beer at this Halal restaurant.

Our Uber ride, from years gone by.


Interesting. Never saw black ones before. Was it a cooked dish or raw tripes for hot pot? Normally, I think tripes need long time in cooking.

Yeah, tried that in Hong Kong, was excellent!

Seems like there is a new place in Paris 5th specialises in that, maybe should go and test it out.

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I stand corrected. That was black beef tripe, not lamb.

We had hot pot for our final dinner in Beijing. A comfortable spot with well spaced tables and private rooms. Service was very accommodating, our server even stopped us from ordering too much, our SOP. As is common in China, this restaurant had “seat covers” which they slipped over your seat back to protect your coat and/or handbag.

Each table automatically gets the house basics. Frozen tofu, pickled sweet garlic, boiled peanuts, napa cabbage and pickled daikon. The garlic was good with bites of meat.

Of course, we had a plate of the black beef tripe. It comes raw, we just shabu shabu’d it in the hot broth for < 10 seconds. The tripe was barely warm, let alone cooked through. The texture was snappy with a good light crunch. Very tasty.

Beef tongue. So tender!

Beautifully butterfly cut lamb. Nice presentation, delicious lamb flavor.

Noodles and a bunch of vegetables to round out the meal.

Put a lid on it, we’re done!


More Beijing Duck. Lunch at a Beijing Duck specialty shop.


Started with a rich Pork Kidney with Wood Ear soup.


Very nicely trimmed al dente Gai Lan.

Stir fry Lamb Offal.

Tofu Skin and Toona Sprouts Salad.

Beijing Duck cut two ways.

Crispy skin on top of meat, and skin with meat together.

Served with thin Crepes, and three not so special buns.

Option to have the duck bones finished in soup, or Salt and Pepper fried. We opted for the fried. Very ADDICTIVE!!!

It’ll be a long time before I will consider ordering Beijing Duck outside of China again. :wink:


Some street foods, some we actually ate, other we just merely ogled.

Our good friend, Beijing Duck, street style.

Dumplings galore. Just about all shapes and sizes.

Seafood: Crabs, squid, octopi…


A friendly gentleman was BBQ’ing Pig’s Trotters and some unidentifiable goodies in a closet size takeout. My wife had to have his Lamb Brain, creamy and delicious. Fun eating on the side of the busy thoroughfare, enjoying the warm evening and the local scene.

Lots and lots of skewers everywhere. Stickman threading a live Scorpion onto a skewer. We did not partake.


Checked Donkey Meat skewers off our bucket list. Surprisingly tender and juicy, totally unlike expectations.

Pancake with egg, ham and sausage. Looks good.

For the sweet tooth. Green Tea ice cream. Churros, yes, Churros!! Beijing Yogurt and fruit in various presentations.


Great! We wanted to try jianbing in Manhattan, but one place that served them had gone out of business, and another was closed when we got there. Then, on our last day, when we were getting ready to leave, we saw that a place around the corner from our hotel served them!! But now I’ll aim for M&Y Savor in Paris.