In our last few weeks, we made as much of an effort as possible to revisit some of our fave restaurants. It’s hard to make a list because one of the main reasons we have loved living in China is the food. We have so many wonderful food memories.
But here are some of our faves, which we just had to visit one last time. Click on the restaurant name for the address.
Baoyuan Dumplings – Amongst our friends, this place is either known as the ‘purple jiaozi restaurant’ or the ‘crack jiaozi restaurant’. Purple, because the purple ones with crispy rice inside are the most amazing dumplings on the planet, and Crack, because you can get seriously addicted to them.
Yongle Restaurant – This place has been our go-to for Beijing Duck. We discovered it when we lived near Gulou, in fact, on the day we moved into our new apartment, we went there and bought lunch for our friends who had helped us move. They do all the Beijing standards. Their duck has a ‘special option’ that comes with sesame buns, sprouts and plum sauce. Yum! Other highlights are the Japanese Tofu (hongshao riben doufu) and an AMAZING deep-fried lamb leg. We can never remember what it’s called, but they have a picture menu (or show them this pic).
Meizhou dongpo – Meizhous is a chain that pops up all over Beijing. They are a sichuan restaurant and do delicious spicy food. They also deliver! Yay! We love their broad beans, spicy small potatoes, mapo doufu, tangsu liji, stuffed eggplant and bamboo shoots.
Pure Lotus – As well as being a restaurant, Pure Lotus is an experience. It has the most amazing decor, and unique serving dishes. You’re very likely to have a dish served on dry ice. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that I have really explored the menu because it is the most difficult and heavy menu to read on the planet. But don’t let that put you off – the food is delish! Highlights are the Tofu Spicy Chicken (laziji), black beans wrapped in lettuce and purple dragon baozi. There are plenty more, but they are what spring to mind!
Wuyishan Fujian Restaurant – This little dive is tucked down a side street along Maliandao, Beijing’s famous tea street. I was introduced to this place through The Hutong, where I ran a few tea tours. It’s such a dirty little place, but makes the most amazing food. Highlights are the okra and the red-cooked fish.
Xinjiang provincial restaurant – So, this wasn’t a fave restaurant. We only went there a few days ago for the first time. But, we LOVE xinjiang food, and frankly, there just isn’t anything good close to our house any more, so we thought we’d head across town to this one. And it was totally worth it. We had all the standards; chuan’r, dingdingers, dapanji, as well as a new one for me – xinjiang sweetened milk tea. It perfectly matches the spicy food.
The Westin Financial Street Brunch – The Sunday brunch to end all brunches. This is the most indulgence you’ll have in a sunday brunch. Enough said.
Lush – The Lush burger is by far the best in Beijing. First we had, and last we had. Lush is way out in the student district, where we lived when we first came to Beijing. Many a drunken night was spent here, and even better, the burgers are half price between 2 and 4am. We just had to go and have just one more.
Gungho pizza – We believe this to be the best delivery pizza in Beijing. Thin, wholemeal bases, a huge variety of toppings and great salads. It seems silly, but this was actually our final meal in Beijing. Why? Because it was one of our favourite things to do on a friday night after an exhausting week of work, and the business is such a symbol of why Beijing is a cool place to live. If you see a hole in the market, and you know how to do something well, you can fill that hole and become so successful. You can develop the concept of amazing customer service, you can have creative packaging designed by locals, you can have hilarious, distinctive pink bikes that are driven by drivers who call out to each other (Gung!!!!…… HO!!!!!…..) and you can cook good food well with good ingredients.
Hatsune – And finally, our fave of all time. Hatsune was the first foreign restaurant that we visited after moving back to Beijing. We went there for a friend’s birthday and were completely overwhelmed by the menu. Firstly, by the prices (we’d pretty much only eaten 5 yuan bowls of noodles up until this point) and secondly, by the most amazing looking sushi we’d ever seen!! We decided to ignore the price tag and just go with it, and it was the best sushi we’d ever eaten. Plus, our friend got the bill at the end anyway!! A few years later, Hatsune opened a second branch much closer to our home and we jumped in the air for joy! It quickly became a regular for a fancy meal. They also have really cool events, such as sushi making classes.
What’s your favourite Beijing restaurant???