Travel Diary- Beijing Part II

Food edition!!!

So this may not end up being a useful guide but if anything you'll have a sneak peek of food kind of unique to Beijing.


Beijing is freezing in Winter and what better meal in winter than hotpot and let's keep in mind that hotpot in Australia has nothing on Chinese hotpot. For me the best part of hotpot is the end when you order noodles or if available hand strung noodles 手拉面-shou la mian- because a part of the process is the show itself (see below where the guy looks so happy in his job) and the flavours in the soup have had time to develop and intensify.

Gimme me my noodles

It's not pictured here unfortunately but there's like a sauce bar in this restaurant where you can DIY your own sauce sauce to have with the meat and vegetables you order. The usual ones people take are this sesame sauce/paste, oyster sauce, chilli, spring onions, garlic, yeah pretty much anything you can name in an Asian grocery stall is here in what I call the sauce bar section. 

Oh did I mention that there's an adjoining nail salon you can go to free of charge if you're a customer? Anyways, this place is always really busy and it's best to make a booking because it's so popular.

Some old 'lao' Beijing restaurant

One of my biggest culture shocks I had when it came to eating out was the prevalence of smokers. I recognise that it is a personal decision but I just have my own qualms against it. What I cannot get over however is when there are blatant no smoking signs in restaurants and hotels and yet people continue to smoke without regard to people like me who detest the smell of smoking especially when I’m eating or if I’m supposed to reside comfortably in a place. When you're in shopping centres and what no you won't have to worry about this but in places with 'history'- for want of a better word' this is something you need to be aware of i.e. here.

普通精品烤鸭 - Pu Tong Jing Pin Kao Ya

Okay so I don't know the exact name of this but its like a jelly made from stuff... including meat but it  absolutely tastes divine. 

焦圈 -jiao quan
Slightly savoury fried doughnut, but you can skip this because you won't be missing on much. I mean the fact that I don't remember much should be enough of an indicator.

豆汁 -dou zhi 
Soybean milk, this is the traditional version which put honestly, tastes foul! Like one spoonful of this was enough to put me off soybean milk for the entire trip. I promise that the ones you get in supermarkets are not nasty but just pray that you don't get the traditional version if you order it in a restaurant.
芥末墩 -jie mo dun

Wasabi, mustard marinated Chinese cabbage. If there were ever a Chinese version of kimchi this would be it. I mean I don't mind kimchi but what's pictured here didn't taste all that great unless you like washing your mouth with wasabi. And in case I didn't mention it this is served cold. 
蒜茸粉丝蒸小扇贝- Suan rong fen si Zheng xiao Shan bei 

Pretty much steam scallops with vermicelli noodles. Growing up in Australia we are honestly spoiled with good seafood so I would skip this if I were you. You'll actually see this exact dish served up in street food as well but again you probably should try something else instead.

招牌茄酱面 - Zhao Pai Jia Jiang Mian

Signature Beijing or Northern China dish which literally stands for mixed black bean noodles and it tastes divine. If you've ever watched Korean Variety Shows or Korean dramas you can relate to the love affair people have with these noodles. And as a plus it's vegetarian friendly. At this particular place it's completely DIY so you are given a bowl which you take to the Jia Jiang Mian area to fill up with whatever you want (as well as quantity wise), take it bank to your seat, mix and enjoy!


I would write the pin yin in but for not knowing the exact sounds of the last two characters- reason being they can be pronounce 2 ways. This is kinda like a sweet potato that has been fried for those curious, otherwise you can try your luck at google translate or stick to the fail-safe Chinese food you've become accustomed to.

Bing Tang Hu Lu- Candied Hawthorn 

Pretty much a very old Beijing snack which you'll see like everywhere. I bought this just outside of the Forbidden City. Nowadays they come in many varieties but the original one looks like mini apples on a stick (below)

Special home cooking

The time my grandma and I cooked wild pig for dinner and holy moly best pork I have had in my life, like seriously it was so tender and so full of flavour.

Equivalent to like Chinese pasta

So so good

My grandma insisted I finish the meal off with some dessert wine so why not!

Nanluoguxiang aka Chinatown on steroids

I like to think of this place as your street food central or what you would expect to find in Chinatown in a Western city but on a much larger scale. 

Green tea frozen yoghurt, unfortunately I think green tea wasn't the best flavour to pick

Continuing the tofu loving trend

Fairy Floss

I actually have a lot of blooming teas at home

Blew this 'myself'
WARNING: It's expensive and the candy itself taste crap!

Ate at a Sichuan (province) restaurant but still in this 'Chinatown' area. I would recommend it because the food was really nice.

 醪糟汤圆- Lao zao tang yuan- Fermented 'glutinous rice dumplings' 5 RMB


This looks really simple but this is really not ordinary rice, it's actually rather sweet like a dessert.

丝瓜- Si Gua- Melon 22RMB

特惠麻婆豆腐- Special Mapo Tofu 8 RMB

First of all can I just mention how cheap this is, conversion will make it AUD $1.60 and despite all that red, if you can handle the heat then you will love it! Also this is a signature Sichuan dish.

想芋吐司卷- Xiang yu tusi juan- Taro rolled up in toast 9 RMB

Okay so I know we all fall in the apparently lull of saying everything tastes pretty damn good but seriously I am craving this so badly. If you love taro and bread then you must try this, it's pretty much the best of both worlds- fried rolled bread which has been stuff with taro (I'm drooling already). Australia needs this but more importantly, I need this! 

特惠家乡酸菜鱼- Special hometown pickled Chinese Cabbage with fish 29 RMB

If you should remember one thing from Sichuan dishes, it is that they are ridiculously spicy. Also, remember that adage of how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover? Despite looking deceptively green in appearance this entire dish is f**king hot, yeah that bad but it blows your mind in that amazing spicy way. Unfortunately if you cannot take chilli you should stay miles away from this because every bite is infused with that spicy kick.

蛋糕糍粑- Dangao ciba- Cooked glutinous rice pound into a paste 'cake' 8 RMB

Sorry guys but everything is seriously that good. So I've already described it in the title but you dip this into the sugar on the side and eat it like so.

 拔丝地瓜- Ba si di gua- candied floss sweet potato 36RMB

This comes out of the kitchen blistering hot. It's best to have this ASAP because when it's still hot you can separate the sweet potato pieces rather than when it has cooled down- good luck trying to eat it once the sugar has hardened. Also, it'll come with a bowl of water so you can dunk the sweet potato pieces in which will then harden the sugar. Again another memorable and drool worthy dish.

So when I was at Yang Qi Lake- where the latest APEC Summit was held- there was this town that was all European style and so we went there to see if there was anything worth seeing. If you find yourself in the same position, listen to your gut because chances are it's going to be another ghost town- literally. Also all the bad stories you've heard of Chinese Western Restaurant stories are true. End of story.

This my friends is a terrible place to eat and you should not under any circumstance eat here.

Mushroom soup that made me want to throw up

Terrible cheap roast- I was missing Campos coffee roast so badly 
The same can be said about the rest of the food. I promise I'm not being a bitch here, just a very honest individual.

I ordered ocean trout, I didn't get ocean trout. My fillet also had bones. Again not being a bitch but used to very high standards.


Post a Comment


Instagram Updates

Meet The Author

Welcome to my blog and enjoy exploring my posts about food and fashion. And if you really must know more about me then you'll find an 'About me' tab at the top or if you're too lazy to do that then just click here

Lots of love