City Weekend - - Eat & Drink -

When you think of lo­cal Beijing food, what comes to mind? Prob­a­bly Pek­ing duck. It’s by far the most well­known lo­cal dish, made fa­mous by restau­rants like Da Dong and Duck de Chine. Though de­li­cious, Pek­ing duck isn’t the only thing that real lo­cals crave for when they’re look­ing to get a taste of those nos­tal­gic olden days.

Nes­tled on Tian­shuiyuan Lu is a lit­tle old Beijing restau­rant that isn’t very eye catch­ing (heck, we walked past it for six months be­fore de­cid­ing to give it a try). There’s no neon sign or flash­ing lights. Just an old plaque that says they make old Beijing food.

Don’t ex­pect any­thing fancy when you go. It’s a small fam­ily-owned restau­rant with wooden benches, no mu­sic, and a cou­ple of flies buzzing around.

Why are we rec­om­mend­ing it then? Well, while this lit­tle fam­ily-owned restau­rant cooks up an ar­ray of lo­cal dishes, they spe­cial­ize in one thing; pan­cakes stuffed with pork knuck­les (¥12). Their freshly baked shaob­ings (pan­cakes) are stuffed with three thick slices of home­made pork knuck­les that have been mar­i­nat­ing in their se­cret recipe for hours.

Here, it’s all about fam­ily. From the chefs in the kitchen to the wait­ress tak­ing your or­der, ev­ery­body’s some­how an ex­tended fam­ily mem­ber of Mr. Hao. The first time we vis­ited was on a ran­dom af­ter­noon when the staff was hav­ing their meal. Upon see­ing our cu­ri­ous faces eye­ing their gi­ant scal­lion shaobing, the chef brought a slice over to us to try, free of charge, ea­gerly telling us that he’s been per­fect­ing his skills and ask­ing for feed­back. His smil­ing eyes af­ter see­ing us eat his food says enough about what this restau­ra­teur fam­ily truly val­ues.

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