Eating out in Beijing

Culinary delights in Beijing

  • There is, if possible, a higher density of restaurants than I’ve seen anywhere else, including downtown SF, the curry mile, and so on.
  • The duck is really good – the same basic idea as in the UK, but executed to perfection.
  • The hot-pot is the most fun ‘self-assembly’ meal I’ve ever had – I find fajitas rather tiresome (alright, mostly I just prefer enchiladas) and fondue gets boring pretty fast, whereas the hot-pot is a great collection of flavours, especially given the bewildering combinations of sauces, bases and meats on offer. Tender cuts of beef, cooked for a minute, dipped in delicious sauce – absolutely delicious. It’s noticeable that the staff hover around after delivering the dishes, to provide some instruction, and presumably avoid idiot Westerners giving themselves food poisoning.
  • Middle-eastern dining at ‘1001 nights‘, good food (especially the falafel) and delicious baklava, accompanied by spectacular decor and cheesy belly-dancing. Not cheap, but fairly authentic (lacking a decent meze to start) and a welcome break from Chinese.
  • Szechuan, I was warned it might be ‘quite spicy’, but was actually far more flavoursome and less hot than I was expecting based on the dishes labelled Szechuan in the UK. I suspect the spice levels in the UK are either focused on to excess, or used to mask poor quality ingredients or inattention during preperation. Whatever the reason, my Beijing Szechuan experience was some of the most interesting Chinese food I had – I’ll try to find some good specialist places in Edinburgh and London now.
Posted Friday, July 4th, 2008 under travel.

One comment so far

  1. To be contrasted with: “Culinary delights in Terelj”: Cow. Meat. Lunch.

Leave a Reply