One of the main dishes we wanted to try when in China was hotpot. This meal comes in many menu options and the combinations are endless. Hot pot is made up of broth, noodles, meat and vegetables.
Again there are 100s of places to try this dish. We settled on one quite close to our hostel. This family run restaurant was one of the busiest not only with tourists but locals also. They had some English so we asked for Hotpot and they were happy to recommend ingredients.
We had a medium spice red broth, in which we cooked our sliced beef, mushrooms, onions, broccoli and noodles in.
This is a massive meal and would easily feed more than two people. It takes some time to cook but it allowed us to sit back and people watch. The heat of the broth was just about right for us but I am sure you can have it much spicer.
It wasn’t overly expensive by Beijing standards but make sure you look around for what suits your price range.
Steamed pork buns. Every morning we were greeted by the smells rising from outside each restaurant on our street. It seems to be common practise to stack the steaming baskets high at the door and call out what you have to offer. These little parcels of pork meat come in trays of 8-10 and are so simple and delicious.
Potstickers (Guo Tie)
This type of dumpling is popular in Northern China. Popular flavours include pork, cabbage or chicken. Potstickers are long in shape and they are pan fried with a little water resulting in a crispy bottom and a steamed top, very similar to the Japaneese Gyoza. These dumplings can be found all over Beijing from restaurants to street vendors.
Saving the best for last, the main food that you expect to have when in Beijing is of course Peking duck. No matter where you look there are vendors offering it to you. It can range from extremely upscale restaurants to street carts.
We did quite a bit of research on where to go to get the most bang for our buck. We decided on Jingzun, 6 Chunxiu. This restaurant was a gem of a place and you are given a full show. You can choose either a half or full duck. It comes with all the pancakes, plum sauce and veg you would expect.
The chefs hand carve the meat in front of you at the table. You are then presented with a beautiful tray of food.The duck is sliced thin and laid out with the skin resting on top. The meat is succulent, the skin crispy and the sauce delicately sweet.
It is mid range price wise and it has its own home brew beer that went superbly with the food. This is our number one recommendation for food in Beijing.
No matter where you look in Beijing you will find these delights and encourage you to try them all as much as possible.
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