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Author Topic: Restaurants of Beijing  (Read 10702 times)

decurso

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Restaurants of Beijing
« on: October 24, 2007, 10:33:32 AM »
 Continuing the theme of restaurant reviews here are some good spots I've found in a city that probably has more dining choices than any city in China. Keep in mind restaurants come and go with alarming frequency here and this will probably be out of date by the time I post this.

New York Coffee and Burger House-The selection at this Wudaokou spot is limited to burgers and a few sandwhiches and salads. However, the burgers are to die for. 25 bucks gets you a FRESH 250 gram all beef burger with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, green peppers, mustard, mayo and ketchup. Fries are extra but the 12 yuan basket feeds two. Deliveray available.

Pete's Tex-Mex Grill-This Lido spot has a dizzying array of choices and pretty much everything you want in a western restaurant. Soups, sandwhiches, salads, burgers, steaks, burritos, pastas, pizzas, nachos, salmon, chilli, meatloaf...it's all here. Not cheap but it's the real deal. They also serve up a pretty decent margarita for 40 kuai. Very child friendly as well. They have a childrens menus, high chairs and a great little play area where your little darling can raise hell while you dine peace.

Bai Jia Zhai Men-Located in Zhonguan Cun, this elegant Imperial style restaurant is one of a kind. It's located on a 10 acre garden that used to be the residence of a Qing Dynasty prince. The architecture and scenery are beautiful and the staff all dresses in traditional Chinese garb. Indoor and outdoor seating available, but if weather allows outdoor is the best option. the menus features a variety of exotic and expensive dishes such as Shark Fin Soup(1600), Deer Fetus in Afterbirth(1200) and Birds Nest Soup(700). However, there is plenty a poor foreign teacher can afford. Seafood, venison and duck seem to be the specialties and there are plenty of these kind of dishes in the 40-100 range.

Fish Nation-Many places in Beijing claim to have Fish and Chips, but you usually wind up with frozen fish sticks. This British run place is the real deal. 30 kuai for a honkin' huge piece of cod and 12 for chips. They have other stuff too, but why bother? Two locations-one in Sanlitun and one on historic Luogu Xiang.

Ho's Restaurant-This fabulous Cantonese restaurant is just south of the Southwest gte of Peking University. Novel length menu takes forever to read. Good choices include shrimp kebabs in a bucket, fish cakes and Cantonese noodles that will remind you of the Chow Mein at your favourite Chinese restaurant back home

T6-OK, so it's not the best hotpot in Beijing but it's the only one I've been to so far. The fact that it's personal pots makes it ideal for dinner for two. Only complaints-no carrots and the only beer they have is Budweiser. aaaaaaaaaa Locations all over Beijing.

Ganges-Fabulous Indian restaurant run by two chefs from Dehli. Food from north to south India including curry, tiki and samosas. I personally come back for the Lamb Rogan Josh which packs a kick and goes down like a brick (hey...I made a ryhme!). Delivery available. At least three locations in Beijing, I use the Haidian branch on Chengfu Lu

Tafi-Not the best Itallian restaurant in Beijing but this Wudaokou spot is certainly the one with the best value for your money. Set menu includes soup, salad, bread, pasta and desset for 50 bucks. If the pasta is over 28 you pay the difference, but the lasagna is worth it. Getting the set menu also entitles you to a glass of very drinable house wine for 10 yuan.

Isshin-Voted Best Japanese in the 2006 That's Beijing Reader awards. Tucked away on a little alley in Wudaokou, this atmospheric little place has sushi, sashimi,tempura and great Chicken Teriyaki. Lots of fish dishes as well. the service sucks, but what can you do?

Red Station-This Korean chain has a location in Zhongguan Cun and they have a very novel theme. Everything on the menu is murderously spicy. I like my food la de, but this is honestly about as hot as I can take it.

The Rickshaw-More pub than restaurant, this Sanlitun spot still serves up some good grub. Menu includes burgers,caesar salad, burritos, nachos,ect. The burritos aren't exactly authentic but they are freakin' huge-a large feeds two people. Beer is 15 kuai a pint and from 5 to 8 it is half price

Pyro Pizza-This Wudaokou pub serves up good thin crust pizza that puts neighbouring Pizza Hut to shame for half the price. They also have the best Caesar Salad I've had in China and pretty decent nachos. Live sports are always on the tube and the playlist features a good selection of 60's and 70's classic rock.From 10-12 tequila shooter are 5 bucks and Tsing Tao pitchers are 20.

Kro's Nest-Another pizza pub  with good food, good music and cheap beer. The pizzas here are simply the biggest pies I've ever seen. A medium can easily stuff three people. Try the "garbage pail"-a pizza with every topping they have. Calzones are also available. 10 kuai pints of draft and a friendlier crowd than that of the average Beijing ex-pat hangout also make this place worthwhile. Located west of the north gate of Peking University and a new location has just opened near the Workers Stadium.

Rio BBQ-Brazillian BBQ is everywhere in China, but this Dongzhimen spot is actually endorsed by the Brazillian embassy. 78 bucks gets you all you can eat BBQ and salad bar, as well as all you can drink draft beer for 3 hours.

Wan Wan Fang Brazillian BBQ-As much as I like Rio BBQ, it's a little expensive and out of the way for me. Cheaper and closer to home is this place between the China Geosciences University and BLCU. Here it's only 40 bucks, but the servers only make one round. The BBQ and salad bar aren't as good but draft beer is still free. The fact that the salad bar has mashed potatoes and gravy  is certainly a huge point in its favour.

EDIT:I mentioned that this post may be out of date by the time I posted it and indeed it is. This place is now closed.

The Banana Leaf-This popular chain has two locations-one in Sanlitun and one in Zhongguan Cun. Downstairs is an all you can eat seafood buffet (108 per person) and upstairs is a Thai restaurant decked out like a jungle theme park. the menu is the size of a Sears catalog and also includes Indian, Japanes, Vietnamese and Malaysian dishes. I recomend the Muscles in Chilli sauce for seafood lovers.

Cai Yunjian-This Yunnan restaurant is a great place to grab a bite before heading a few doors down to 13 Club for a live rock show. The specialty is chicken stwed in a clay pot, but it's too boney and greasy for me. Far better are the many varieties of Mixian served in honkin' huge portions. They apparently also have several dishes that originate from the Dai ethnic minority, but I have yet to try them. Next time. 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 02:48:29 PM by decurso »

George

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 12:10:47 PM »
Quote
25 bucks? gets you a FRESH 250 gram all beef burger with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, green peppers, mustard, mayo and ketchup
That's a lot to pay for a burger without a fried egg, or beetroot!!
I'm not so keen about our possible move to Beijing!!
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cheekygal

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 12:27:27 PM »
Well, the places you talk about are mainly in Wudakou. There are tons of western/international restaurants in Beijing and some serve quite affordable food of good quality. Though with the recent price jump in China, some places have raised/planning on raising the prices.

decurso

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 04:29:34 AM »
 When you consider the cost of a processed burger at McD's, or even the cost of a filling meal at a semi-hygenic Chinese restaurant, 25 is not a lot to pay for a good homestyle burger. I can live without the beetroot thanks.

 And George,you'll be happy to know you can follow your favourite footie teams at some of the pubs I mentioned. Pyros has been showing the World Cup of Rugby all month.

 Cheeks, Wudaokou is where I hang my hat and as such where I do most of my dining out. I certainly encourage others to share good spots. Most of the international restaurants in Haidian are quite good and affordable, though many are not the best of their type.

decurso

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 06:58:47 AM »
Time to add some more. It's worth mentioning another Brazillian BBQ has replaced Wan Wan Fang and it's quite a bit better.

Jia Xiang Cai.com-This sprawling Sichuan restaurant is well hidden on the campus of the China Geo Sciences University. Another place with a huge menu. I hate tofu, but found an awesome tofu dish called Dou Hua Niu Rou here. They have several themed rooms for private dining and two massive public dining rooms. A great place to try something new.

The Nine Headed Bird-Another place you have to search for, but it's well worth it. This Hubei restaurant is tucked away inside the Zhonguan Cun hotel with no sign to identify it. There's some great fish dishes here as well as Wuhan's famous ri gan mian.

Chuan Fu Lou-My personal favourite Beijing hotpot place. A nice selection of broths, dips, meat and veggies for great prices. The Chongqing style broth is heaven for spicy hotpot lovers. Portions are a bit small, but at these prices you can't really complain. Located on Chengfu Lu two blocks east of the Wudaokou metro stop.

Nam Nam-Semi-elegant Vietnamese restaurant next to the Sanlitun Friendship store.I'm not really an expert on Vietnamese food, but the grub here is allright by me. Kind of expensive, but a nice treat once in awhile.

Annies-This outstanding Itallian restaurant has 5 locations in Beijing. the pasta selection here is out of this world. Pick your noodles and then pick from a list of nearly thirty sauces. They also serve up a mean, artery clogging lasagna. Prices are a steal.

Kitaya-Gotta give George credit for discovering this place. This Japanese restaurant is located at the Novotel by the Chongwen Men metro stop. For 150 kuai you can order all night long from an extensive all you can eat menu. All your Japanese faves are here and done well. Beer and saki are included in the price.

Kou Fu Ju Hotpot-Popular chain has dozens of locations in Beijing. More expensive than most hotpot places, but they have a rowdy,festive atmosphere and a lot of things you won't find on other hotpot menus. Fa piaos are earned by playing a Wheel of Fortune style game .

Pass By Bar-This pub was where the last Beijing Saloon get together was held. Pretty extensive selection of western fare, including steaks, burgers and pasta. Odd pizza selections include gong bao ji ding and yangrouchuan. The latter is surprisingly deleicious. They also have a modest lending library.

Gisa-Itallian run place by the west gate of Chaoyang Park is as authentic as Itallian food gets. The pasta selection isn't that great, but the meat and fish dishes are heavenly. Try the steak with fresh rosemary or a nice veal cutlet. Pizza is made with home made cheese!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 07:10:07 AM by decurso »

china-matt

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2008, 05:22:42 AM »
I'll second Pass By on Nan Luoguxiang -- I suggest trying the hutong pizza. There are a few other decent places on that street too. I think it was the Drum and Bell that had some tasty Sichuan food. Also quite a few nice and cheap bars (10 kuai beer), unless it's changed in the past few months -- Catcher in the Rye was a cool one.
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Lotus Eater

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2008, 05:26:01 AM »
I liked E Pan Ji /E fan Ji??  A Uighur restaurant - set menu is a little expensive, but food is good, live entertainment and after dinner the tables are cleared off and everyone dances on them.  Good fun!

contemporarydog

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2008, 11:55:51 AM »
When you consider the cost of a processed burger at McD's, or even the cost of a filling meal at a semi-hygenic Chinese restaurant, 25 is not a lot to pay for a good homestyle burger. I can live without the beetroot thanks.

He said 25 bucks.  25 USD is quite a lot of money to pay for that IMVHO, that's like 170 RMB.
It is too early to say.

decurso

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2008, 08:19:41 AM »
my bad...bucks means local currency to me. Tons of new spots opening up in my neighbourhood of Wudaokou. Hardly recognize the place anymore. Thai, Indian, Greek, Vietnamese fusion...how quickly things change! Will report in due time.

contemporarydog

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2008, 09:50:54 AM »
Yeah - just ribbin' ya.  I just love winding up Americans like this.

"Man, that job sucks - it only pays 100 bucks an hour".
"What? You mean it pays 800 RMB? I'd bite their hands off for that."

Anyway, sounds like you're onto a good thing with all the restaurants there.  This part of Dalian is still pretty lacking in that way, although there is the superb pizza place I mentioned
It is too early to say.

James the Brit

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 10:18:44 AM »
Kro's Nest-Another pizza pub  with good food, good music and cheap beer.Located west of the north gate of Peking University and a new location has just opened near the Workers Stadium.
The Gongti restaurant is more expensive than the Haidian one, Im guessing that is due to the rent. The beer is definitely not cheap, 20 kuai for a pint of Tsingdao, except on Tuesdays.

Banana Leaf management has opened a new restaurant near San Yuan Qiao (三元桥). Havent been there yet, though.

decurso

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008, 05:07:05 AM »
 Right you are James. Beer is only 10 kuai a pint at the Haidian branch and the menu is five times as big. But, as you say, the rent is a lot more out that way.

Here are some more good spots in Haidian...

Breeze of Siam-New Thai restaurant by the Wudaokou metro stop. Not as good as Bannana Leaf, but not a bad spot. The place is decorated with a unique Muay Thai theme and the staff is all decked out in traditional Thai clothing. Favourite dishes include the battered deep fried prawns, garlic chicken cooked in bannana leaf, fried rice noodles and pineapple rice

Bindyia-Another new spot, this one of many restaurants recently opened on the fifth floor of the new U Center shopping mall in Wudaokou. Compared to other Indian spots in Beijing, the portions are pretty skimpy given the high prices. However, the lunch buffet is an unbeatable deal. Two soups, pakora, tika, six kinds of curry, two kinds of rice, yogurt, fruit and vegetable plates AND free orange juice and ice tea for a mere 48 kuai. The vindaloo is deadly spicy...just the way I like it.

Grandma's Kitchen-This place has been an institution in Beijing for years, but now we finally got one out here in WDK, also in the U Center. Pretty much all your western food needs can be taken care of here. I wasn't terribly impressed by the New York steak (very dry), but the clubhouse was great. One of the only places in Beijing you can get gravy on your fries, so that alone will keep me going back. Gravy is free!

The Sauce/Motmoya-This hidden little gem apparently has several locations in Beijing, but I only know of the one in the Xijiao Hotel in Wudaokou. The selection of both Japanese and western food is so vast that they actually have three menus. Most of the western food is pretty mediocre, but there is some good stuff here. At 40 kuai, the sirloin steak is one of the best dining bargains in Beijing. The 27 kuai lasgana damn near choked me to death with all the cheese. And last month I made a terrible pig of myself as their delicious sushi was half price all month.

Vottaro-Another great place for sushi located on the sixth floor of the Dongsheng Plazza in Wudaokou. Best deal here is the grilled salmon steak, which goes for a mere 28 kuai and is big enough to be considered a meal. Draft beer is 8 yuan a pint.

Flo's-One of the few places in this post not in Haidian, this French restaurant is in the Rainbow Plazza off the east side of the third ring road. Voted Best French in That's Beijings 2008 reader awards. Set menu gives you 4 courses for 300 kuai. Not cheap, but a nice "date" restaurant. Onion soup is fantastic. A very extensive wine list, but expect to blow a good chunk of cash.

Mirch Masala-An excellent spot for Indian food on Nan Luo Gu Xiang. I actually couldn't get a seat here, so the laoban delivered to the bar next door. That's service. Huge portions of nan bread, and most curries are in the 30-40 range, which is pretty damn cheap. I had the chicken Madras, which was very tender and flavorful.

 I do eat Chinese food, but mostly at anonymous dives.  agagagagag

decurso

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 04:13:56 AM »
Even more...

The Saddle-Nolefan has already raved about this place, but I thought I would throw in my own two cents worth. This self proclaimed Mexican cantina is located in the new Nali patio opposite the Sanlitun bar strip. The menu is quite limited, but they have most of what you want in a Mexican restaurant and the food is authentic. There's Mexican music, a lovely outdoor patio, kickass margaritas (50 kuai) and 40 different tequilas. Complaints-while the chip and dip platters are large and come with a dizzying array of choice, the chips are sometimes a little on the stale side. Also, it's not very beer drinker friendly. No Chinese beer and the cheepest draft is Hoegarden for 40 kuai. However, the fifth of every month drinks are half price all day.

Alameda-Tucked away on a little side street halfway up the Sanlitun bar strip, this place was voted Beijings best restaurant in this years That's Beijing reader awards. Known as a Brazillian restaurant because the chef is from Brazil, but they have a little bit of everything. Impossible to describe the food because the menu changes everyday. Set menu(60 kuai for lunch, 138 for dinner) offers two courses. Frankly, for 138 desert oughta be included, but I can't argue with the quality or the portions.

Morrels-Two locations-one opposite the Workers Gymnasium and one on Liangma Qiao Lu a block and a half west of the drive in theater. Fantastic Belgian restaurant is frankly a lot better than Alameda IMO. Winner of Best Steak TBJ reader awards and I can't argue. Famous for their 400 gram sirloins that are meant for two, but if your dinner date is a vegetarian, the 220 gram tenderloin is a nice chunk of meat. Fresh lobster at market prices, a nice selection of Flemmish stews and daily specials. Wash it down with some Belgian beer and top it off with Belgian waffles for desert.

Teppanyaki Show Bar-This place is on Hao Yun Jie, a strip of bars and restaurants in northeast Chaoyang District. A variety of set menus ranging from 150-400. The 150 menu features six courses of steak, lamb, fish and prawns fried up in front of you by a very animated teppanyaki chef. Pricier options include salmon and lobster. All prices include salad bar, drinks and generous helping of sashimi. Good place to get completely gooned over dinner.

La Bamba-Brand new Mexican place just opened up in Wudaokou above Propaganda nightclub. Not as good as The Saddle, but it does have three very good things going for it. One, it is open til 5 AM. Two, it is cheap, cheap, cheap. Three, it is a fifteen minute walk from my front door. Tsing Tao draft is 5 yuan until 7PM (at which point the price goes up to 15). Chimichangas (20 yuan) and enchiladas (28) are the best offerings on the menu. 

James the Brit

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2008, 04:21:50 AM »
Also, it's not very beer drinker friendly. No Chinese beer and the cheepest draft is Hoegarden for 40 kuai.

Aren't they going to start brewing their own beer sometime soon?

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Restaurants of Beijing
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2008, 06:32:04 AM »
Morrels...I went in and looked longingly at it but didn't eat there...I was frightened off by the prices! aoaoaoaoao

But look around in the alley behind that long strip of restaurants including the Morrels across from the Workers Gymnasium...at least when I was there a little Italian restaurant hidden back in that alley served me one of the best pizzas I've ever had. When I ordered, the pizza process started with logs being placed in an oven and lighted, while a chef rolled out a steel table and proceeded to make the crust before my eyes, from the flour-water-oil-yeast-salt level.

It was amazing! I hope it's still there. If so, it's worth a bit of hunting...
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