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Best Eats for Beijing Holidays 2011

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In Beijing and one can gorge on delicious cuisine from every nook and corner of China. If you’re planning for your 2011 holidays in Beijing, you won’t be disappointed with the variety of regional food available in the capital city, be it the minority delicacies of Guizhou or Yunnan, the hot and spicy Sichuan dishes, the sophisticated Tan Family-style food or the contemporary popular Chinese fare. Moreover, the eating joints cover the wide spectrum of budgets as well – from elegant upmarket restaurants to courtyard houses and even the tiny takeaway-type eating joints. So get set for a gastronomic Beijing holiday 2011 – here are our picks!

Taste the incredible food from Yunnan with a dash of Southeast Asian flavours at Dali. Dining at this laidback courtyard house with a set menu (keeps changing) costs something like 7GBP per person. The choice of cold appetizers may include pan-fried goat’s cheese or ox liver mushrooms. When it comes to hot dishes, good options to try are grilled tilapia fish with lemon grass and crispy deep-fried prawns. Another must try during 2011 Beijing holidays is the stir-fried jasmine flowers and scrambled eggs.

Din Tai Fung
Sample some of the best steamed buns on the planet at Din Tai Fung. Called “xiao longbao” locally, the buns are filled with minced pork and jelly (lends a juicy dimension to the filling) enclosed in a thin wheat skin and steamed. Another popular dish one can try during 2011 Beijing holidays is the “cairou zhengjiao” – dumplings (steamed) with a filling of baby bok choy, lard and minced pork. For a sweet tooth after a great meal, check out the “dousha bao” – tiny almost translucent buns filled with a sweet paste of red beans.

Duck de Chine (Peking Duck)
The signature dish of Beijing, the Peking Duck is doled out at so many restaurants and eateries that it’s a daunting task picking one from the whole lot. Duck de Chine is run by a father-son duo hailing from Hong Kong who roast their air-blown Peking ducks in an open fruit-tree fire for half an hour more than usual – to burn the extra fat of the duck. The perfectly roasted duck is served with baked sesame bread, pancakes, sliced cucumber and scallions along with a sweet sauce. A duck meal costs around 14GBP.

Jun Qin Hua
Jun Qin Hua is a crammed eatery in the city for trying some of the best spicy and sour fish soups. The “suantang yu” is one of the traditional recipes of the Miao people and includes one whole fish (grass carp or catfish) that is cooked in a fermented tomato-flavoured broth served with soybean sprouts, bean curd and pickled cabbage. The chilli potatoes here are also good – thin potato slices fried crisp with fiery-hot chillies and scallions.

Guo Yao Xiao Ju
The speciality of Guo Yao Xiao Ju is the diminishing Tan cuisine – a cooking style created by an official during the Tang rule. The “nongtang yudu” – fish maw soup is a delicacy worth trying. Made from thin slices of maw (swim bladder), the soup has a rich flavour to it. If you love experimenting with your food, then this is a hidden gem of Chinese cuisine to be explored during your Beijing sojourn in 2011.

Long Yuan Tang
A beautiful old house adorned with silver ornaments and ethnic costumes of the Zhuang community from the Guangxi Autonomous Region is what you will be greeted by at Long Yuan Tang. Check out the pork fillets stir-fried with bamboo shoots and duck meat with sautéed pickled ginger. Surely an offbeat (some of the delicacies may need to have an acquired taste for) option for Beijing holidays 2011.

My Humble House
For an elegant dining experience in Beijing with some of the best neo-classical Chinese fare, head off to My Humble House. The ambience is artful and attractive and the service/ presentation quite inviting. Must try during 2011 Beijing holidays include beef salad which is served with crisp green salad in a cheese basket! The cod fish (baked) accompanied with caramelized dark vinegar is another attraction here. For desserts, the star of the show is coconut ice cream loaded with almonds and served on a bed of almond tofu, mangoes, kiwis and peaches. A dinner here would cost something like 37GBP for two persons.

Shin Yeh
Finger-licking Taiwanese cuisine is the forte of Shin Yeh but the menu is influenced by Japanese food as well. There is a variety of seafood dishes, fried cuttlefish balls, five-flavoured squid, fish cake thinly sliced and stir-fried with celery, bullfrog/ chicken with scrambled eggs and salted turnip. If you come here to dine during Beijing holidays 2011, take note that it costs between 19GBP and 26GBP for two persons.

Wuyutai Neifu Cai
The Chinese lantern-lined food street, strangely called the Ghost Street, has the Wuyutai Neifu Cai that uses tea and/ or tea leaves in more than a score of dishes on its menu. Some delicacies are even complemented by different kinds of tea, like one pairs wine with food. Try the sweet-sour spareribs with Anhui green tea and the Family Wu buckwheat noodles. All the dishes are priced less than or around 4GBP.

Yuxiang Renjia
Good old Sichuan food is what you will get at Yuxiang Renjia in a rustic ambience and reasonable price. Must haves during Beijing holidays 2011 are the pork-flavoured Chen bean curd served with Sichuan peppercorn, Kong Pao chicken and eggplant with fish fragrance (doesn’t have fish in it though!).

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