Archive for the ‘Beijing Food’ Category

Beijing Restaurant with a View of Qianmen and Tiananmen Square

Monday, June 12th, 2017
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Capital M (前门M餐厅) is on the top list of my favorite restaurants with a view in Beijing.  The letter “M” comes from “Michelle”, or Michelle Garnaut,  an Australian restaurateur, the owner and founder of Capital M. This is Michelle’s fourth restaurant in China after the Fringe in Hong Kong, M on the Bund and Glamour Bar in Shanghai.

It is said that it took seven years for Melbourne-born restaurateur Michelle Garnaut to turn Capital M a reality. Capital M’s charm is three-fold: artistic decoration, elegant fare and wine, and stupendous view.

All the dining rooms are ornately built. The main room known as “The Silver Room” features parquet flooring, hand-painted mural,  gold-leaf pillars and elegant lighting, suitable for corporate dinner, romantic wedding and important events. It is  a cozy and opulent setting for European culinary indulgence.

Its menus change with the seasons taking advantage of the local food and imported delicacies to satisfy your taste buds. It offers dining and drinking service for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea,  dinner and drinks. A range of fine wines and classic cocktails are on offer at the bar.

Below is part of the sample menu for dinner at Capital M:

Mezze Platter ~ for sharing
dips of tzatziki, babaganoush, hummus & htipiti
cauliflower fritters, tarator, fried haloumi cheese
fresh vegetable shards, spinach & feta pies & spiced olives
all served with our own warm flat bread

Oysters & Caviar
Fine de Claire No.4
Freshly shucked Oysters from Brittany

Mandarin Beluga Caviar
(sustainably farmed from Qiandaohu) with Melba’s toast
& all the classical trimmings

Red Gazpacho & White Gazpacho
Ajo Blanco, with almonds and grapes
& the classic Gazpacho Andaluz

Moroccan Modern ~
Heirloom carrots, organic chickpeas,
sweet Medjool dates, petals and leaves,
sumac & spices, orange blossom dressing

Desserts
Hot Raspberry Soufflé
with a cool berry swirl ice-cream (20 minutes please)

Very Famous Pavlova…
proudly served in all M’ restaurants since 1989
a light, fluffy & crisp meringue base topped with
passion fruit ice-cream, lashings of fresh cream,
fresh fruits and passion fruit sauce ~

Eating outside is one of the best features attracting legions of dinners to Capital M, which provides the terrace for beautiful al fresco dining.  The terrace allows to have one of the most impressive views in the city – Overlooking Tiananmen Square, busy Qianmen Street, Forbidden City ……

How to get there?
Take subway line 2 and alight at the station of Qianmen and exit from Exit B and walk south to  a pailou (decorative archway gate) to Qianmen Street. Don’t enter the archway and instead just turn left to a sideway, then you see a sign overhead with the big letter “M” on top of a group of grey buildings. Strolling along the buildings and you can spot the sign for entrance to Capital M on the third floor.

Qianmen Paifang, a decorative archway

 

Turn left to a sideway, then you see a sign overhead with the big letter “M” on top of a group of grey buildings.

 

The big letter “M” sign hanging out from the side of the buildings easy for diners to recognize.

 

A large signboard pointing to the entrance to the Building for Capital M

 

From the elegantly decorated first floor and take the elevator to the third floor where Capital M is perched.

Walking out of the elevator,  you will enter the bar area for Capital M.

Walking out of the elevator, you will enter the bar area for Capital M.

 

The Silver Room – parquet flooring, hand-painted mural,  gold-leaf pillars and elegant lighting

 

The terrace for the amazing outside eating

 

The al fresco terrace overlooking Tiananmen Square

 

Drinking and Talking with the view of Zhengyang Tower and Tiananmen Square.

 

Iced Red Tea Drink

 

The outdoor eating terrace attracts legions of diners.

Restaurant: Capital M
Average Cost: approx. 366 yuan per person
Add: 3/F, No.2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street 东城区前门大街2号3楼
Tel: 0086 (10) 6702 2727 Fax: 0086 (10 ) 6702 3737

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing by Night Illuminations Tour  from US$33 p/p

Beijing Hutong Highlight One Day Tour  from US$59 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

 

Beijing Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

Saturday, February 27th, 2016
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Beijing Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant is a time-honored no-frill eatery owned by a family with the surname of “Yao”,  well known for its authentic Beijing local food.

The street-front Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

The street-front Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

“Chaogan” (Chao Gan) literally means “Pork liver stew” or “Fried liver”, the signature dish of the restaurant. The dish of “Chaogan” is a bowl of starchy stew with slices of liver and large pig intestines flavored with much garlic.

Many old customers say the dish of “Pork liver stew” here is the best in Beijing,  smooth, fragrant,and  not oily, hence the name of Yaoji Chaogan given to the restaurant.

The Signature Liver Stew Dish

The Signature Liver Stew Dish

Another famous Beijing flavor is known as “Luzhu Huoshao”,  a kind of bean-paste stew with pieces of huo shao (dough dumplings), bean curd puffs, stewed lungs and large intestines.

The dish is a traditional street  food for the common folks of Beijing.

Luzhu Huoshao

Luzhu Huoshao

As a westerner, probably  you don’t eat animal internal organs and have no culture of eating offal dishes.

But you can order other Beijing flavor dishes instead which are also very savoury and delicious, such as noodles and steamed buns.

 Steamed buns with pork and onions fillings.

Steamed buns with pork and onions fillings.

On August 18, 2011, American Vice President Joe Biden and his entourage came to Beijing Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant, escorted by the U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.

They didn’t order the signature dish of Chaogan and other famous entrails dishes.

Noodles topped with rich stir-fried bean paste

Noodles topped with rich stir-fried bean paste

They five people asked for five bowls of noodles topped with rich stir-fried bean paste, 10 steamed buns with pork and onions, smashed cucumber salad, mountain yam salad, shredded potatoes and Coca Cola for lunch totally at 79 yuan.

Inside Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

Inside Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

They all ate up the five bowls of traditional noodles, known as “Zhajiang” noodles – handmade noodles flavored with deep, rich stir-fried bean paste, shredded cucumber and watermelon radish.

The restaurant is just below the east side of Drum Tower

The restaurant is just below the east side of Drum Tower

 

Biden’s visit is a big boost to the long-time already popular family run eatery. Everyday, Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant is packed with diners, who very often need to wait for one hour for a table, cheap and delicious.

American Vice President Joe Biden and his entourage eating at Yaoji Chaogan

American Vice President Joe Biden and his entourage eating at Yaoji Chaogan

 

Plan your Beijing tour? Next time, if you are going to visit Drum Tower or Bell Tower in Beijing, it is worth dropping in for a bowl of Zhajiang noodle or a few steamed buns to feed yourself, a kind of Beijing locavore travel experience.

Beijing Bell Tower to the northwest of Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

Beijing Bell Tower to the northwest of Yaoji Chaogan Restaurant

Its address: No.311, Gulou Dongdajie (just below the east side of Drum Tower), 鼓楼东大街311号. Tel: 010-84010570.  Business Hour: 06:00 – 22:30.

Add On
Top 10 vegetarian restaurants in Beijing
Top 10 Beijing Restaurants

Any questions, just drop a line.

Huguosi Street – Good Place for Beijing Locavore Travel

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
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Huguosi Jie (护国寺街) is an 800-year old commercial street in Beijing, which was originally incubated and formed in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The name of the street “Huguosi” is named after the same name temple – Huguo Temple (“si” literally “temple”).

Huguo Temple was once billed as “The West Temple” in the past against “The East Temple” – Longfu Temple in the east of Beijing. Today Jingang Hall, the only remnant part of Huguo Temple still exists and you can find it just north of Huguosi Hotel and Huguo Xintiandi Mansion on Guguosi Street.

The 600-meter Guguosi Jie is a street full of life – street-front stores, butcher’s, groceries, eateries, snack restaurants, hotels, theatre, and old hutong courtyards, a lively authentic daily common life in Beijing. The two most prominent trump cards are Huguosi Snack Flagship Restaurant and Mei Lanfang Former Residence.

A bit tired of your obligatory visit to the so-called must-see sights on the Beijing buck list? Huguosi Street is an interesting option for your Beijing  locavore travel to experience the authentic Beijing urban life – eating off the streets, walking the narrow alleys, and having more engagement with the local grass-rooted street life.

How to get there:
It starts from Xinjiekou Dajie in the west and ends at Deshengmen Neidajie in the east. Huguosi Street is easily accessible through subway line 4. You just take subway line 4 and get off at Pinganli Station (平安里) and exit from EXIT B.

Walking a few meters from the Exit B of Pinganli Subway Station,  you will see a massive hotel building with the huge traditional Chinese characters” 護國寺街” (Huguosi Street ) , the west tip of Huguosi Street.  You can walk from the west starting point here to Mei Lanfang Former Residence, the east tip of the 600-meter street.

The west tip of Huguosi Street

The west tip of Huguosi Street

 

Walking to the east and you will see People’s Theatre on your right hand.

 People's Theatre

People’s Theatre

 

The 600-meter stone paved street is flanked densely by food vendors, shops, groceries and more street-front options. It is very much crowded for most of the day.

The 600-meter stone paved street is very busy.

The 600-meter stone paved street is very busy.

 

Hoguosi Hotel is a Beijing local culture themed hotel with exterior and interior decoration featuring Beijing’s traditonal folk and customs. It has 120 room of various sizes, with street-front rooms bigger than the backstreet-view rooms.

Hoguosi Hotel

Hoguosi Hotel

 

The cozy lobby of Huguosi Hotel with rich traditional Beijing cultural atmosphere and elements.

The cozy lobby of Huguosi Hotel

The cozy lobby of Huguosi Hotel

 

The spacious standard twin-bed room with street-view in Huguosi Hotel. The interior decor is peppered with strong Beijing traditional elements.

The twin-bed room with street-view in Huguosi Hotel

The twin-bed room with street-view in Huguosi Hotel

The two-story Huguosi Snack Flagship Restaurant is a time-honored eatery, a chain restaurant well known for its famous Beijing local traditional Xiaochi – the small eats ( snacks), which are all halal food.

Huguosi Snack Flagship Restaurant is located at No.93, Huguosi Street,  about 50 meters to the east of Huguosi Hotel. The restaurant starts at 5:30am and closes at 9:00pm. people like to come here all day long,  however, the busiest hour is at breakfast.

Huguosi Snack Flagship Restaurant

Huguosi Snack Flagship Restaurant

 

The restaurant has a big board menu above the counter where you order your food but it is only in Chinese. People line up and wait in turn to order their snacks.

It’s always been very crowded due to its fame as the No.01 snack restaurant in Beijing. Huguosi Street is billed as the most famous snack street in Beijing, synonymous with traditional Beijing snacks and breakfast.

People line up and wait in turn to order their snacks

People line up and wait in turn to order their snacks

 

Just name some the most famous snacks here. Lvdaguan is made of glutinous millet flour and soybean flour. Nian Gao (glutinous rice cake), Dou Bao (steamed buns with smashed red bean stuffing), Xi Zi Bing (a cake with the Chinese character for ‘happiness’ on it) and Mian Yu’er (cake shaped like a fish) are some of the most popular foods at the store during big holiday shopping.

Ai Wo Wo, a white glutinous rice cake with a variety of stuffing, Wan Dou Huang, a smooth tasting yellow pea cake, and Jiao Quan, deep-fried crispy flour ring and many more.

The restaurant is packed with eaters.

The restaurant is packed with eaters.

 

The most representative snacks – Lvdaguan (glutinous millet flour and soybean flour);  Nian Gao (glutinous rice cake); Ai Wo Wo (a white glutinous rice cake with a variety of stuffing) ans Wan Dou Huang, a smooth tasting yellow pea cake.

The most representitive snacks

The most representative snacks

 

The Jingang Hall is the only remaining part of Huguo Temple after which the street gets its name. It was one of the most famous temples in Beijing, originally completed in 1284. The hall is located north of Huguosi Hotel and Huguo Xintiandi.

The Jingang Hall

The Jingang Hall

 

Opposite Huguosi Snack Restaurant is Old Beijing Noodle restaurant. Have a bowl of Zhajiang Noodle, a typical Beijing noodle made with handpulled wheat noodles served with shredded cucumber and bean sprouts, bright radish, and soybeans. You mix the noodle with chopped vegetables and stir them in the oily brown bean sauce.

Old Beijing Noodle Restautant

Old Beijing Noodle restaurant

A Roast Meat Restaurant. If you are a meat lover, the roast meat restaurant is a good option to feed your stomach.

A Roast Meat Restaurant

A Roast Meat Restaurant

 

Yeji Pie Shop, a local home-made pie shop. The Pie Shop offers a wide variety of savory pies – plain, sweet, salty and some with fillings.

Yeji Pie Shop

Yeji Pie Shop

 

San  Pin Xin Flour Shop, selling flour, hand-made noodles and pies.

San Pin Xin Flour Shop

San Pin Xin Flour Shop

Huguosi Food Grocery Store, providing foodstuffs including rolls, pies and more food options.

Huguosi Food Grocery Store

Huguosi Food Grocery Store

 

A butcher’s shop.

a bucher's shop

A butcher’s shop

 

Walking from the west Huguosi Street to the east.

Walking from the west Huguosi Street to the east.

Walking from the west Huguosi Street to the east.

 

An Internet Bar

An Internet Bar

An Internet Bar

A Housekeeping Company

A Housekeeping Company

A Housekeeping Company

At the eastern tip of Huguosi Street is the former residence of Mei Lanfang. Mei Lanfang(1894 – 1961) was the best known Beijing Opera master ever. A famous singer, actor and dancer of Beijing Opera female role Qing Yi and a key figure in the Chinese theater.

Former residence of Mei Lanfang

Former residence of Mei Lanfang

He was known to have travelled the world, strengthened friendships with the western counterparts of his time, including Charlie Chaplin. During his trip to Hollywood, he was warmly welcomed by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

Come to Huguosi Street when it sparks. All the street and the street-front outlets are brightly lit with beautiful neon lights.

Come to Huguosi Street when it sparks

Come to Huguosi Street when it sparks

Huguo Xintiandi, a comprehensive building comprising a hotel, a theatre and a number of street-front outlets.

Huguo Xintiandi

Huguo Xintiandi

 

A shop selling  braised pork and beef with soy sauce and time-honored soup.

A shop selling braised pork an beef

A shop selling braised pork and beef

 

A vegetable and fruit grocery

A vegetable and fruit grocery

A vegetable and fruit grocery

A  Muslin Restaurant

A Muslin Restaurant

A Muslin Restaurant

A Meat Pie Restaurant brightly lit.

A Meat Pie Restaurant brightly lit.

A Meat Pie Restaurant brightly lit.

Add on
Beijing Locavore Day Tour
Top 10 Beijing Attractions
10 Non-Touristy Attractions in Beijing