Traditional Beijing Eats

There is a traditional Beijing restaurant right opposite the north gate of the temple of heaven that I’ve been to a couple of times, but I forget the name–it’s something like lao beijing restaurant 老北京餐厅. It’s rumoured to serve the best Zhajiangmian 炸酱面, but I’m far from expert in this field, so I don’t know if it’s actually the best that I’ve had… it’s okay la, 一般。

The other dish I always order is the 狮子头 which are giant marinated pork meat balls, which are fantastic with a bowl of steaming fluffy white rice… even though northerners eat so little of grains!


The last time I went there, my beijinger friend ordered 麻豆腐 that was tasted remotely like hummus. The dish made of “tofu essence” and oil (god knows which type) which was nice. Then I ventured out and ordered this yellow sticky pastey thing called 三不粘 which literally translates into (doesn’t stick to 3) upon probing the waiter, he said it’s because this gooey stuff does not stick to the pot, the plate or the spoon – which is true. It has a sticky chewy odd texture and is mildly sweet. I wasn’t thrilled by it–feels like eating play dough.


These little bean paste dessert is squishy and powdery, to be eaten with hands. Buried inside is a dash of red bean paste and sugar, which is light and an interesting mix of textures, smooth and squishy on the outside while you enjoy the crackling bite of each little grain of fine sugar. I think this is a delightful dessert in small quantities because after several mouthfuls, you start to feel the sandy texture, leaving a ghostly trail of beans in your mouth.


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