This tiny spot in the nanluoguxiang alley is called 锣鼓洞天 which I’m not exactly sure how to translate, but the premise is that the concept revolves round the drum 鼓 and gong 锣 and the little street is a stone’s throw away from the drum and bell tower. 洞 is a figurative way of describing paradise found in a cave. While the small hole in the wall restaurant is hardly a dining paradise, it’s quaint, intimate and full of mismatched things.
The menu is frighteningly thick and serves a whole range of mixed regional cuisine, which are not done 100% authentic, but very delicious and not too greasy nonetheless. The signature dish is the bucket of rice stir fried with mixed (frozen) veg, while isn’t that tasty, it looks good and goes perfectly with the gongbao tofu and long beans.
The mutton soup reminded me of home, only that this Chinese rendition of gamey sup kambeng was cooked with carrots and preserved vegetables (hum choi in Cantonese!). The gamey flavour, tart and unami all mix together at once, and the wonderfully savory taste lingers on your tastebuds.
This little restaurant is a gem. Service is quick and efficient in this tiny little hole in the wall. Even the setting is endearingly mismatched with random tables and chairs put together.
102 Nanluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District
Tel: 8402 4729