王府井 Wangfujing is a popular shopping area in Beijing with big shopping malls gathered along the main walking street.
It is also famous for 王府井小吃街 Wangfujing Food Alley, where visitors can show off their bravery by eating all kinds of insect snacks.
There are of course traditional Beijing street foods like 烧烤羊肉串 BBQ lamb sticks, 卤煮 stewed intestines, 冰糖葫芦 sugared candies etc. and souvenirs and toys for kids too. The atmosphere is lively and buzzing with people walking around with food in their hands and looking at toys and souvenirs and just shouting at each other.
We made our way here after visiting 天安门 Tiananmen Square, and our first stop at 王府井 Wangfujing was the main store of 狗不理包子 Goubuli Baozi.
狗不理包子 Goubuli Bun originated from 天津 Tianjin in the Year 1858, by a farmer whose childhood name was “狗子” (loosely translated as Doggy). The meat buns that he made were so fragrant and popular that he had no time to talk to his customers, hence resulting in people saying “狗子卖包子不理人” (loosely translated as “Doggy ignores people when selling buns”), which eventually leading to them calling him “狗不理”.
His buns became even more popular after 慈禧太后 Empress Cixi tried them, and loved them.
Since we were not going to 天津 Tianjin anytime soon, we figured we might as well try it here.
They have combo sets that came with 8 buns, as well as 风味咸菜 Preserved Vegetables and 营养粥 Nutritious Porridge for ¥45, so we got the 精品套餐 Premier Set that comprised of 2 猪肉包 Pork Bun, 2 山野菜包子 Wild Vegetable Bun, 2 三鲜包子 Three Delicacies Bun, and 2 全素包子 Vegetarian Bun.
The buns were not as bad as the 狗不理包子 we once tried in Singapore (that stall has since closed down), but they were really just alright. Seemed like it used to be really good, but has slowly worsened to be more of a tourist trap (apparently, this is considered quite pricey).
Oh well… I guess we as tourists just had to try them once 😛 A side note that it is almost double the price if you just want to buy one bun to try. The preserved vegetables complemented the corn porridge well.
After this less-than-satisfying dinner, we went to check out 东来顺 Dong Lai Shun, a place popular for halal Mongolian hotpot, but the super long queue and price list deterred us from trying it out.
We went on to stroll at the 王府井小吃街 Wangfujing Food Alley to check out the interesting insect snacks but did not feel like trying them either.
Eventually, we decided to have a proper sit-down dinner and ended up at 小尕子新疆菜 Xiao Ga Zi Xinjiang Cuisine.
- 石河子凉皮 Cold Noodles (¥22): Served cold, the sesame sauce blended with the broad noodles and shredded cucumbers very well. This was hubby’s favourite.
- 天山红花萝卜 White Raddish (¥28): The white raddish or daikon had a tinge of pepper added to it and spiced up the otherwise bland taste.
- 天池孜然豆腐 Stewed Toufu with Cumin (¥28): This was similar to 麻婆豆腐 Mapo Toufu but not as spicy. It had an addictive taste that made us wanting to keep putting it into our mouth. 🙂
- 大巴扎羊肉串 Lamb Skewer (¥12 per skewer): Well marinated and roasted, this didn’t had much of a gamey smell.
There was also live Xinjiang dance performances every half an hour during dinner and we quite enjoyed the leisurely and entertaining meal.
|狗不理包子 (王府井总店) Goubuli Baozi:
|小尕子新疆菜 Xiao Ga Zi Xinjiang Cuisine: