We were still feeling full from our super late and filling lunch, but we wanted to have a little supper before returning to the hotel.
We checked out the eateries near the hotel, and 沙县小吃 Shaxian Delicacies looked rather popular despite being almost 10pm (沙县 Shaxian is a province in 福建 Fujian, though we were not sure if everything served here was of 福建 Fujian origin).
We shared the following:
- 猪肚汤馄饨 Wonton Soup with Pig’s Stomach (¥16): This was actually a rather yummy herbal soup! The wonton skin was very thin, and the fillings quite flavorful. The pig’s stomach was very tender and clean, without any odour. If you do not like pig’s stomach, there are a variety of other soups available, but we suspect the base is the same herbal soup.
- 飘香拌面 Piaoxiang Ban Mian (¥7): Initially hubby ordered 葱油拌面, which is dry noodles tossed with a fragrant oil mixture. The friendly shop owner asked if hubby wanted sesame sauce because that is known as 飘香 (loosely translated to fragrance). I think somehow the owner knew hubby very well, haha. We immediately changed our order and we had a very happy hubby. The sesame sauce was indeed very fragrant, and the noodle was of the right firmness.
What a surprise find! Tummies happy and warmed, we made our way back to the hotel.
- Location: 228 Dongsi North Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, 100007 北京市东城区东四北大街 228号 (Google Map)
- Directions: Take Subway Line 5 to 张自忠路 Zhangzizhong Road Station (Exit C).
四季民福 Siji Minfu was another highly recommended place to go to for Peking Duck, and there was a relatively new outlet near the East Exit of 故宫博物院 The Palace Museum where one could savour the majestic beauty of the palace while munching on the delectable ducks (if you can get a seat by the window, that is).
It was almost 3pm when we left 故宫博物院 The Palace Museum (6 hours of walking and we still couldn’t finish all the exhibits), and we were starving!
We still had to queue despite the odd hours, but there were snacks available while we waited, so it was not too bad.
We had originally intended to visit 故宫博物院 The Palace Museum aka 紫禁城 Forbidden City earlier on in our trip, but we had to exclude:
- weekends (terrible crowds),
- Monday (closed),
- Tuesday (we discovered that schools get free entry on Tuesday which could only mean more crowds).
So we were really left with Wednesday to go…
Based on our experience with security checks the previous day at 天安门广场 Tiananmen Square (which is the usual starting point that 90% of the tourists would use to get to 午门 Meridian Gate, the only entrance to the 故宫博物院 The Palace Museum), we opted the following route which was about 15 minutes walk but we were glad we did because going through the security check at 天安门广场 Tiananmen Square was really a nightmare 🙂 :
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.
After a delightful morning at 颐和园 Summer Palace, we exited through it’s East Exit and took a short stroll to a nearby Yunnan restaurant for a late lunch.
This is a restaurant chain specialising in Yunnan cuisine with 18 outlets over China (mostly in Beijing).
This year happened to be the restaurant’s 7th anniversary, so we opted for the Anniversary Set at ¥177 (usual price ¥210), which consisted of 黑松露牛肝菌焖牛蛙 Braised Bull Frog with Bolete and Black Truffle, 原味汽锅鸡 Steam Pot Chicken, 鸡丝凉米线 Cold Rice Noodles with Shredded Chicken, 盖菜炒山药 Sauteéd Leaf Mustard with Chinese Yam.
Constructed in Year 1267 in the Yuan Dynasty, 南锣鼓巷 South Luogu Alley is located in one of the most popular preserved hutong areas, with locals living in the surrounding. There were officers and signboards at the little alleys when we walked along the stretch of 南锣鼓巷 South Luogu Alley, to remind visitors not to disturb the residents.
There were quite a few souvenir shops and cafes, but we were looking for this very popular 文宇奶酪店 Wenyu Cheese Shop.
There was quite a queue (though we overheard some locals walking by who mentioned that this place was quite empty in the day time), and we got ourselves a 原味双皮奶 Double-layer Steamed Milk (¥14). Made from fresh milk, the first layer looked rather wrinkly, and the flavour was surprisingly light and refreshing. Not bad at all!
We were on our way to 雍和宫 Lama Temple when we spotted 雍Cafe Yong Cafe having 50% discount for takeaway coffee.
And so our first cup of latte in Beijing cost only RMB15!! For this price, the coffee was not bad.
And it felt really good to have something hot to drink in the cold 🙂
- Location: No. 18 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007 北京市东城区雍和宫大街18号 100007 (Google Map)
- Directions: Take Subway Line 2 or 5 to 雍和宫 Yonghegong Station.
- Hrs: 8am – 7pm
Peking duck is one of the must-try when one is in Beijing. With prices ranging from relatively cheap ¥100+ per bird to exorbitant (¥888 for roast duck coated in real gold), we are really spoilt for choice!
After much Googling and getting recommendations from friends, we decided to narrow down to 大董烤鸭 Da Dong and 四季民福 Sijiminfu.
Our first duck stop was at 大董烤鸭 Da Dong, for the main shop was quite near our hotel.
We reached the restaurant around 12.40pm and did not have to wait too long for a table.
This was a huge place and decorated beautifully, with menu thicker than my Mathematics textbooks 😮 The prices were also rather steep, but this restaurant has won multiple awards before too.
We decided to stick to basics and ordered Half a Duck (¥144 ~S$30) with Duck Condiments (¥12/person).
After dinner at 烤肉季 Kaorouji, we strolled around the area, which had plenty of night-life activities! Bright lights everywhere, it was definitely different from what we have seen so far.
We also went to the nearby 烟袋斜街 Yandai Xiejie aka Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street, which is named after the Chinese pipe, 烟袋 Yandai, that was traditionally sold on this street. Despite being a relatively short street, there were many interesting shops selling a wide variety of stuff.
After we had walked enough to create some space in our stomach, we went back to this 吕记北京甑糕 that we saw when walking from the Subway station earlier.
The word 甑 (zeng in fourth sound) refers to the ancient kitchen utensil made of clay that was used to steam mainly rice.
For ¥20, we got a set of 4 cakes with all 4 flavours and toppings. The texture of the cake reminded us of Kueh Tutu aka Putu Piring, and the flavours were sweet and tangy, making it a lovely dessert!
- Location: 6 Qianhai Dongyan, Shichahai, Xicheng Qu, China, 100009 北京市西城区前海东沿6号 100009
- Directions: Take Subway Line 8 to 什刹海 Shichahai Station (Exit A2).
Long ago, hubby had to travel for work, and he came to 烤肉季饭庄 Kaorouji for dinner alone. This time, there are 2 of us but eating the same amount of food, haha!
This was one of the most popular 清真 halal establishment and apparently, they started 160 years ago in 1848!
It started with a farmer whose surname was 季 who sold roast beef and mutton along 什刹海 Shichahai as a street hawker back in the days of Qing Dynasty. The meat dishes were so fragrant they attracted many praises from the people in the many big mansions along Shichahai, and began calling him 烤肉季. In those days, when it comes to roast meat in Beijing, people always say 南宛北季, with 北季 referring to 烤肉季 in Shichahai.
Hence, we definitely need to check out this place!