Beijing Journals

Beijing: Eat, Drink, Play

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An October 2011 trip to Beijing by Composthp

Contempio Cafe and Bar Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: Spent a week in Beijing visiting a friend and getting re-aquainted with Beijing after a 15 year period.

Hotel

Grand Skylight Catic Hotel

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Hotel

Grand Skylight Catic Hotel Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
The Grand Skylight Catic Hotel (yes, the name is a mouthful) is a business hotel situated next to the Olympic village of 2008 and is within walking distance to the International Conference Center and the China National Convention Center. This is an ideal location for visitors attending conferences that are held in these 2 centers or for those who are merely contented to visit the Olympic village next door. The nearest attractions via taxi are the Summer palace and the Temple of Heaven (20 minutes in less traffic). For shopping, do head for the Beijing Zoo area which is about 15 minutes by taxi for some serious outlet shopping. Be prepared to be stuck in traffic for up to an hour if you intend to trave...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 7, 2012

Grand Skylight Catic Hotel
No.18 Beicheng East Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101
86-10-84971188

Restaurants

Upper Room

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Restaurant | "Upper Room Joyful Song Bistro"

Upper Room Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
This is THE favourite place among friends who visit and work in Beijing. My friend was so eager to introduce this place that she literally dragged me (and all her friends who visits her in Beijing) to the restaurant as soon as we touched down. Newly renovated, this restaurant used to be housed in a double storey building near Sanlitun. They have since moved to a newer and bigger premise in the current location. I was worried that the new place would lose its charm as the previous location was small, yet cosy and quaint. Bing Chiu, who owns and manages the restaurant has managed to re-create the charming ambience here. The entrance was bright and inviting, the decor was Mediterranean with i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 6, 2012

Upper Room
F306, Building No 6, Courtyard 3, Guomei Diyicheng Dining Street, Qingnian Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing, China 100025
010-52062127

Bao Yuan Dumpling House/Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu

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Restaurant | "Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu (宝源饺子屋)"

Bao Yuan Dumpling House/Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
A trip to China would simply not be complete without trying jiaozi aka Chinese dumplings. These are traditionally made and eaten during the Chinese Lunar New Year and all year round in the Northern provinces of China. The skin is typically made of flour and water, kneaded and rolled into small pieces of dough. These are used to wrap minced meat or vegetable fillings and shaped into "ingots" or yuan bao. They are usually cooked in boiling water and eaten with shredded ginger dipped in sweet vinegar sauce. Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu (loosely translated: Ingot dumpling house) is well known for its unique colored skin dumplings and vast variety of creative fillings. Located at the Lufthansa center area...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2012

Bao Yuan Dumpling House/Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu
North Of 6 Maizidian Jie, Chaoyang District
Beijing, China
010-65864967

Duck de Chine

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Restaurant | "Duck de Chine (全鸭季)"

Duck de Chine Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
One of my early realisation about expats living and working in Beijing is that they hop from restaurant to restaurant looking for THE best Peking duck. Beijing after all, is home to the famed Peking duck. While tourists are herded to the legendary Quan Ju de for the obligatory roasted Peking duck by tour guides, those in the know head for the modern updated version that is healthier (less oil) and leaner without sacrifacing the taste and crispiness of the skin in restaurants like Dadong and Duck de Chine. My expat friend has been raving about the roasted duck of Duck de Chine for years and I was finally able to try it during this visit. Duck de Chine is one of the restaurants in 1949- The Hidden City ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2012

Duck de Chine
Courtyard 4, Gong Ti Bei Lu, Chaoyang District, 1949- The Hidden City
Beijing, China 100027
(86-10) 6501-194

Na Jia Xiao Guan/Najia Xiaoguan

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Restaurant | "Na Jia Xiao Guan (那家小馆)"

Na Jia Xiao Guan/Najia Xiaoguan Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
I braved the cold polluted weather of Beijing, the infamous Beijing traffic (was stuck for an hour with a crusty taxi driver who was probably dying of hunger as well) and waited another hour at the waiting area of the restaurant before we were finally shown to our table (this was despite our prior reservation) to try this restaurant that came highly recommended by my expat friend. The restaurant was situated in a quiet back-street, housed in a traditional courtyard styled building; the entrance was innocuous and humble but once we passed through the wooden doors, it was as if we had stepped back in time. The decor evoked a begone era of old Beijing with its antique furniture, calligraphy paintings and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 7, 2012

Na Jia Xiao Guan/Najia Xiaoguan
West of No.119 Middle School
Yong'anli, Jianguomenwai, Chaoyang District, Beijing
010-65673663 656

Dali Courtyard

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Restaurant

Dali Courtyard Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Hidden in the Hutong near the Drum tower, Dali Courtyard is a nondescript restaurant that took some finding. Specialising in Southwestern Yunnan cuisine, this restaurant is a dream come true for those who can never seemed to be able to decide what to eat. Run by a couple from Yunnan, the restaurant has no menu. To order, guests are asked for their preferences and the foods that they do not or cannot eat. The number of the dishes (ranging from 5 to 12 different dishes) will be serve according to the number of persons sharing. The Yunnan-native chef will then cook according to the guests' preferences and to the availablility of the ingredients flown in daily from Yunnan. Stepping into the r...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 7, 2012

Dali Courtyard
67 Xiaojingchang Hutong
Beijing, China
010-8404-1430

Hatsune

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Restaurant | "Fusion Japanese at reasonable prices"

Hatsune Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
This Japanese restaurant is the newest branch of Japanese restaurants owned by an American-Chinese Alan Wong and is located above the Nike store. My friend had wanted to try the bento lunch specials reputably said to be affordable and good. She led me through an entrance which I had first thought to be an lift, only to be surprised when we were greeted by the hostess. A "shoal of fish" by Scabetti is the focal point of the decor, Japanese prints adorned one side of the wall while taiko drums near the bars added a Japanese "flavour" to the place. We arrived past 1pm and the restaurant was quiet so we had no problem getting a table. The menu featured items with a modern twist such as "Roxy r...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 17, 2010

Hatsune
19 Sanlitun Lu, 3/F, S8-30
Beijing, China 100027
6415-3939

Minfuju Restaurant

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Restaurant | "A taste of Beijing's local fare"

Minfuju Restaurant Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
I had tried beanpaste noodles in Singapore and it was never a personal favourite. One of the first places we visited in Bejing is Qianmen street, a historical street located in the heart of Beijing, near Tiananmen. Many of the traditional crafts and older stores dating back hundreds of years are still located along the street. E.g. Quanjude, a restaurant famed for its Peking duck banquet, Neiliansheng store for hats and handmade clothe shoes and the list goes on. However, modern stores have also crept into the street such as Starbucks, Zara, Uniqlo. The area is currently undergoing re-construction works but one can still see a peak of the past by going into the back-lanes and alleyways located to the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2010

Minfuju Restaurant
Behind Qianmen Street
Beijing, China
01063018796

Haidilao (Baijiazhuang Branch)

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Restaurant | "Hotpot to die for!"

Haidilao (Baijiazhuang Branch) Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Haidilao literally means "to search into the depth of the sea", an apt name for a hotpot restaurant since one of the joys of eating hotpot (other than having hotpot in winter) is searching for cooked bits and pieces of food that you had thrown in earlier but had gotten lost amid the sea of soup and other foodstuff in the hotpot. My friend makes it a point to bring all her friends who visit Beijing to this 24 hour Sichuan restaurant. This is an extremely popular hotpot restaurant in Beijing (there are a few other branches scattered elsewhere in Beijing too), so much so that they do not take reservations after 6pm and that even with reservations, waiting time can be more than 30 minutes. Thi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 13, 2010

Haidilao (Baijiazhuang Branch)
A2 Baijiazhuang Road
Beijing, China
010-65952982 659

Da Dong Roast Duck

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Restaurant | "Superlean Beijing duck for the health conscious!"

Da Dong Roast Duck Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
A visit to Beijing cannot be complete without trying the famed Beijing roasted duck. There are many reputable Beijing restaurants serving the traditional duck. Da Dong itself has many branches serving up the superlean, crispy yummy duck in and around Beijing. We went to the branch that is situated next to the old Imperial granary near the Forbidden city for dinner by taxi. My friend had made a reservation earlier so we were quickly ushered upstairs to the main dining hall. The restaurant is posh and modern, the service; efficient. The ducks are roasted in an "open" kitchen located near the entrance of the restaurant. What distincts Da Dong from other restaurants is that the duck served here is less o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 12, 2010

Da Dong Roast Duck
Nanxincang International Plaza, 22A Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng District
Beijing, China 22
010-51690329

Contempio Cafe and Bar

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Restaurant | "Cafe Contemplations"

Contempio Cafe and Bar Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
This 600 year old restored temple cafe and bar is located in a Beijing hutong near Gulou (Drum and Bell towers) and offers visitors a unique experience of sipping coffee or cocktails within its ancient walls. Contempio or the then named Thousand Buddha temple was built during the Yuan dynasty, it was renamed as the Temple of Serenity during the Ming dynasty (1388-1644) and later as Hong'en temple during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). This temple was said to have sheltered the last group of ousted eunuchs in the 1900s. It was subsequently converted into a factory cum workers' dormitory in 1949. Between 2004 to 2009, Mr Foo, a Bruneian architect began restoring and converting the temple into ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 17, 2010

Contempio Cafe and Bar
Doufuchi Hutong, East Side Of Hong En Guan Temple
Beijing, China
6407-6778