A few hours after the filling Zar Jiang Noodles lunch, we were on our way to dinner in the city of Beijing. The weather was much colder at night and the prospect of eating hot pot was delightful! We took a cab to a place called “Golden Mountain City” (direct translation, oh, has my Chinese improved! :P) in the heart of Beijing.
The entrance of the restaurant was modern yet traditional, complete with two big red lanterns to welcome the patrons.
Business seemed to be good for this restaurant as the place was more than half-full. This was considered a good feat as there were just too many restaurants in Beijing, so when there was one with more than half occupancy, it meant that the restaurant was good.
Interior of restaurant
Now, enough about the restaurant, we move on to the food! This was the hot stove that kept us and our food warm that night. 🙂
The hot stove
We ordered two different base soups for the hot pot, one spicy and the other non-spicy. The non-spicy soup was milky because they apparently added milk inside. The spicy ‘soup’ however, was not much of a soup as it was oil.
Yin and Yang
Look at the spicy OIL. It was purely just oil and chillies. Scary huh? The difference between the hot pot in Beijing and that in Malaysia is that they don’t have the custom to drink the base soup from the hot pot. Unlike us in Malaysia, we would usually drink the soup while eating the food from the hot pot. Over there, no bowls and no spoons were provided, because one was not expected to consume the liquid. Well, no thanks, seeing the soup was actually oil. 😛
Spicy oil “soup”
While waiting for the food to cook, some of us ordered the Chinese beer, which was a common sight in most restaurants in Beijing. I found out that the beer there was dirt cheap, only RMB2 for a bottle! That translates to just RM1! OMG. It’s even cheaper than a can of Coke! Sadly, I don’t drink beer.
Instead, I opted for the traditional Chinese tea, that came in an elegant pot with cute matching glasses. 🙂
A toast to everyone!
This was the sauce that was provided for us to dip our food into. I have no idea what was in the mixture but it had a kind of nutty and creamy taste. I think I still prefer the normal chilli or satay sauce to that.
The star of the night was this plate of sliced beef. It was so good that we ordered 2 more plates after we finished the first one. This went very well with the spicy oil, even though I disliked the oil. The spicy oil was really spicy, and even my mom couldn’t handle it.
There was also a plate of pork ham. Nothing too special here.
The fish head was something different though. They ordered the fish head mainly to make the soup taste better with the food. Of course, one of us ate up the fish head meat at the end too. 🙂
As for my favourite, it had to be this plate of prawn paste. Instead of providing us with fresh prawns, they ground the prawn meat into this plate of paste, and one had to scoop out the paste into tiny pieces before putting them into the soup. The final product tasted great! Very succulent and tasty. Definitely the best dish of the night, with the beef slices coming to a close second. 🙂
We ordered some other vegetables as well, and mushroom.
Eating steaming hot food in the cold cold weather a bliss!
After the meal, our host ordered a kind of dessert which they called as “Siew Beng” in Cantonese, or baked pastry. It was actually just layers and layers of pastry shaped into a ball. There was no filling inside at all, except for more layers of pastry, rendering the biscuit tasteless. I did not like it one bit. But it was a favourite for my hostess’ brother, who ate 3 of those!
Siew beng – baked pastry
We ended the dinner with more drinks and chat. Personally, I was hoping that they would stay longer to chat because I was trying to avoid getting out into the cold cold air.
For the rest of my Beijing, China adventure, check out my Beijing Itinerary.