Thursday, November 3, 2011

Appetite for China: Muslim cuisine in Beijing: Donglaisun

Muslim cuisine is rather well developed in Beijing...interesting, considering that Muslims make a small minority. But their cuisine featuring lamb is very popular, and have established a long tradition.

I remember eating at a shuayangrou restaurant the first time I visited Beijing in 1994. This was a hot pot, where you cook the lamb yourself. The lamb itself is sliced thinly, each slice the serving portion, and rolled up, frozen. I relish the taste...and have been looking for something like this kind of food ever since. So when I saw one Muslim restaurant right at Wang Fu Jing, and a well known one at that...Dong Lai Shun is an old restaurant, serving up good food for nearly a century.

We returned to the restaurant twice...because the first two times, it was full, and won't take us. On a nice Wednesday morning, we went at opening time...11am, and were rewarded with a table.

We ordered the premium lamb cut...the lamb rib...each portion is RMB78. And another cut which the menu calls Gold Medal cut...also RMB78. Both are for 200g.

The ribs were darker, and well marbled.

And the gold cut was rich pink in hue, and less fat

We also ordered some Chinese cabbage, and noodles

A soup base was ordered, and left to boil in a charcoal hot pot.

The fire went furiously, and soon the soup was boiling...we threw in the ingredients...

when cooked, dip in the dipping sauce...based on sesame...each shuayangrou shop in town boasts of its own dipping sauce...made from secret ingredients...

Extremely delicious. The flavour of the two different cuts of meat was apparent. The ribs were somewhat sweeter, more flavourful. The gold cut was more sinewy. Both were very tender, and very nice. The resultant soup was superb to be drunk just like that.

Excellent meal. We loved it. We thought of going back for a second round, but was distracted by another shuayangrou place in APM Mall...not as good...but I will blog about that experience next week.

Donglaishun Muslim Restaurant (Wangfujing Branch)
Location: No.198, Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng District
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