Monday, January 24, 2011

Shanxi Food in Beijing

Yan Bei Ren Jia (Shanxi Knife-cut Noodle House) in Chaoyang District

S, B, and I originally wanted to go to Datong in Shanxi province to celebrate New Year's at the awesome Xuan Kong Si (Hanging Temple).  But the bitter cold and my respiratory infection led us to believe that that was a stupid excursion to go on in the middle of winter.  S suggested that we walk to a Shanxi restaurant instead.
S with the Kitchen in the Background

S let me get away with ordering a cold dish even though she still frowned at me everytime I greedily reached for the "double crunch" salad. 
"Double Crunch" Salad - Cucumbers, Radish, Green Onion, and Coriander Leaves in a light soy sauce and sesame oil vinaigrette

S recommended that we order a bowl of stewed potato "chips with Nippon Lily" soup to warm ourselves up.  Either this is a ridiculous typo on the menu, or you really can eat Omoto Nippon Lily leaves or rohdea leaves.  Regardless, it was a delicious comfort food type of soup.  Good call, S!  I guess this is to balance out the cold double crunch salad. 

Stewed Potatoes and Omoto Nippon Lily Soup

I've learned that when there's eggplant on the menu in a Chinese restaurant, you just gotta order it because chances are, it will be the most addictive dish of the meal.  The eggplant dish at this Shanxi restaurant is no exception.  It is tangy, savory, spicy, garlicky, and smokey.  What's especially cool is that they cut several vertical slits on two whole eggplants and fried them so that the eggplants remained intact.  Very cool!
Fried Eggplant with Garlic

They were really slow in bringing out the noodle soups so by the time they brought out our freshly made knife-cut noodles, I was already full from pecking at the eggplant non-stop.  I managed to eat only half of my bowl of delicious eggs and tomatoes noodles. 

Scrambled Egg and Tomatoes Knife-cut Noodle Soup

B's Beef Knife-cut Noodle Soup

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