Home Restaurant in Sanlitun of Beijing
The Sanlitun branch of Xiao Wang's Home Restaurant has a Western feel: it's quiet, tidy and stylish. Even the waiters are dressed neatly, in a uniform of white shirts, black trousers and leather shoes. That might be a little intimidating to some Chinese customers who come for the name. After all, "home restaurant" means, to many, popular home-style food, but not necessarily a very good dining environment. Often this kind of restaurant would be crowded, basic and noisy.
Xiao Wang's is an exception. The 600-square-metre lobby, with 130 seats, is spacious and quiet, with light music playing at a low volume. At least six tables of expat customers came in between 6 pm and 9 pm. Most of the other Chinese customers looked white-collar. One side of the restaurant is decorated like a Chinese train carriage. While it's spacious in the lobby, inside the carriage it's cozy and intimate.
The marble floor in the lobby is replaced by wooden flooring inside the carriage. Scarlet curtains, miniature paintings and yellow suspension lamps all help give a relaxed homelike feeling. You would have expected the dishes in such a restaurant to be expensive. Yet a look at the menu, in both Chinese and English, reveals that the price is mid-level.
A bottle of Budweiser costs 12 yuan (US$1.4), while a helping of braised pig leg in special brown sauce is priced at 35 yuan (US$4.2).
A plate of sauced bean curd and spring onion costs only 6 yuan (US$0.7).
There are many choices at the 20 yuan (US$2.4) level.
The fried crispy small fish and peanut (xiao yu hua sheng), which costs 20 yuan (US$2.4), can certainly be recommended from the cold dish section.
The roast duck, priced at 88 yuan (US$10.5) for one whole duck, is a speciality worthy trying.
A glutinous rice cake (nian qie gao) is also highly recommended as a desert. It comes with mashed bean, mashed jujubes and mashed hawthorn fruit as stuffing.
It costs from 120-150 yuan (US$14.5-18) to eat in the restaurant.
Location: No 4 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District
1-888-414-0686 (US & CA)
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