Fantastic food (muslim, halal) from the province of Xinjiang from the far west. This restaurant only serve one short session per day from around 6pm to 10pm. If you come late, you will find yourself eating with the crowd dancing on your table!! Yes, table top dancing is what make it very special. Also, they have one of the best belly dancer performance on stage. Common sighting of celebraties like Jackie Chan, Bill Gates, etc..
Favorite Dish: Da Pan Ji - A local chicken dish serve with the la mian from the west. Very delicious and will make you crave for more. Alternative choices recommended are the Yang Rou Chuan and the Afanti Band (a sizzling beef that produce rythmic sounds like the band)
Note: Remember to make table reservation prior to visit.
Well known from the guidebooks, Afunti is a sanitised Uighur restaurant that has established a reputation for excellent Uighur food.
It is a bit of an institution in Beijing, and so tourists now outnumber locals.
The reputation for the post-meal dancing on the trestle tables, the Uighur music, and the...err...cabaret performance have pulled in the punters.
Sadly, the excellent food is rushed, to get the tables cleared away and so the dancing can begin. For this reason, you need to arrive early - no later than 6.30 - to allow time to eat. It also closes early, and once it is down to a handful or remaining drunken revellers, the music slackens off (you can't really whoop it up on a table to Greensleeves) and you are ushered out into the night. Houhai or Sanlitun beckons.
It is not the most typical of Xijiang or Uighur restaurants, but it is the easiest.
Favorite Dish: Roasted leg of mutton. Forget about chopsticks. Forget about cutlery. Even the plate may be optional. Just gnaw.
Unusually for Muslim restaurant (except in China) they serve alcohol and everyone drinks. This could be the reason that anyone is even prepared to contemplate dancing on a trestle table to Greensleeves.
I first found out about this place about 6 years ago. I went there again a month ago and found that although the area of the restaurant was the same, they have now packed in many more tables.
Afunti is a cross between a beer hall and a kebab house! All the long tables are tightly packed together because once everyone has eaten, you're allowed to get up on them and dance! The highlight of the evening comes when a pretty slim Uighur woman appears on stage in an exotic costume with a snake wrapped round her neck to perform a stunning Arabian Night dance!
The crowd cheers her on and not long after the host invites people on stage to dance with her. There are various competitions in which you can act the fool, have fun and maybe win a hat to take home with you...no, unfortunately...the girl doesn't come with it!
Favorite Dish: There are so many dishes to choose from and some of them can be quite expensive, so I suggest you choose one of the set meals they offer. The cheapest starts at 100yuan per person and it is wonderful food! Middle Eastern pasta with veg in tomato sauce, roast lamb on skewers seasoned perfectly, fruit platters, fish, pitta bread , and anything youre not too keen on from the set menu, can be swapped with an equivalent valued dish from the main menu.
There are also different types of beers, soft drinks, spirits and cocktails.
This restaurant features cuisine and culture from the western Xinjing province, home of the muslim Uighurs. Hence the food and culture presented is reminiscent of Arabic/Indian influence.
Food is very good, and the restaurant obviously popular with tours and corporate dinners due to the traditional shows that happen each night.
YOu are advised to book a table in advance, and arrive at teh restaurant by 7pm as the show gets going by 8pm.
You wouldn't want to miss the interesting musical and belly dancing show later on!
Favorite Dish: Skewered lamb, mutton in rice.
It has Muslim/XinJiang style of food. It provides not only delicious food but also Xin Jiang style of dancing shows. Great restaurant to try exotic food.
Favorite Dish: "Yang Rou Chuan" in Mandarin- it is a cluster of mutton pieces.
The most rousing and popular of Beijing's Muslim restaurants, and definitely lives up to its reputation. It's like everybody is the mood of partying and spices up the night! And guys, don't stare at the sexy bellydancers like she's your dinner AND yes, hold up your jaw so you won't make a fool of yourself! (Respect! hehe.. ) ohhh right! and if you need a bit of exercise after dinner, do join the dinners and dancers wiggling your bums up on the tables ;-)
Favorite Dish: Don't miss the yang rou chuanr (barbecued lamb skewers), lamian (long noodles with tomato sauce), and nan (flatbread with garlic).