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Din Tai Fung: The world's best Shanghai-style dumplings
Although you are visiting Beijing, you may still crave the world's best dumplings known as xiolongpao which are a specialty of Shanghai.
What makes these dumplings different from any other Chinese dumplings is the fact that they are steamed but full of pork and lot's of juice. The juicier the better. This particular chain was born in Taiwan (no surprise given that many Shanghainese fled to Taiwan when the CCP took over) and has spread to Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, San Francisco and other cities. It's claim to fame is that that it was voted as one of the world's top 10 restaurants (not just Chinese) by the New York Times. (This is a fact but the vote took place in 1993!)
I consider myself a dumpling Connoisseur (in addition to a handful of other subject matters) and rank this among the world's best. The only other contender would be Joe's Shanghai from NYC Chinatown. These dumplings are mighty rich in taste (and price) and are for the more affluent of people in Beijing. The menu includes standard pork but also Shanghai crab roe dumplings.
The service is very good, a respite in China. In fact the bathroom actually smelled good due to some coconut incense candles but let's not get into any more details to spoil your appetite.
Hope you enjoy.
Here is a link to the company site.
Favorite Dish: Try the drunken chicken and the won ton soup.
Cafe Annies: Italian Annies
Cafe Annies serves up a good selection of Italian which goes way beyond the usual pastas and pizzas, although the pizzas remain a real favourite with our children!
Annies is very family-friendly and bring a plate with some dough, cheeze and tomato for your children to make their own free mini-pizza which gets put in the oven with the real thing. They also have a play area for the Under-5s.
The original Annies is by Chaoyang Park West Gate, next to Jenny Lou's.
There is a new Annies now one block north of WAB...again by Jenny Lou's! They know what's good for business!
Favorite Dish: A whole bundle of them. My kids swear by te pizzas, my wife loves the salmon dishes...and I always seem to end up with the bruschetta followed by the baked eggplant and tomato.
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