The Dazhaimen Restaurant of Family Bai will not only set you back considerably financially, but also in time. This spectacular garden in Qing dynasty style has been revamped as a restaurant, and not a modest one either. Originally, this was the garden and residence of one Prince Li.
As the garden, the theme of the dining is Qing dynasty imperial, with food recipes and service to go with it. After the meal you can be taken on a tour of the garden (and the other diners) by a Qing princess - many of them here - with a lamp. Very pleasant, and tempts you to return here.
At the end of your visit to Beijing, this is the place to end.
Favorite Dish: Again I ended up at a banquet without much choice or benefit of a menu. However, I trust that my hosts did the best selection - so it tasted anyway.
The choice of high-quality local spirits was good here, not the average moutai stuff. The drinks selection did not have much in terms of limitations...
One dish we did not manage to identify, it carried some sort of imperial name. We all thought it was very good, and from some kind of animal. By help of a gentle princess we were advised this was sauteed deers' ears in abalone sauce. Hmmmm...
Of other dishes that I liked a lot were more clearly sea food dishes of several kinds.
At the end of the meal royal cakes were brought in, and you picked according to your symbolic choices; good luck, wealth, etc. I had them all.
Fancy to have traditional Chinese food in an 18th century settings?? Well, this the place to go. It is a converted 18th century Chinese home (Da Zhai Men) into a restaurant. All the waiter and waitress are dressed in traditional Chinese gown and food will be served in a basket from the kitchen. All pavillions are converted into individual dining rooms. There is also a central hall for those who prefer to be seen... The surrouding are covered with nice floral garden with koi fish pond.
Favorite Dish: Da Pang Gu, Preserved Bean Curd, assorted noodles.