This is supposedly a recreation of the cuisine that was served at the Imperial Court of China.
The set-up was interesting -- we went to the one inside Beihai Park and so would give it a thumbs-up for location. The inside however, was far from being palatial.
The food was the biggest disappointment. As no one in our group was in any hurry to savour camel paw, deer tendon, etc, We chose the RMB 250 menu. We got a little bit of everything -- shrimp, beef, mushrooms, veggies, etc. It's hard to imagine anything imperial in the inspiration or the preparation of the food.
The mushroom soup was the worst. It tasted like someone took a pail of the water from the lake next door and threw in a few pieces of scraps.
The traditional desserts that this place is so proud of. Despite the fancy names the taste was absolutely plebeian. The corn dessert tasted like a badly made piece of corn bread left in the dishwasher overnight.
Oh yeah the service. This is supposedly the "Imperial Cuisine", remember? If the waiters had truly served the Empress Dowager, all heads would have rolled!
Favorite Dish: Dishes range from totally forgettable to simply bad
Located at Beihai Park, Fangshan Resturant offers the ordinary folks like us a taste of what a typical meal is like in the royal palace. Honestly speaking, the food is quite alright, but nothing really that extraordinary.
Well, if for nothing, you have actually taste imperial food to find that it's not that fantastic after all. But of course, we have taken the good food that we eat daily for granted.
Favorite Dish: There are certainly many dishes, nicely arranged and with beautiful names.
This restaurant and store offers the food similar to what the emperor in the past ate. It makes all the dishes, snacks, etc. that the emperor enjoyed. That is the uniqueness of this restaurant. Thus, you can get a good understanding of the emperor's diet. LOL. But the food here is worth a taste, especially the "snacks" that the emperor enjoyed, like some sweet bean products for example.
This is one of the more exclusive restaurants in beijing.
It is situated on the edge of a lake in Beijing.
The greatest variety of meat that I have ever eaten in a Chinese restaurant.
great varieties of steak, lamb, bar-b-q pork chops, roasted chinese sweet potatoes, fried calimari and a whole cooked fish.
Not for the first time - did I overeat!
Favorite Dish: The roast lamb joints.
very tender melt in your mouth type.
Offering Imperial Cuisine, the Fangshan Restaurant inside Beihai Park was an experience that I would definitely recommend. It can be pricey, but there is a wide range of pre-set menus that should be able to accomodate most people. Originally started by the ex-chefs of the Qing Dynasty, the menu provides a look into what the royalty ate inside the forbidden city.
'Fang Shan Fan Zhuang' (Fan Shan Restaurant)
it was opened in 1925 by chefs who used to work in 'royal kitchen' (Yu Shan Fang), many snacks r still strictly made by hand in the traditional way. it also offers the most famous chinese meal-set 'Man Han Quan Xi', if u have SUPER GOOD appetite, try it :D
the food there might be a bit expensive comparing with other restuarants in the city (around $20 per person), but u definitely can't find another restuarant with the atmosphere! (very special location & waiters/watresses all wear traditional clothes)
Imperial cuisine in a palace...can't beat that! The restaurant is in Beihai Park. When we came in, they had a group of ladies dressed as Qing dynasty courtesans dancing in the main courtyard. Perry took me out for a VERY interesting dinner that included turtle, deer, and other rare imperial treats! I would HIGHLY recommend this as a MUST do activity! You can even REALLY splurge and book an Emperor's Banquet which you get to dress up as an Emperor for...you need to reserve and order WELL IN ADVANCE for the Emperor's dinner though...I think you eat over the course of a couple of days...
THE BEIJING FANSHAN RESTAURANT
Inside Beihai Park (enter through the east gate)
Tel: 6401-1889/1879 or 6404-2573, Fax: 6404-1184 / M-F: 11AM-1:30PM, 5-8PM / Sa-Su: 10:30AM-1:30PM, 4:30-8PM
The advertising boasts dishes once prepared for the emperor, so be prepared for a luxurious evening. They have fix menus with a lot of tiny dishes, all of them delicious, starting from 100Y/24dishes/person and ending with 500Y/20 dishes/person.
Favorite Dish: Court Cuisine originates from the imperial kitchen which cooked food for the emperor and his family. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, some chefs from the imperial kitchen opened restaurants in the capital to introduce the special food once only eaten by the imperial family.Fangshan (Imperial-style) Restaurant sits on the island in Beihai Park in a traditional courtyard facing the lake. Apart from delicious dishes meticulously prepared with rare and expensive foodstuffs such as birds nests and sharks fins, the restaurant is also known for its pastries, including pea-flour cakes, kidney bean-flour rolls, miniature corn buns and sesame seed buns with chopped meat filling.
Located on a lake in a large, sprawling traditional building. Service by costumed waitresses. Touristy, but fun. There's also a shop.
Favorite Dish: All kinds of traditional dishes. Dumplings are excellent.