Xiheyaju is well known to the expat community, lying in an ideal spot close to the embassies and also the main Central Business District. It is tucked away behind the big grey walls of Ritan Park, a particularly popular kite-flying park, so a quiet walk in the park can precede or follow your meal.
Despite it's popularity I suspect that most diners do not realise that there are two gardens at this excellent restaurant. The obvious one, at the entrance is always crowded when the weather is crowded. The second one is behind the main resturant and is always deserted. Needless to say, the rear garden is much nicer.
They have a very good, extensive menu, and service is quick and friendly. They are used to the vagaries of laowai.
Favorite Dish: Too many to mention.
Open from 11am-2pm for lunch and from 5pm-10pm for dinner.
Good location, close to silk market and Ri Tan park.
The thing I like most of this place is the ambience, it's inside a courtyard, very peacful and quiet. Especially pleasant if you dine in a warmer spring or summer night.
Have a draft beer chatting with friends under the gingko tree , truly pleasant!
Favorite Dish: To please their clients (many are expates ) the flavour of the dish has been a bit changed , not 100% local , it's good anyway!
Basically it's Si Chuan , a bit spicy. Price is very reasonable! Menu with picture also available!
We were in Beijing in September 2008. We went to the restaurant outside the Ritan Park walls, northeast corner. We found the Jenny Lou's mentioned in my directions and sure enough there was our restaurant: Xi He Ya Ju. ( phone 010 85617643, cc- yes, western toilet, www.xhyj.net, 1100 - 1400hrs, 1700-2200hrs, has peking duck) We went inside to the courtyard area. The menu was extensive with photos and English translations. My onion phobic husband found items that he recognized. We ordered batter fried shrimp, sauteed scallops and broccoli, sweet and sour pork, steamed rice, and two beers -Budweiser, (ugh!). The food was very good. I expected the sweet and sour to be less sweet than the American Chinese version but it was not. The restaurant clientele was 90% Chinese in family groups. I had heard that the restaurant was laowai friendly so I guess I expected to see more of the local embassy people. We ate every bite, not because the portions were small but because we were really hungry and the food was excellant.
We were in the restaurant as night fell and the garden was strung with colored lights which was pretty. To tell you the truth, I can not remember if the wait staff spoke English or not but we had no difficulty ordering, getting our check, or paying with a credit card.
Favorite Dish: All of the dishes were prepared beautifully. Probably the scallops are technically the most delicate to prepare. There is nothing worse than an over cooked scallop. These were terrific. Watching other diners, I did not see one morsel of food left on any plates!
Xiheyaju Restaurant serves some of the best Sichuanese food we’ve ever had! It’s a great courtyard setting with the option of sitting inside, in the conservatory, or outside under the stars.
Read more on my website at: