now Ladies and Gentlemen, after a few musical interruptions, we go back to our regular food programming…. in other words, I’m still eating food and loving it!!
I love provincial restaurants as they bring an air of authenticity to Beijing’s culinary scene! That said, I wish they was an easier way to keep track of them as some of them are damn right obscure and unknown. The Changzhou Hotel Restaurant 常州宾馆餐厅 (map) is one of those! It’s not a restaurant I’ll go out of my way to go to but if I’m in the area, I’ll definitely consider it as a strong contender for a meal!
I ended up there by accident while being rained-out and locked out due to rehearsals for the october 1st holiday and I have not regretted that a single bit!
The place is tucked inside the Changzhou Hotel which gives it a semi-official status even though it is not listed as one of the provincial restaurants in the city! It’s discrete and classy but quite solid.
Our little sunday trek over there found the restaurant half-full and they were able to accommodate our group of a dozen folks quite easily. The menu was nicely laid out with pictures of all dishes and fairly reasonable prices.
We trusted our local friends with the ordering part and were definitely not disappointed. Some highlights of the meal included the “Baijiu Chicken” , “Sour bamboo shoots”, “Turnip Beef stew” and “heavenly shortribs”! The fare reminded me very much of my visit to Changzhou a few years ago: Solid, clean, well done without being overly special which can be a blessing in disguise when you have been in China for a while.
After leaving the restaurant, I tried finding a bit more information about it online as no one could confirm or deny the “official” status of the place. A visit to Dianping didn’t exactly clear things up but it informed me that fish dishes were the local specialty and we hadn’t had any fish dish while there so I was a bit miffed about that and will definitely try and get back there one of these days when I’m stuck around chaoyangmen again.
At the end, a meal for 12 persons was about 800RMB including drinks (beer, tea and mineral water) which was fairly reasonable considering we got some of their pricier dishes!
Changzhou Hotel Restaurant 常州宾馆餐厅 (map)
Just northeast of the Sinopec Bldg / 中国石化大厦东北边
Cháoyángqū Cháoyángmén Wài Dàjiē Jíxiáng Lǐ 113 Hào Lóu