What makes this place special? Well, how about up to two weeks waiting time to get a table? Locals are crazy for this little eatery and it shows in the reviews on dianping and other Beijing-based review sites. We got lucky on a monday preceding spring festival to get a table at 8:00 p.m for the next day! Heck, we even changed plans to accommodate the fact they had an opening so early!
The restaurant is in a hutong just outside of xidan subway station exit C. As you come out of the station, take a left and walk down for 500 meters or so. You’ll pass a few BBQ places but just keep going until you see the sign and the two red lanterns, you’ll recognize it when you get there!
The inside is a typical hutong with 2 rooms set a eateries and a section for grilling the goodies. On the night we went there, it was quite cold so there was no way to even think about sitting outside or things like that.
K-hua got there first as usual and I followed along with S and a few other folks. They close early so she had to start ordering wings ahead of time and when we got there around 8:20 or so, it was “last call”.. never thought i’d get one of those on wings! The staff was pretty adamant about letting us know that we needed to get our last orders for gilled goodies in before they turned off the pit. We could always get other dishes that didn’t involve grilling but that’d be it.
The first big difference between Kuan Dian and Xidan Chiku is the menu! While the former had limited items, the latter had one hell of an extensive selection with lamb, fish, wings, veggie and tofu on a stick. They also had a lot more choices in terms of general cold dishes.
The Yangrou Chuan’r was actually quite nice, so were the mushroom and squid. This was a welcome surprise as i had expected the rest of the menu to be an afterthought and it was not! However, we were there for wings and by golly, wings there was!
As usual, we got a bit of everything! Their regular wings, 1 sided spicy, 2 sided spicy and the phenomenally hot-perverted biantai! K-hua, S and myself were still recovering for the Kuan Dian biantai wings we had the previous evening so we didn’t overdo it. Just one wing per person to get a taste.
so how were these wings?
The original (bu la or yuan wei) flavor was perfectly grilled, presented a nice glaze and seasoned with cumin and small hints of pepper. The meat fell of the bone and the chicken did taste like it had been marinated for sometime. Definitely a winner!!
We then moved up the spicy ladder all the way to the Biantai! what can i say about these puppies? yes, they were perverse! Yes, they were evil! but beyond that, they were amazing, the gift that keeps on giving! it was like a wine with a long finish and the flavors /heat kept coming more and more! Honestly, these are the best spicy wings i’ve had in China! bar none!!!
I fully understand now why this place is so popular and will be coming back again very soon! At the moment, as far as I am concerned, they are Kings of the Wings in Beijing.
Xidan Chiku 西单翅酷 (map)
15 Zhongsheng hutong , (500m north of subway exit C )
CALL AHEAD FOR RESERVATIONS!!!!