.. real good that is… and real cheap!
For whatever reason, looking at all the restaurants i go to on a regular basis, this one gets forgotten.. no more, it’s time to give it its due! Qin Tang Fu 秦唐府 (Chaoyangmen Branch) sits pretty in its spot, surrounded by a mix of 5 star hotels, Italian luxury imports and divey restaurants.. and it’s pretty darn happy being right where it is! When it comes to quality food at good prices and reasonable service, they just know how to get it done!
The first thing you notice when you get inside the restaurant is the lilliputian sized furniture. I read somewhere that “ the Shaanxi folks like to slurp their noodles close to the ground” but don’t quote me on it. It’s as good as an explanation as i have managed to find! That said, it’s not uncomfortable at all to sit and enjoy a good meal. While some folks might not like it, I find that I enjoy the rustic setting. It just fits the place!
For most people, this is the ‘Mo to rule them all! And by ‘mo we’re talking about ròu jīa mó 肉夹馍, aka the Chinese hamburger. And sure enough, they make a mean one! To me, this is closer to an old fashioned pulled pork sandwich than a burger. The ratio of meat to fat is always right, the bread find its balance and the whole thing is a please to chow on! You get the pick between a regular and lean version, both of which are freaking good.
For me, the real reason i go there is..you guessed it… the noodles! Oodles of them available and all so freaking awesome it’s hard to choose. The Youpo Chemian 油泼扯面 (Sticky Noodles with chili flakes), which according to Baidu dates back 3000 years, is the best I’ve had anywhere.. that’s including Xi’An itself.
The Yang Rou Pao Mo 羊肉泡馍 (lamb and bread chunks Noodle Soup) is as tasty as they come but beware, it will knock you out! That thing goes down to your stomach like a lead ball and sits there, waiting for some baijiu or mijiu to help digest it. It is pretty addictive though!
Their Sao Zi Mian 臊子面 (long hand pulled noodles) – Covered in their own post a while back – are something of a wonder. The pork variety is just awesome whereas the beef one, in a non-spicy stock- falls a bit short. They also have an interesting take on this classic using spinach noodles （ Bocai Saozi Mian 菠菜臊子面).
It’s not just the small stuff that rocks! Try their Chang An Ji 长安鸡 （ Whole crispy chicken) kicks some major ass. I’m not sure how they do this one but it manages to be perfectly crispy on the outside while retaining that inner-tenderness. Don’t forget to get some of their Suan Tang Shui Jiao 酸汤水饺 ( Dumplings in Sweet and Sour Soup). To the risk of sounding repetitive, they’re just freaking good!
The price are ridiculously cheap for that quality in Beijing… Come to think about, they’re just ridiculously cheap, period.
The service can be hit or miss depending on the time of the day but it’s never been bad! The staff is generally smiling and efficient, at least at the Chaoyangmen branch. I haven’t actually made it to the other two but I can see myself ending in the Dongsi store soon.
I’m honestly not sure why this place doesn’t get much more word of mouth amongst the expat crowd but then again, I’m not sure that such a bad thing. I haven’t had a bad dish there before and I’m hoping the streak continues… so far, I’ve like their take on those dishes more so than the one of the provincial restaurant. So.. why don’t you go and try it for yourself?
….and I need to go get me some noodles there like now!
Qin Tang Fu 秦唐府
69 Chaoyangmen Nan Xiaojie
tel: 6559 8135
Reviews and Maps: