Life List: Tasty Hunan addition for elegant courtyard dining

Over the past few months, it’s been very common to get an SMS or skype message from K about a new tuangou deal… and while some of them are in bumfuck tanganika, others are really conveniently located and more often than no, all turn out quite good food wise. When the deal for Life List showed up on dianping, I was quite excited. I haven’t had Hunan food in a while and it was next to the house so all systems were go.

The place is just around the corner from Mao Livehouse, up the C-rock hutong, making it quite convenient for pre-gig dinners. I also like that the door is clearly marked.

On the night we were there, the place was moderately full with a bunch of customers chilling in the courtyard over tea or eating inside. Not too many but good enough for a weeknight. The decoration is elegant and classy without getting kitsch with comfortable ambient lighting.

As this was a tuangou deal, we only had a few options to choose from. The rest of the meal was set in stone. We had picked the four person taster deal for 168 RMB which was a steal as it included (to name a few):
– 柠檬鱼 Lemon Fish
– 酱板鸭跳跳蛙 Bullfrog & Duck Stew
– 棕香牛柳 braised beef
– 湘味扒鸡 hunan chicken
– 茉莉花开 Jasmine vegetables
– 一品茄子 Fragrant Eggplant
– 黄金香蕉酥 – Fried Banana

There were a few other dishes that i couldn’t keep track of like picked vegetables and some lovely flower tea.

How did it all taste? Pretty good!
The lemon fish is reminiscent of what is called “squirrel fish” at xiao wang fu if they added a lemon sauce with sprinkles of Jasmin for an earthy aftertaste. The Duck and Bullfrog stew was pretty darn potent and had the 4 of us scrambling for rice within the first bite… Lovely pieces of meat, crunchy veggies, perfectly tender and devilishly spiced.

The braised beef was similar to that of 100 restaurants around Beijing wheres the steamed eggplant stood out a few degrees above the lot. My personal favorite of the night was that hunan chicken which was to die for.. it tasted and looked like a variation of kou shui ji where the meat was amazingly tender, falling off the bone. I think i pretty much finished the whole thing on my own

The menu was in Chinese but they had dish names in English as well to give you somewhat of an idea about what you’re about to sink your teeth into. Their a-la-carte is complemented by a 100rmb set meal per person which a few folks of dianping have enjoyed.

Overall, another great find by K and fantastic tuangou deal. I was pleasantly surprised by the food and the quality of service. It bears repeating that the staff was really friendly and professional! Don’t go there expecting typical hunan fare though, this looked more like modern take on classics… granted, it was all pretty darn tasty.
The place boasts a little wine list as well as coffee and some basic cocktails which I didn’t get to try on that visit with some eclectic pricing. It looks like I’m not the only one thinking highly of it since it’s got a 4.5 star rating on dianping.

Life List

gulou dajie dajing changxixiang 14 hao ( corner with C-Rock)

+86 10 8402 8460

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Dianping | Local Noodles | City Weekend

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