Beijing's Best Barbecue
Beijing's Best Barbecue
You’d think our summer diets would lean more towards chilled noodles and frozen yoghurt. Alas, we are a complex species and would rather swarm around open flames, gripping spiced wings and saucy ribs. So pack the wet wipes and gather up some friends – we’ve got some roasters to explore.
Da Huaishu (大槐树烤肉馆)
The smell of charred flesh drives locals in their dozens to the decade-old tabletop terracotta briquette pits of Da Huaishu. Famed for its platters of marinated meats, the cheap a la carte menu (in Mandarin) tempts multiple orders of marinated beef (牛肉; 13RMB), butterflied chicken gizzards (鸡胗; 15RMB), pork belly slices (五花肉; 13RMB) and beef tongue (牛舌; 15RMB). Order a side of qie ni (茄泥), a boiled mash of cold eggplant, sesame sauce and garlic, which literally translates as ‘eggplant mud’. It looks like it sounds, but is an addictively delicious addition.
Northeast intersection of the crossroads at Dongcheng District Museum of Art, 23 Dong Jie, Dongcheng district
Roast Leg of Mutton (碳花烤羊腿)
Beijing used to have loads of these DIY joints, but the city’s remodelling efforts have sadly left only a few in their wake. Roast Leg of Mutton staff sporting welding gloves carry molten-hot metal boxes packed with glowing briquettes (the heat is intense!) to your table, then return with a partially cooked, speared leg of mutton (38RMB per jin), which you’re expected to roast. You’ll need to put some muscle into carving with the special-handled utensils. Our advice: let the meat crisp on the grill below if you want it extra tasty. Then cool down with a mini keg of Yanjing beer (38RMB for two litres) as you sit in the bustling hutong outside. Bring a group and tick this one off your bucket list.
63 Beixinqiao San Tiao, (near the Lama Temple), Dongcheng district
Hao Ku (蚝酷)
Something of an ugly duckling, this dingy spot may look a little on the messy side, but Hao Ku holds a likeable secret. Barbecued oysters are the speciality here – and plenty of them. A crude, charcoal-lit iron grill in the back is fired up to roast oysters and scallops from Zhanjiang, each cooked on the half shell (58RMB per dozen), as well as a bucketload of shrimp (28RMB for four). You can order them without seasoning, but we recommend going for the minced garlic on everything. Also available are roast chicken wings (56RMB for 20) in original, slightly spicy and really spicy flavour – although there’s more sweet than heat. Stick to the seafood and you’ll be thankful.
A82 Dongsisitiao, Dongcheng district,
Crescent Moon(Xinjiang Crescent Moon Uighur Muslim Restaurant)
What’s a Beijing summer without chuan’r, the ever-popular, fatty roast meat skewer? You can pick up a stick of ‘maybe mutton’ almost anywhere, but save yourself the mystery and go to Crescent Moon. Our favourite Xinjiang spot spears bona fide brochettes of lamb (6RMB per skewer) and roasts them to tender perfection. Go the carb-fuelled distance and order a hot Xinjiang nan (5RMB) and sweeten the bite with a bottle of local-style pomegranate wine (108RMB). Then you’re set.
(just off Dongzhimen Nan Xiaojie) 16 Dongsiliutiao Dongcheng district
新疆弯弯月亮维吾尔穆 斯林餐厅, 东城区东四北大街六条16号
With branches in both the Korean strongholds of Wangjing and Wudaokou, among others, Huoluhuo can lay claim to be the city’s favourite Korean home-from-home barbecue spot. A set menu for two (150RMB) comes with six different cuts of beef, including fillet and ribeye; each with an army of complimentary, bottomless sides of pickled veg, blanched sprouts, pumpkin and kimchi soup, all of which set this griller apart. à la carte grill options are also available, such as two slabs of pork belly (35RMB) that you can grill and dip into smoky salt and other savoury sauces. Go early and be prepared to wait.
Second Floor, Building 424, Guangshun Bei Jie, Wangjing Xiyuan, Chaoyang district