We’re proud to announce a recent feature of our UnTour Beijing food tours in the UK’s Sunday Travel Times! Author Ellen Himelfarb loved the tours and of course our fair city. Check out the article, which is chock full of other good tips about what to do while traveling in Beijing. Check out the first few pages here, or for the full article PDF click here.
Here’s an excerpt of her time with us:
Beyond duck, the city bubbles with complex flavours. New to Beijing, Untour (untourfoodtours.com; £47) summonses you to the fringes of Gulou for a three-hour dinner extravaganza with all the unrecognisable meats and condiments you can handle. It begins in Ghost Street, named for the spectre of lanterns said to have lit the old night-market in the last centuries of dynastic Beijing.
On balmy nights, seniors in singlets sit outside Qing-era facades sizzling with neon, as frying lamb and steaming jianbing (chilli-rubbed crêpes) wait to be devoured.
According to Untour, chefs themselves eat in the close lanes of corrugated-roof cottages called hutongs. Shoebox restaurants around Beixinqiao Station host beer- and whiskey-fuelled diners. At fluoro-lit Lao Liu Hotpot (73 Beixinqiao), tureens of bubbling broth arrive, with paper-thin lamb, root veg and tofu to pop in. Beijingers claim hotpot as their own — it was here that Mongolian invaders developed the dish as they besieged the city walls.
But Beixinqiao belongs to a United Nations of Chinese. At a corner barbecue with a hairdryer to fan the flames, Uighurs from the Muslim Xinjiang province serve Halal mutton skewers dusted with cumin at plastic garden tables — the authenticity is in the chunks of fat interspersed with the meat. On the next block, Fifth Brother (5 Nanbanqiao Hutong) is virtually un-Googleable, yet it’s busier than McDonald’s as fans (here with their extended families) devour chicken wings rolled in Sichuan peppercorns.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our small-group, Beijing walking food tours, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We offer two tours in Beijing: Hutong Breakfast Tour & Old Beijing Dinner Tour. They both last three hours and take place near the Beixinqiao/Lama Temple area. Breakfast starts at 8am, Dinner at 7pm. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.