Beijing: Food and Drink
The Forbidden City
Chinese cuisine is world famous. You should forget western food for a while and sample a great range of delicious dishes. Meals are huge, are taken early and often end with soup. Breakfasts are more savoury than sweet and often contain dishes you would not expect until later in the day. In the wheat producing areas of northern China noodles, dumplings and casserole type dishes predominate as well as availability of Peking Duck. Szechwan province is renown for its spicy dishes whereas the south produces stir fried meat and vegetables, fried rice, steamed chicken and fish.
Vegetarians need not be apprehensive, a non-meat alternative is always possible however Chinese chefs are not particularly familiar with the concept of vegetarianism so dishes tend to have a limited variety of vegetables and are not richly flavoured or spiced. However, fruit and vegetables generally in China are superb. A big, and unexpected, hit with many kids is Moon fruit, sometimes known as 'pamplemousse' that looks like a huge grapefruit yet much milder and sweeter. Other things to try include soft baozi buns in various flavours, (savoury and sweet), from street side outlets, if you're caught on the hop. You may also wish to try some of Beijing's night market specialities, such as sheep testicles or deep fried scorpion!