Jíxiángniǎo Xiāngcài

Hunan in Sānlǐtún & Cháoyáng

Not enough places in Běijīng serve xiāng cài (湘菜), the notoriously spicy cuisine of Húnán province, but this large, fiery restaurant is arguably the best of them. The pork belly braised in soy sauce and spices (¥48), known in China as hóngshāo ròu (红烧肉), is the house speciality: it was the favourite dish of Mao Zedong, who hailed from Húnán.

But the fish head with chopped chillis (¥78) and the ribs (¥128) are not be missed, while the dry pot dishes are also popular. You won't hear much English spoken, but there's a picture menu in English. It gets busy at lunchtimes especially. No English sign; look for the red Chinese characters on top of the roof.


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