Beijing’s dining scene has many things to offer, but one thing it doesn’t have a great deal of is history. Of course, the cooking tells tales of bygone times, it’s just... the eateries themselves haven’t been around so long.
Why, just 36 years ago there was not a single privately-owned diner in the entire city. That is until one plucky chef named Liu Guixian decided that she’d had enough of struggling to feed her family, resigned from the state-run canteen she worked in, and marched down to the powers-that-be to ask for permission to open her own restaurant.
Initially, officials laughed her out the building. But after more than a dozen visits, Liu was finally granted clearance. On the day she opened her humble hutong haven, Yuebin, she only had enough money for four ducks and the most basic ingredients. She sold out in minutes.
And so began the inspirational account behind what is arguably the Chinese capital’s most storied stalwart. Needless to say, Liu made a success of her dishy desti, an accomplishment that continues to this day.
For while she has since retired, her family have taken over and continue to serve the same reasonably priced, home-style fare in the very same setting. Signature dishes include the guota doufu he (wok tofu boxes) and guoshaoya (wok-cooked barbeque duck), the first dish she ever served. How’s that for a taste of history?
43 Cuihua Hutong / Dongcheng / +86 10 8511 7853 / lunch & dinner daily