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Not far from my dwelling, there is a branch of Qingfeng Steamed Stuffed Bun Restaurant at Jingtai Dongli, Chongwen District. Qingfeng is a famous restaurant name with which every old Beijinger is familiar. Apart from enjoying the traditional food, dining there will make you feel like an old Beijinger.

 

Past and present

Qingfeng Steamed Stuffed Bun Restaurant was originally named Wan He Jv. This was back in 1948 when it was opened. Later on the restaurant specialized in steamed stuffed buns, and changed its name to Qingfeng. In 1988, Qingfeng Steamed Stuffed Bun was rated a unique snack in Beijing. It has been one of the Beijingers¡¯ most popular old eateries for decades of years.

 

Memories

When I was a child, my father brought me to Qingfeng sometimes to enjoy the tasty steamed stuffed buns. At that time, Qingfeng was located on the west side of Qianmen Street, south of Zhushikou.

 

My father and my mother would sometimes come back home with some of Qingfeng¡¯s specialties. During the hard formative years of the new China, Qingfeng¡¯s steamed stuffed buns were really a luxury.

 

Today

Qingfeng Steamed Stuffed Bun Restaurant at Jingtai Dongli is decorated in a simple, clean style. Outside the restaurant, Chinese red lanterns serve as a sign. Looking through the clean windows, you will see many employees in white sitting round a table in the kitchen and wrapping up the buns, while some customers sitting in the restaurant and enjoying their delicacies.

 

Enter in. Some patrons stand in line, waiting to order their meals. On the far side, many rectangular tables and stools wait in rows for occupants. On one wall, food items and prices are on display. On the opposite wall, there are two large pictures depicting old Qingfeng scenes.

 

Meal time

I ordered 200 grams of steamed stuffed buns with pork and the three delicacies inside, and a bowl of purple rice porridge. All in all, it came to RMB 12.

 

The buns look round, white and nice. They tasted very soft and delicious. You can flavor them with vinegar, a bottle of which is put on each table.

 

The purple rice porridge tasted yummy as well. You can add some sugar to give it more taste.

 

Prices

50 grams of steamed stuffed bun with pork and the three delicacies inside cost RMB 2.5.

A bowl of purple rice porridge costs RMB 2.

Wonton soup costs RMB 2 per bowl.

Other items on the menu are just as inexpensive.

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Gou Bu Li steamed stuffed bun is a traditional and delicious Chinese food. It first appeared in Tianjin in 1858, under the reign of Emperor Xian Feng of the Qing Dynasty. Gou Bu Li means the inventor -- nicknamed Gou Zi (puppy)-- was so busy selling his steamed stuffed buns that he had no time to answer questions from his customers.

 

There is a Gou Bu Li restaurant on Dongdan North Street. Their steamed stuffed bun is very tasty, and prices are very inexpensive.

 

One meal of steamed stuffed bun costs only RMB 13 or RMB 15. It includes 9 buns, some home-made pickles, and some mung bean porridge.

 

What I appreciated

Gou Bu Li, the most famous steamed stuffed bun in China, delicious traditional food, reasonable prices.

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Beijing pictures, Entrance-Wangfujing Snack Street

The most famous shopping street-Wangfujing is named after a well. This well is located in a street near Wangfujing Street-Wangfujing Snack Street.

 

Wangfujing the Well-Named

The origin of the name Wanfujing comes from the 4-meter deep well which you can see near the entrance of Wangfujing Snack Street. It was dug during the Ming Dynasty, and called Wangfujing. The word ¡®jing¡¯ means ¡®well¡¯ in Chinese.

 

Wangfujing Snack Street

Wangfujing Street is famous not only for shopping, but also for its snacks. 
 

The section where snack food is served is named Wangfujing Snack Street, and it is located in the north of Wangfujing Street. You enter this side street on the west side of Wangfujing.

  

Approaching the Snack Street

The entrance of Wangfujing Snack Street is a big doorway designed in the traditional Chinese style with dragons. The top of the gate bears 6 golden Chinese characters which tell the name of the street.

 

 

The Snacks

Most vendors on Wangfujing Snack Street can speak a little English, as there are so many foreigners visiting.

 

The snacks are served as take-away only. You can either eat right then and there, or ask for a bag and take the food with you.

 

There are different kinds of traditional snacks. Some I have tasted; some are so weird I never heard of them before this trip to the Street.

 

Tanghulu

One of the vendors sells tanghulu, which is a sweet taste snack. The chef puts some fruit on a skewer, and covers the fruit with melt sugar. When the sugar crystallizes, it turns transparent. It makes the tanghulu look nice.

 

The traditional tanghulu is made of hawthorn. Nowadays, people also use grapes, plums, strawberries, and blackberries to make it.

 

The vendor told me lots of foreigners try tanghulu. Their favorite kind is made with strawberries.

 

The tanghulu is priced RMB 3-5, depending on which fruit it is made of.

 

Smelly toufu

Personally, I love smelly toufu. Although it smells, it tastes really nice. I like the texture of fried toufu, and the special spicy source they put onto it.

 

For RMB 3, you can get a small plastic bowl filled with 6-8 pieces of smelly toufu. One piece is a 2-inch long square. The vendor will also give you a toothpick, so that you can stick the toothpick into one of the pieces, and put it into your mouth.

 

Skewers

There are all kinds of skewers: beef, lamb, chicken, chicken heart, pork, etc. It costs RMB 3 for a small skewer, and RMB 5 for a big one.

 

I even saw skewers of scorpions today. There are 4 scorpions on one skewer, sold  for RMB 15. The scorpions are alive before they are cooked. The chef scared me with the living scorpions when we were talking and kidding. He tried to persuade me to eat one but failed miserably.

 

Another weird animal on skewer is cicada (RMB 6). I still haven¡¯t dared to try it out.

 

Coconuts

Vendors selling coconuts are really friendly. After I bought a coconut, they taught me how to open it and drink it, and how to eat the flesh inside as well. Coconuts cost RMB 10 each. They are much cheaper than those sold in supermarkets.

 

Besides these snacks, you can also find sweet corn (RMB 4), squid (RMB 5), Hongkong-styled beef ball (RMB 5) and Turkey-styled kebab (RMB 5) on this street.

 

Sun Glasses

After this snack feat, I walked towards the end of the street, and found a peddler selling sunglasses. The glasses are badly made, but really cheap. Don¡¯t look for a price tag, there are none. I picked one, and asked for the price. The peddler started at RMB 40, but after bargaining came down to RMB 25. If you care to buy a pair of cheap sunglasses, make an effort at bargaining.


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Beijing Shopping: Dining out at Qingfeng Steamed Stuffed Bun Restaurant, an Experience Every Old Beijinger has Had.