Ding Ding Xiang, Beijing

Ding Ding Xian is easily the most luxurious and perfectionist of the hotpot eateries in Beijing. Thanks to the generosity of a good friend, I was able to lunch there during my stay in the city. A number of things thoroughly impressed me here, as I only knew the hotpot as a very basic home-cooked meal.

First of all, I was baffled by how good the products were. From the sea cucumber, to the geoduck clam, prawns up to the lamb and beef, everything was of fine quality. The seafood was mostly presented alive before being sliced or killed so that one could cook it in one’s own little hot pot. In European top restaurants one rarely gets presented with living fish or crustaceans (apart from lobsters maybe), which is a pity. Somehow the Chinese seem to manage this a little better than we do…

Another great feature of this place is that every patron has their own pot, which allows them to adjust the stock’s intensity, spice and flavour as a host of different stocks are on offer. Even if it might take away a bit of the social element of having a hotpot, I quite enjoyed this way of doing things.

Images can say more than words, therefore I simply conclude by saying that this was another impressive restaurant in Beijing. From the room, to the service up to the food I very much enjoyed it, and warmly recommend anyone to try and visit this place when they can. It is good fun, and something you won’t get in Europe, at least not this good.

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