November 14, 2019 Written by Evon Chua, Food Tour Guide in Beijing
Our Favorite Hidden Hutong Restaurant for High Quality Dim Sum
Dim Sum is a style of Cantonese food that originated from the south of China, therefore its traces are hard to find on the streets of Beijing which is situated north, let alone legit ones. So when Furongji opened, the Lost Plate team had to give it a try. It’s run by the incredible team at The Orchid guesthouse who also offers the best rooftop brunch in town.
Winding our way through the hutongs, Furongji’s gray brick exterior could easily be overlooked as it blends in with the surroundings. We arrive at the doorstep and were greeted by a pair of red lanterns (tip: your best bet to identify the place) and an unassuming entrance.
Decked with simple yet modern furnishings, and light Cantonese music playing in the background, Furongji is a comfortable place to enjoy a meal and an afternoon tea (yum-cha) or dessert with family and friends.
Upon seating, we were presented with a one-page menu that has over 40 dishes, English on one side and Chinese on the other. There were no pictures on the menu but all of the dishes were well categorized and named in a self-explanatory manner. The menu also had indicators like “Very Popular” and “100% Vegetarian” icons to help your selection and there were at least 10 dishes that vegetarians can enjoy!
We made our order through their WeChat mini application that is bilingual, but if you don’t have the app, just wave down a friendly staff member and they will be able to assist you. Service was attentive throughout and food was served relatively quick. We were very impressed when each dish started filling our table because they all looked very photogenic and it was clear that a lot of thought was put into each recipe and presentation.
If you’re a newbie that has never eaten dim sum before, dim sum is somewhat like tapas and we usually order a variety to share; it is not meant to be eaten as a dish on its own. Hence, portions are generally small and we recommend ordering 2 or 3 more dishes than the number of diners you have. If you’re a larger group, it’s a good idea to order 2 portions of each dish so that everyone gets to try each one. You can always order more after the first round if you’re still hungry!
On the day of our visit, we were a party of 3 (1 guy and 2 ladies) and we ordered 7 dishes in total that we completely devoured by the end, a testament to how delicious the meal was. We ordered most of the “Very Popular” dishes like the XO lotus leaf chicken rice, Furongji house wontons and roasted pork rice rolls which are a classic must-have for dim sum – and it didn’t disappoint. One of the more unique dishes were the chaoshou fenguo dumplings, which are a rare find nowadays, and gave us a new lease on life with these made-from-scratch dumplings of heaven.
Quality comes with a reasonable price tag so you can’t compare Furongji to your average dim sum joint as nothing here is mass or factory produced – and you don’t have to elbow your way around a bustling restaurant. Prices are indicated in the menu and range from 18-58 RMB per portion (2.50 USD to 8.50 USD). An average expenditure is around 18USD per person.
Furongji is a gem. The dim sum is certainly not boring and we’re pleasantly surprised at how we left the place with a fresh perspective on how dim sum could be done – and we’ve already been back since. Their dedication towards a holistic experience for the eye, stomach and soul is well worth your visit too!
NEED TO KNOW
What To Order:
Furongji house wantons（富荣记拌云吞）
Chaozhou fenguo dumplings (素红潮州粉粿）
Curry sesame balls （咖喱麻团）
Roasted pork rice rolls （叉烧肠粉）
Beef-cake and egg rice （牛肉末蒸仔饭）
Lychee black tea ice-cream （荔枝红茶冰淇淋）
Where it’s located: Bao Chao Hutong No. 63
Show Your Taxi Driver: 师傅请带我去，宝钞胡同63号，谢谢。
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