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Choice Chinese: Tuanjiehu's Tai Shu Xi is Laowai's Paradise

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There aren’t many places where the food tastes as good from a takeout box as it does from a dish at the restaurant, but Tai Shu Xi is one of them. This popular place is always heaving with locals ready to dip their chopsticks into Beijing’s famous dishes.

What looks from the outside like a huge Chinese take on a McDonald’s actually hides one of Beijing’s culinary gems beneath the cheesy red sign. And yes, it will become your wai mai go-to, and yes, there is an English and even a Russian menu on offer.

To prepare your taste buds for the pocket-friendly feast that lies ahead, we suggest kicking off with a poached romaine lettuce (¥18). This Beijing classic is greasy enough to serve as a hangover cure, but also 100-percent vegetarian and healthy enough that you won’t feel guilty about indulging in it.

Then, have your spice for the entire meal with a plate of cold, cut cucumbers soaked with chili oil and spice (¥12).

After you have had your fill of veggies, it’s time to for what Chinese cuisine does best—an abundance of meat. Our favorite from Tai Shu Xi will forever remain the shredded pork in fish sauce (¥22) which comes assembled in a huge pile of sauce and bits of bamboo. Get a side of rice for this guy, since its sauce is the best part. We think of it almost like a curry, and too often find ourselves slobbering it up for dinner on our lonesome while watching an episode of Downton Abbey.

For a different take on what all loawai can expect from a Chinese meal, go for the gong bao shrimp (¥58). Not shrimp at all, but rather prawns, they’re huge and fill us up in no time. The traditional sauce here is prepared to perfection and often comes with a little ticket stuck to the plate, telling you exactly who was in charge of that day’s concoction.

To finish your dinner, you can’t go wrong with Tai Shu Xi’s duck (¥116). The duck is succulent, massive and would fit into anyone’s budget. It comes with all the trimmings and here you do not have to wait. They want you in and out in no time, so you may actually spend more time in the queue than at the table.

Find it: Chaoyangqu Tuanjiehu Lu Tuanjiehu Gongyuan Dongmen Nan Ce, 朝阳区团结湖路团结湖公园东门南侧, Tel: 8598-4766

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