Bit of a dive. Not the fanciest joint in town by a long stretch. That's probably beside the point of it though. Very friendly and shuai young bartenders. Tell them it's your first time to the bar and they might even pour out a free shot of their signature rum for you to skull down.
Best pho in Beijing, hands down. The key to pho is in the broth, and the pho lab stuff easily beats out the other (three or four) pho shops I have dined at in Beijing. It's tasty enough to drink as a plain soup just by itself! Ask for some extra lime to zest the broth up even more, and they will be happy to provide! Bahn mi was originally their weak spot, but it has improved with each return visit. Creme brulee is a very good value dessert for Beijing too!Service was previously an issue, with some rather lackadaisical young fuwuyuans manning the joint, but their new fuwuyuan is a lovely and beaming ayi who is a delight. A simple but clean interior design completes what is a unpretentious and highly enjoyable eating experience.
I found out about Culture Yard from my girlfriend of the time. She had studied Portuguese there and recommended it to me. Soon after that I enrolled in the Chinese programme and studied with the school for just over 12 weeks. This allowed me to finish two of their intensive courses. These focussed on speaking and listening but there was also work on reading and writing and I found my character regognition improved dramatically. There was definitely a real improvement in my Chinese throughout my studies. Being totally immersed in the language every day really forces you to learn.
I like the fact that there is a relaxed, homely atmosphere to the place. It’s cosy and intimate and you get to meet interesting people from around the world. I like being in the seating area and hearing three or four different languages being spoken at the same time. Culture Yard also runs a range of social events which help you learn about aspects of Chinese culture. This really helps you understand more about the country and the language, and of course they’re also loads of fun. The teachers are really friendly and professional and the programmes run are tried and tested and well administered. Everything is well organised and it’s easy to talk with staff.
I think that anyone can benefit from studying here. Whether you’re a complete beginner or knocking on the door of fluency, they will have something for you and help you take your Hanyu to the next step.
Visiting the place with my colleague and daughter before her heading back for the school in the US. The environment was nice and service was ok. Food in general is good except the salad was moderate and lasagne was a bit oily. The steak was perfect.
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