This I can say about Shun Yi Fu: it was so nice I went there twice. And heck, I wish a place like this existed in London so I could have platefuls of excellent dumplings on a regular basis. This very centrally located restaurant is considered to serve some of the best dumplings in Beijing and of course, I had to try them at least once. I didn’t expect to go twice though but it was a great opportunity to sample more of their long menu.
The first visit was with Blai – we headed here after a morning visit to the Forbidden City and split two plates of dumplings (one boiled, one fried) and a salad. The fresh vegetable salad (10RMB) was dressed ever so lightly with a little vinegar and some sesame oil and was a very refreshing accompaniment to the heavier dumplings.
It surprised me that boiled (pork and Chinese cabbage, 18RMB) just pipped fried (special soy sauce pork, 35RMB) to first place in my heart. The wrappers were thick Beijing style ones but were strangely light and were just better boiled than fried; that said, I wouldn’t turn down a fried one if you were to offer it. Of the fillings, I prefered the pork and cabbage (not Chinese cabbage as you get here but a vegetable that was more green – you could hardly make out the pork in the filling) while Blai enjoyed the special soy sauce pork (a very loose filling of pork with what seemed like chopped nuts) more.
The second visit was with Mirna and Sasa and with the three of us ravenous that day, we could order a little more. We ordered a few dishes off the cold starters menu – we each chose one. The bean curd noodle salad (8RMB) was my idea. The ‘noodles’ were sliced pressed tofu sheets and were tossed with green chilli, spring onions, peanuts, and that salad dressing again.
The cucumber salad (8RMB) was roughly sliced cucumber in a garlic and sesame oil dressing. So simple yet so refreshing.
Sasa’s choice of beef in soy sauce (28RMB) was cold slices of lean beef that must have been simmered for ages in a soy sauce mixture. Sliced against the grain, they were tender and toothsome.
Of course, we had dumplings too: boiled special soy sauce pork (27RMB), …
… fried pork and Chinese chive (26RMB), …
… and boiled beef and green chilli (18RMB). Again, boiled won out over fried. Shame I didn’t get a photo of the dumpling innards – they’re starting to all look the same.
From the ‘Terrines’ menu, we also ordered a small pork and pickled cabbage. We had absolutely no idea what was going to turn up but what they mean by terrine is a soup or stew in a clay pot. The soup was extremely comforting being full of pork belly slices and what resembled sauerkraut and apparently tasting just like a similar Croatian stew. I see they have one with meatballs and cabbage on the menu too which I suppose is like lions head meatballs.
With over 30 diffferent varieties of dumpling filling to choose from (from haricot bean with pork to scallion with donkey meat), available boiled or fried, you’re sure to find one that’ll suit you. There are vegetarian options too. And it’s very centrally located, just off the main shopping street of Wangfujing.
Shun Yi Fu
36-3 Ganyu Hutong