Location: 252 Andingmen Inner St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Date: July 31, 2018
Rating: You can never go wrong with dumplings!
Xianlaoman apparently translates as “our fillings are big” or something like that, referring to the apple stuffing of their dumplings.
Located not far from the Forbidden City, it’s a small chain of very Beijing style food.
The frontage is just across the street from an old Hutong area.
They pickle garlic!
The interior is typical of contemporary mid-level Chinese places, with a bit of actual decor, but not over the top.
Nice wood chairs.
Our guide in Beijing, Dana, was vegetarian (unusual for a Chinese) and kept — to my annoyance — taking over the orders and trying to make them all vegetarian. Boring! Although we did have 1-2 in our party who needed it, but the rest of us wanted the meat.
In any case, this spicy cauliflower was actually very good. Nice crispy texture to the plant and a salty heat.
Vegetarian egg noodles with celery. The noodles didn’t have egg, but instead there is egg in the dish.
Fish flavored pork. I managed to get this one in, although she tried to cross it out. It isn’t actually “flavored with fish” but instead “fish flavored” means something (like pork or eggplant) cooked in a prep traditionally used for fish. In this case a sort of tangy/spicy/oily sauce I love. This was a great fish flavored pork with good textures and lots of subtlety.
Steamed broccoli. Why, Dana, why?
Boiled Fish dumplings, I think. These were okay.
Pork and shrimp dumplings. Excellent, and the only one I was “allowed.” It was finished in 2 seconds and half the table was complaining that there were no other meat dumplings.
Vegetable dumplings. 2 X double order. Notice there are twice as many — and she ordered 2 plates. Stuffed with spinach and garlic. They were ok for vegetable dumplings but they are still kind of like spinach balls and we had lots uneaten at the end.
Vegetable pies. I ordered the classic Beijing pork pie but Dana switched it to vegetarian in Mandarin. More spinach. Just not as good as a nice steamed pork ball!
Xianlaoman was good, particularly the meat dishes (wish we had more). This is well done Beijing comfort food and pretty similar (but better executed) to the fare in Northern Cafe here in west LA.