Add:724 Yan'an Rd M.
Cuisine: Traditional Beijing-style hot pot
Ambience: This is one of those tiny eateries known for great dishes rather than its ambiance. Open for around 10 years, it was originally on Maoming Road S., about a 15-minute walk away from its current spot, and often had long queues outside. It relocated to the bigger and better-fitted spot about two years ago, when the original location made way for a Metro station. It's still always packed but the owner and staff are pleasant and efficient.
Who to invite: Family and good friends. The place is really not fancy, so go with someone who enjoys great food in small eateries.
Pros: The owner's secret dipping sauce is especially tasty, with mystery ingredients added to the traditional peanut and fermented tofu base. The homemade spicy oil is also great for those who prefer something hot.
Cons: The menu is in Chinese only and the washroom is outside the restaurant. It doesn't have as many options as big restaurants, nor serve lunch, but is open to after midnight, so is a good late night supper spot.
Recommended: Reqi yangrou is included in the restaurant's title, and is the must-try dish. The lamb is cut into very thin slices, with lean and fat beautifully balanced. Homemade egg dumplings are another signature dish with smooth and fragrant egg-based skin.
Drinks: Beer is best with this hot pot.
Cost: About 300 yuan for four.