It was frigid February day in Beijing. I had been in China for five days. I didn’t speak a word of Chinese, I was homeless and still recovering from my first experience with Chinese real estate agents. My friend took me to a tiny eatery at a busy intersection and That is when I had my first taste of “Jiaozi”and “Baozi”.So began my love affair with the eatery called “Hangzhou Xiaolongbao”. Except we never called it that. Linguistically handicapped, we simply called it “the jiaozi-baozi place”.
What’s so great about the place?
-The Jiaozis (steamed pork dumplings) and baozis (steamed pork buns) are freshly steamed, no stale stuff here.
– These smaller sized dumplings pack more flavor than the monster ones you can buy on the roadside or other shops.
– The shrill lady who should never have a microphone, but does. Always has a smile on her face, always understands what you want- whether you’re using sign language or thickly accented, beginner Chinese
– One basket of steaming hot, fresh jiaozis or baozis costs an unbelievable 4.5 RMB. If you’re okay with tiny shrimps, the huntun (dumpling soup) is pretty good too.
– While clean and warm, the place is tiny. Nothing more than a short corridor.
– Avoid the university lunch time crowd.
– If you’re vegetarian, go to McDonald’s next door
– Chinese menu
Where? Adjoining the Chaoshifa at the intersection of Xueyuan Lu and Chengfu Lu, Haidian District
In my humble opinion, these are the best dumplings to be had in the Wudaokou area, maybe even Beijing. I may be a little biased though.
With help from my friend Andy from Tianjin, here’s the Chinese version-