The Dark Restaurant: Whale Inside
The Whale Inside, known to all as the “Dark Restaurant”, is probably the most interesting restaurant in Beijing. Most of the restaurants focus on food, but this one offers the experience of eating without seeing. The dining area is set in complete darkness, there’s no way you can see your plate or the people you’re dining with. The waiters here are equipped with night-vision goggles. Objects like cigarettes, cell phones and cameras are not allowed to take in the dinning area.
Address: No. 1037, 3rd floor, Jianwai SOHO West, 39 Dongsanhuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010-58694235, 59000434, 59000343
Service quality: good
Food quality: good
Price per person (RMB): 100-200
Feature dish: Australian soft ribs, shark fin soup
East 33 offers fresh ingredients, authentic flavors and a deliciously memorable dining experience. This charming restaurant features both Asian and Western cuisines, including Chinese dim-sum, Malaysian curry beef, Japanese sashimi and Italian staples. Apart from the seafood hotpot buffet at weekends, the outstanding international buffet also provides business set-lunch for busy executives who don’t have much time yet still want a delicious meal.
Address: Raffles Beijing Hotel, 33 Dongchangan Jie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 6526-3388 ext. 5171
Price per person (RMB): 200-300
Feature dish: beet carpaccio, pizza Bianca, seafood linguine, Beijing duck
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast 6:30 am to 10:30 am
Lunch 11:00 noon to 2:00 pm
Dinner 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
With bright and modest decorations, Chuan Ban is known as the best restaurant offering Sichuan cuisine in Beijing. It is located in the Sichuan province’s Beijing representative office. Besides dishes with spicy and numbing flavors, Chuan Ban also provides gentler palates. The chefs here are brought in from Sichuan Province. Chuan Ban doesn’t accept reservations, so you should arrive early if you want to dine here.
Address: 5 Gongyuan Toutiao, Jianguomennei Dajie, Dongcheng, Beijing
Tel: 6512 2277 ext. 6101
Price per person (RMB): 30-50
Feature dish: fuqi feipian, pock-marked Chen bean curd, gongbao chicken, twice-cooked fatty pork
Hours of Operation: 11am-2pm, 5-9.30pm Mon-Fri; 11am- 9.30pm Sat-Sun
Themed on “wuxia”, this little bamboo-decorated restaurant is a great place for Wuxia fans. The food here is quite normal but the names are special. For example, yu nu xin jing is a dish with vegetable and pork. It was named after a type of Kongfu in one of Jin Yong’s novel.
Address: 181-1 Dongzhimen Dongnei Dajie, Dongcheng district, Beijing
Tel: 8403 5851
Price per person (RMB): 30-50
Feature dish: Beggar’s duck, hero fish
Hours of Operation: 11am-10pm daily
House of Poo Poo
Known as the most peculiar restaurant in Beijing, the House of Poo Poo is a great place to hangout with your good-humored friends. The food in this toilet-themed restaurant is standard but the interesting part is that they are served in toilet bowls. Hotpot is in a tiny toilet bowl and beef is in table-top commode.
Address: 91 Dianmen Outer Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Price per person (RMB): 25-50
Feature dish: poopy ice cream
Hours of Operation: 9am-10pm daily