Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beijing Restaurant Review: In and Out

in out Yunnan restaurant一座一忘

Located between Jenny Lou and April Gourmet grocery stores on Beixiao Street this contemporary Lijiang themed restaurant offers an authentic and unique eating option among many of Beijing’s restaurants. The contemporary and spacious design of this third floor restaurant features newspaper lined ceilings and polished concrete floors. Tables along the windows overlooking the quiet street of In & Out are mostly separated from one another by potted palms which offer a more intimate dining option in this mostly open plan restaurant.

Unlike many restaurants in Beijing the tables are generously spaced, thus allowing diners to enjoy conversation around their own table, rather than those of the neighbouring tables. Furnishings are somewhat rustic with solid wooden tables and chairs. Many of the chairs actually take the form of long benches. Such a design helps one understand the function of this fascinating restaurant named In & Out. You come in, eat and leave as comfort is not a feature of this rustic furniture.

Patrons can enjoy looking out into the treetops as they make choices from an extensive menu of Yunan food specifically from the beautiful city of Lijiang. The menu includes offerings from the more unusual choice of Fried bamboo worms and bee pupas to the more common choice of roasted eggplant. While some western clientele may pale at the choices available, the more adventurous among us can be surprised by the delicious taste of Lijiang cuisine’s exotic choices. Other dishes available include:

Crisp love pea with pu’er tea
Lijiang black jelly
Limed tender sugarcanes
Curried vegetables and fruit
Papaya shreds salad
Naxi grandma fried potato chops
Sauteed asparagus
Fried potato cake Yunan style
Plant meat old Kunming style (tofu)
Curry beef with lemon leaves
Sauteed quince with beef or pork Yunan flavour
Naxi lily
Braised cake chicken with lemon grass
Stir fried chicken shreds
Chicken wings roasted with lemon grass
Grilled mushroom, Roast tilapia (fish)
Rice with pineapple Dai nationality style

Purple rice cake to name some from the huge range of main course dishes, not to mention unique and interesting desserts like Black rice cake. All of this can be washed down with thirst quenching, very quaffable Dali beer 10% alcohol or the lighter spicier Snow Beer 9% alcohol. Drivers may wish to pass on those beverages with Beijing’s law enforcement officers breath-testing thousands of drivers every day in the lead up to the Olympic Games in order to catch those with alcohol levels above zero! Other drinks a little different from the ‘run of the mill choices’ include Sake, wines and a range of high class teas.

Worth mentioning are the rather clean spacious and airy bathroom facilities. Such luxuries can be harder to locate in some of Beijing’s restaurants. Digital mirrors and their advertising have also found their way into this contemporary restaurant.

in out yunnan, Beijing restaurantPrices were more than reasonable. Four of us enjoyed our leisurely two hour visit for the grand total of 270RMB including food and beverage costs. Presently City Weekend is running its Gourmet Month and have teamed up with In & Out to offer a Gourmet Month Special Menu for 99RMB per person. This set menu promotion includes one entrée, three main course dishes, rice and a choice of a Yunan beer or a Yunan juice.

While not this writer’s choice of food there are enough interesting dishes on the menu to make one not hesitate about enjoying another visit or two to In & Out. The staff were friendly but struggled with both my Chinese and English, so the bilingual menu was a great asset! Clientele were mostly younger people or young families. Having featured in some of Beijng’s expat magazines this buzzing restaurant is definitely one that requires bookings unless you wish to join the queue of both local people and foreigners that streams down the stairs each night.

Tel: 845400866 or 64675235

Address:
#1 Beixiao Street, Sanlitun area northeast corner of Germany Embassy) 三里屯北小街1号

Subway:
Line 10 Nongzhanguan
Line 2 Dongzhimen

Books on China and Beijing

Book the Fujian Hotel Beijing Book the Beijing Qianyuan International Business Hotel