This is a lamb dish. When you are served this dish, raw ingredients are brought to the table. This meat stock is boiled at the table, at which time the raw ingredients, lamb meat and vegetables are dipped into the boiling stock to cook. These cooked meat and vegetable are eaten with fragrant spices. They taste rich and elegant.
Roast Mutton and Beef
Roast meat has a history of several hundred years in Beijing. In the book History of the Ming Court: Favorite Food, there is a line: In snowfall, plum flowers are viewed; roast mutton is eaten in warm rooms.” Roast meat was known as “tent food” or “field food” for centuries among the nomads of northern China. Later when utensils and cooking methods were improved, it developed its own unique flavor. There are two famous restaurants in Beijing that serve roast meat: Kaorouji, known for its roast mutton, located on the north shore of Shichahai; and Kaorouwan, famous for roast beef, located on Xuanwumennei Street.
This food is usually eaten at homes of local people and considered as a holiday food. It is similar to dumplings in which the wrappers are made of flour and the fillings made with any kinds of meat and vegetable. People create different flavors that range from sweet to salty. They can be eaten by boiled, steamed or pan-fried.
Cuisine from Other Regions
Beijing is a culinary mirror held up to the four main geographic divisions that divide Chinese cuisine: South China's Canton, North China's Peking and Shanghai to the East and Sichuan to the West.
Rich in natural resources and neighboring the sea, Cantonese cuisine is dominated by the pleasures of seafood and the produce of a semi-tropical climate. Shanghai cuisine has much of the extremes experienced in the sharp contrasts of the weather and local flavor, rich and diverse, is found in crab soup, knuckle of pork and red-cooked lamb. Szechuan cuisine is very popular in China and has been so since the Ming Dynasty. Composed of regional variations from Chengdu and Chongqing, it is known for having over 50 different cooking methods. Temple vegetarian dishes are also a feature.
Visitors to Beijing wanting Western food will be able to find it; they can take their pick from French through Thai to African food. Mediterranean food is plentiful, as is food from the rest of Europe and the US. Immediately to mind come Steak n Eggs (US), Grandmas (US) and Annie's (Italy), all established names on the city's World Cuisine circuit. Also dining in the luxury and traditional Chinese courtyards is a trendy thing for both locals and visitors.