Beijing Li Family Cuisine
Hidden in the Hutong at Hou Hai (the rear sea) in the Xi Cheng District of Beijing, the Li Family Restaurant is run by mathematics professor Li Shan-lin whose grandfather was Minister of Household Affairs for the Imperial Court. He had the duty to ensure that all household affairs in the Imperial Court were safely taken care of by his staff to the highest standard. He was also in charge of organizing all the royal banquets including designing the menu recipes. And he left Li Shan-lin a legacy of imperial recipes.
Raised in a family of such a prestigious background, Professor Li has a passion in search of excellence in culinary art since his childhood. The delicacies of the Imperial Court cuisine currently served in his restaurant are the results of such passion and continuous research during his lifetime. He inherited the family mantle and his wife also enjoys the art of cooking. His knowledge for culinary art is passed on to one of his three daughters, Li Ai-Yin, as well as to his only son, Li Xiao-Lin. His daughter, armed with these imperial recipes, won first place out of 3,000 contestants in a national cooking contest held in 1984. After that, Li Shan-Lin decided to open a restaurant in his small home located in a narrow Hutong.
The Family Li's dishes are, as it is, a combination of Imperial Court cuisine and Beijing traditional cuisine. With careful selection of only the freshest ingredients cooked to perfection in a refined style, the chefs at the Family Li Imperial Cuisine aim to retain the natural and original flavors of the produce. The presentation of dishes is always attractive but never pretentious.
Located close to the Hou Hai, the Li Family Restaurant hangs two white light boxes illuminating the words written on it No 11 Yang Fang without anything indicating food or beverage. No wonder many people would still feel so uncertain even when standing by its entrance - Am I at the world famous restaurant? ". Entering the small yard through the inner Chinese styled arch gate, you can see the 10-person round table occupying the most space of the small room inside. Right on the wall hangs the famous calligraphy by Pu Jie, younger brother of the last emperor of China, offering the name of this place Li Family Dishes". A strange dining manner to abide by here is that there will be no menu available and you are supposed to enjoy whatever comes out of the kitchen, prepared to the rate as required by you (minimum USD50/person).
Several days advance reservations are required due to the restaurants enormous popularity. Be sure to ask for specific directions in Chinese, otherwise you will be certain to get lost.
Li Family Restaurant
Add: 11 Yangfang Hutong, Denei Avenue, Beijing
Tel: +86 10 6618 0107
Description: Reservation should be made three or four days in advance.
Type of Cuisine: imperial cuisine
Opening Hours: 9AM-9PM
Credit Cards: Not Accepted
Menu: Chinese, English
Language Spoken: Mandarin, English