Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Donkey Burgers in Beijing

A small shop that has gotten a lot of curious diners from far and wide
I'm in Beijing for a week and it's nice to be back -- it made me wonder why I haven't come back earlier.

Some things are still the same -- queuing in the wrong line even though the sign seems like you should line up there, given stacks of fapiao or receipts, the perilous journey of crossing a street.

And then there are things that are different, like numerous new buildings that sprung up since I was last here four years ago, and hailing a cab on WeChat.

Here's the "burger", stuffed with lots of donkey meat!
I arrived in the afternoon, and after a short nap ventured out to Gulou. Last week I met a New York freelance writer in Hong Kong who travels probably 10 months of the year. I told him I was going to Beijing and he suggested I check out a place that made donkey sandwiches.

Needless to say I was intrigued.

Its original location is in Gulou, sort of near the Drum and Bell Towers. So when I popped out of Gulou subway station and saw the Drum and Bell Towers, I knew I had to walk towards them and somewhere south west of them would be Wang Pang Zi, the shop selling these sandwiches.

About a 15 minute walk later I finally found the place -- finding your intended destination in Beijing on your own is definitely an accomplishment -- and saw it was a small shop.

It was about 5.30pm and some people were in there like me, having a late afternoon snack, as I wasn't having dinner until 8pm.

Really enjoyed the soup with donkey meat and coriander
I ordered a lu rou hao shao (驴肉火烧), or donkey meat "burger" and the waiter suggested I have soup too, so I ordered the donkey meat soup.

They arrived relatively quickly together. The "burger" is more like a long sandwich, but the bread is more like a kind of crunchy quasi pastry like, but not as hard as a baguette. Within it are slices of the donkey meat, similar to pastrami in appearance and had a sprinkling of diced green peppers in it.

I really enjoyed the bread, but also the soup too. The broth was savoury and flavourful, with more slices of donkey meat, but these ones had some cartilage, a bit of spice and garnished with coriander. For me the soup was addictive. It would be even better with noodles in it!

In any event, I managed to finish both and the bill came to 21 yuan (around US$3).

Wonder what other wonderful Beijing snacks I should try out!

Wang Pang Zi Donkey Burger
80 Gulou Xi Da Jie
Xicheng District
8672 7505

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