Back to Beijing Homepage
Food & Lodging --- Li Family Restaurant

Here you have no choice. It will always be a set menu, yet favored by all.

It is the kind of home setting for the most well-rounded dining experience.

I found this restaurant on the backside of the Back Sea, with only one table to serve its guests. 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 50 usd per person for the tradition , NOT for the imagination ).

Outside its door hang 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 ? ". By entering the small yard through the inner Chinese styled arch gate, I could 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 ".

 

The owner of this restaurant, Mr Li Shan Ling, is a retired professor of Application Mathematics from the Capital Business and Trade University.

I did not expect to see so many celebrities having once dined here. Professor Li is not so fond of having their pictures elegantly framed on the wall. I later learned about the pride and their undisclosed excitement from the albums: Bill Gates, Muhammed Ali, Former Prime Minister of Australia Hawk, former Prime Minister of Canada Clark, former Prime Minister of Great Britain Heath, President of Iceland, family members from Rockefeller, senior executives from GM, Dupont, Morgen, etc. Professor Li said this small room was visited mostly by foreign guests instead of Chinese except a few who dined here very often including Deng Pu Fang - son of the former president of China Deng Xiao Ping, Mei Bao Jiu - son of Mei Lan Fang the top Peking Opera actor, Pu Jie and Ge You - popular comic actor .

From the albums, I also found a number of foreign ambassadors in China who had the keen interest here. American Ambassadors from US embassy had been here more than 5 times, and all Japanese Ambassadors had definitely taken this choice of without-menu choice.

Professor Li said that Li Family Dishes were not an inheritance from ancestors but the creation of the present family. Li's greatgrandfather was a senior courtier in the Security Office in Qing Dynasty (1864 -1911) supervising the safety of both the inner court and the daily food served for the emperor and imperial family members. All daily cartes from the imperial kitchen, with details of the dish names, main condiments, matching seasonings and the way of making, should be first examined and approved by the Security Office. Over the years, the greatgrandfather of professor Li bore most in his mind and recorded it on paper during his later life. Professor Li was born to be gourmet and was in the lucky position to be able to read those words from his greatgrandfather and try his initial skill in the kitchen from his childhood. " My father would regard it as a career without prospect, and I was so often punished by him with his duster." Professor Li recalled.

Li Family Restaurant Menu Package


Regent Tour China Your China Specialist. Email: webmaster@regenttour.com