Private Kitchen No. 44 Restaurant- Fresh & delicious Guizhou style Restaurant in Hou Hai, Beijing
So any one who has visited Beijing has undoubtedly heard the lecture to be careful where you dine... And the spiel that there is nothing safe to eat.. Well foodies that's the biggest load of s*** I've heard. Seriously, don't rob yourself of this fabulous food city. We all know that good food just needs seeking out at times. Fortunately for me, having been staying with friends who have been living in Beijing for almost 15 years, well let's just say they had a few hidden gems up their sleeves. With a "Farm to Table" motto at Private Kitchen, you are sure to be pleased both with both the quality and taste of this locally grown menu. Coming specifically from the owners farm outside the city of Beijing, you are bound to delight in the array of flavors served in this peaceful Hutong restaurant.
With endless good things to be said about the amazing food we dined on at Private Kitchen we were even more blown away by THE SERVICE.
Having been trekking from the tourist side of Hou Hai to the west end of the lake with means of finding this gem, we walked in unsure of whether or not we were at the right place. Actually we were about to walk right by it until we asked a local if they knew where this place was. Surprisingly, we were standing right outside (perhaps not the most hidden, but when everything is in Mandarin, it may as well have been). Walking in feeling achieved at first, we were then hit with the reality that it would be an hour to wait. Naturally after that trek, we waited. A mere 15 minutes later, we were seated.Upon arriving we were unsure as to the level of English we would find, seeing as our first two encounters didn't speak a word. The restaurant recognized our language barrier immediately , and sent over the loveliest man, who sat down with us and walked us through the entire menu highlighting what he though we would like and acknowledging that half portions would be perfect seeing as it would just be the two of us dining. He proceeded to bring us samples of the hot and sour soup so that we could try before ordering a big pot along with samples of their house made rice wine (both excellent).
Being a regular diner-outer, let's just say this type of service is rarely found. We have grown accustomed to our local Vietnamese stop tapping on our table shooing us out the door in an attempts to seat a new group....Rude. Delightfully surprised with Private Kitchen's service, we were equally as thrilled with everything that had been recommended, not to mention we ordered the perfect amount leaving our bellies and our wallets oh so happy.
First thing to hit the table was:
Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup, shredded chicken on house made rice crackers accompanied with complimentary snacks (peanuts in vinegar and pickled carrots) This soup was delightful, filled with a variety of mushrooms and topped with fresh cilantro, every bite was perfectly spicy, sweet and sour not to mention the variety of mushroom textures that made each bite different from the last! Would definitely recommend ordering the full serving of this dish!
Incorporating rice crackers, let's just say, I was unsure. When I think rice crackers, I think glorified cardboard. Boy was I wrong. These delightfully crispy and crunchy housemade rice crackers were so yummy made from pressed rice and topped with tender shredded chicken. These bites were so moreish and had me happily crunching throughout the meal. Make sure you try the passion fruit juice with honey, it's the perfect combination of sweet and sour and the perfect sip for this crunchy appy!
Free range farm fresh eggs cooked over hot stones.
This dish was simple but so lovely. Cooked at the table, in a stone pot containing piping hot rocks, this sizzling dish was fun and cooked to fabulous fluffy perfection. I know it looks like glorified scrambled eggs (which they basically were) but boy were they tasty.
Finally we dined on a delicious kale and bean curd hot pot.
So I'm a sucker for kale. Kale pineapple smoothies, kale Caesar salad or kale chips. I find it hard to go wrong with kale. I'm not sure what about it I love, maybe it's just it's hearty leafy nature or the idea that I'm being healthy haha. Nonetheless, if kale is mentioned, I'm sold. This dish was no exception! Filled with hearty greens and soft fluffy bean curd balls perfectly seasoned and brothy, it was a delightful way to finish off the meal. If dining at Private Kitchen, this dish should not be missed! Definitely my favorite of the night!
Having delighted our way though this beautiful Guizhou style meal, we could not have been happier. With fresh ingredients from the surrounding farms, it was a refreshing experience to find ourselves dining on local fresh food. So travelers if you find yourself in the gorgeous area of Hou Hai steer clear of the tourist trap bars and restaurants and be sure to find Private Kitchen! This authentically delicious food was lovey not to mention a gorgeous atmosphere within the restaurant and very reasonable prices!
Private Kitchen No 44 Open daily 11am-9pm, 70 Deshengmennei Dajie, Xicheng district, (西城区德胜门内大街70号) Beijing, China, 6400 1280
On that note - Catch you in Beijing!
Until next time, you stay hungry Hong Kong!