Beijing Barbecue forms part of Chinese capital's Muslim eating culture, the main ingredient of the dish is beef or mutton. Before 1949, this barbecue tradition was very popular among various social classes in Beijing, and the barbecue restaurants were family run. However, after 1949, Beijing authority implemented a ban on slaughtering of farming cattle, so there was no farmer to breed cattle for food use. If any, there was from outside the capital city area. The longer transportation time has limited the supply and pushed up the price of the delicacy. The most customers at that time had no buying power to pay expensive price to have a barbecue meal. There is only one restaurant in Beijing, called Ji's Barbecue (烤肉季), still maintaining this great tradition today. However, the taste is not as best as in the past according to some old customers. It is still worth to eat and experience the old Beijing taste for tourists though. 

Beijing BarbecueBeijing Barbecue is a variant type of Mongolian Barbecue. The cooking tools, fuel and the meat are different. Beef or mutton is being grilled on a flat circular steel plate. The fuel for the cooking fire is from the branches of pine trees, which will give excellent aromatic fragrance and the barbecued meat will have pine taste. The knife cut style is different for different portion of meat. There will be strips, slices, threads and cubes. Additionally, the brain and waist of cattle can be added as ingredients too.

The flat circular steel plate placed on the fire furnace, which is made of bricks. There are table for placing dining utensils, wine glasses, meat, seasonings etc. Customers will stand beside the tables, take a two-foot long steel chopstick to put the beef or mutton on the steel plate to cook. The air is filled with the fragrance of the meat. By adding seasonings to the meat according to individual's taste, the barbecue will be delicious. Vegetables and sesame sauce cake (a kind of Chinese bread) are provided too.

At Ji's Barbecue, there are also dishes of chicken, duck, fish, shrimps and vegetables. However, the Ji's family is Islamic, so pork is strictly prohibited!

Ji's Barbecue (烤肉季) address: 14 Qianhaidongyuan (前海东沿), Xicheng District, Beijing; transportation: bus route no. 5 or no. 13 until Beihai or Di'anmen Bus Stop.

 

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