The best way to approach Everyday Beijing is in the company of somebody who speaks Chinese. Failing that, point to what other folks are eating, or beg your waiter for suggestions. A lot of the best stuff is posted on two white boards on the black wall. It’s all in Chinese, and none of it appears on the English menu. Especially great are the white board brunch specials.
Fish dumplings (yu rou shiu jiao), made from rock or ling cod with chives. These are absolutely marvelous, says K K–super soft, juicy, and intensely flavorful. Be sure to try a dumpling without any sauce or flavoring to get the full effect. This is on the Chinese menu, and not the English menu.
Zha jiang mian is totally delectable, and a reason to make a beeline for this restaurant, says Melanie Wong. It’s made with firmly chewy, housemade, machine-pulled noodles, long-stewed bean paste, and chunks of pork belly. And lots of fresh veggies. It is stunning, full of soy beans and dark, smoky flavors.
Kyoto-style meat pancake (jing du rou bing) is a multi-layered stack of dough and pork. This is great here, and, once again, on the Chinese menu, and not the English menu.
Purple rice congee is a nice healthy breakfast item, popular in Taiwan. It tastes like red bean soup, with purple rice and little bits of carrots–it’s a nice, decent filler.
The owner used to be a software engineer; this is his first restaurant. He and his wife are charmingly frank.