Lamb unrivalled: yi li zhi chun


Constantly getting caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of the city at large, one tends to forget the simple joys that this city and greater country can provide. Yes, the mystery is still there; the allure, the soul, the heart of it all. You recall that very thing that brought you here in the first place? I guess there are times that we all do and don’t. And great places remind us of it all – parks, décor, traditional songs, movies, bai jiu (among other things) and incredible restaurants like Yi Li Zhi Chun.

I’m a snob when it comes to food, eh. Especially if the place I’m visiting tries to overcharge yet another foreigner, which tends not to happen when I wear my long black leather jacket and in a Matrix-esque style, ensnare their senses upon my arrival. Somehow something this trivial (to my mind, at least, seeing as the recent cold snap made me dress up ready for uncanny Harbin winters) elicits a fairness in service. So, after a 12-hour-long work day, I met my date at a wine store, clad in scarf, tie and thick office pants, and off we went. Yes, I got my favorite table too.

Absolutely, I have been here before. Why else do you think I keep going back? The lamb, guys, the lamb… what more can I say? The Xinjiang province in the Northwest of China is so famous for their lamb and we have some of it here in our very own Dongcheng! Having been around for some time, this restaurant has earned itself a reputation of the utmost higher status amongst locals and expats, not unlike its sister branch in Nancheng.

The menu presents lamb in a whole range of ways; from skewers to pies, dumplings to spicy, salads to tapas style dishes and even lamb chops on succulent traditional bread. Portion sizes and prices at Yi Li Zhi Chun are very fair, with two or three diners able to eat comfortably for between 100 – 200 RMB. And before I reveal my favorite dish, let me add but one more necessity for whilst you are browsing through the menu–red wine. And I mean a proper Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for. The signature dish you all simply have to try is their Xinjiang lamb meatballs, with the choice of either having it in a delectable spicy soup with vegetables or without.

As a longstanding restaurant with a superb menu, you can’t really go wrong with this place. The address is right here. Off you go.

ADDRESS: NO. 1023, New World Garden commercial street