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Best dim sum in Beijing
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Heavenly Delights

Haidian ׀ East Ocean Restaurant

Boasting an understated décor and extensive menu, East Ocean Restaurant remains a favorite among university students who live in the area. Each plate arrives at the table artfully presented and steaming hot. Dive straight into the more innovative dishes. Our favorites include the fried carrot dumplings (15¥), crisped to perfection and filled with a mixture of savory-sweet vegetables. The durian puffs (18¥) is another must-order dish, allowing you to celebrate the pungent but strangely delicious flavor of durian. The meal always ends with a complementary fruit plate, highlighting the restaurant’s attention to detail. Find It: Haidian District, 56 NW 4th Ring Rd, Splendid Times Plaza Floor 3, Tel: 6269-5522

Ritan ׀ Crystal Jade

With branches throughout Singapore and China, Crystal Jade is not your ordinary chain restaurant. Diners are immediately struck by the modern interior, which features dark wooden booths and a large waterfall behind the bar. This refined restaurant’s cuisine caters to a more health conscious crowd. The steamed shrimp dumplings (20¥) and steamed pork dumplings (18¥) were among the best we tried, bursting with flavor and without a trace of grease. The pan-fried turnip cake (18¥), another standout, was pleasantly chewy and captured the mild flavor of the turnips. Find It: 404, 4/F, Bldg A, The Place, 9 Guanghua Lu, Tel: 6587-1228

Wangfujing ׀ Lei Garden

This Beijing outpost of a Hong Kong staple has a loyal following that keeps coming back for the classic Cantonese fare. Make sure to come early as many dishes tend to run out. We started with the steamed barbecue pork buns (22¥): the bread was soft and fluffy, and complimented the sweetness of the pork filling. While the rest of the meal was delicious, the real standout arrived last. I would go back to Lei Garden everyday for their Baked Egg Tarts (20¥), by far the best I’ve ever eaten. The flaky crust melts away in your mouth, revealing the delicately sweet egg custard. Find It: 3/F, Jinbao Tower, 89 Jinbao Jie, Wangfujing, Behind The Regent Hotel, Tel: 8522-1212

(cityweekend.com.cn December 11, 2008)

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