Videos Latest Feature Sports Your Videos

Li's imperial cuisine

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CCTV, December 1, 2009
Adjust font size:


In one of the hutongs of downtown Beijing called "Yangfang", hides a cozy courtyard house. From the outside, you might not notice anything unusual. But the courtyard inside boasts the smallest private restaurant in China. It's called "Li's Family Imperial Cuisine", and the signboard was inscribed by Chinese last emperor Puyi's younger brother, Pujie.


The restaurant offers Qing Dynasty's imperial cuisine, and all the ingredients and cooking skills have been handed down for generations. The founder Li Shanlin's grandfather Li Zijia was in charge of the meals in the Forbidden City during Qing's Tongzhi and Guangxu Periods some 120 years ago. Back in 1985, Li Shanlin opened the restaurant in the tiny 8-square-meter house.

Li Aiyin, second generation of Li's Restaurant, said, "Microsoft CEO Bill Gates once had dinner right here. After the meal he said that it is the best Chinese food he had ever tried in his lifetime. Later he also sent presents to my father and expressed his appreciation."

Specializing in imperial gourmet, Li's cooking focuses on the selection of materials and the perfection of skills. Chemical condiments are strictly prohibited, and all the flavors and authentic tastes come from the cooking skills. Even in the kitchen, there is no modern cooking equipment other than the fire stove.

In the early 1990s, Li Shanlin asked his two daughters to promote the authentic imperial Chinese cuisine to the overseas market. In 1991, Li's restaurant was opened in Australia. Six years ago, Li Aiyin started the first expansion in Japan. To her surprise, the competition didn't come from the local food industry, but from other Chinese restaurants.

1   2   3   Next  

Li's imperial cuisine
PrintE-mail Bookmark and Share


No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Send your storiesGet more from