Chasing Mirages

Vegetarian food, organic donkey, tea and Confucius

by on Jun.28, 2011, under Posts

Years ago, when I was in Beijing for my post-bar trip, a friend took me to a teahouse in a beautiful old courtyard home.  There, we planned my trip to Gansu and Qinghai in western China.

I was impressed by how nicely decorated and comfortable the place was, but somehow I hadn’t thought to go back until this last time I was in Beijing.

Against all odds, we found it, and fortunately, it is still in business.  It’s now called 百合素食 (bai he su shi), which means something approximating “Lily Vegetarian Food”.   Interestingly, the restaurant doubles as a repository of Confucian teaching and offers classes in Confucian classics.

Since this isn’t a food porn site, I won’t post any pictures of food here, but hopefully these pictures of non-food will be sufficiently attractive to pique your interest.

Chrysanthemum tea.  I liked the double-walled cups.

Finally, I appreciated the restaurant’s partnership with the Little Donkey Farm, an organic farm and now a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) organization started as a government-academia collaboration.

The restaurant offers a variety of fresh organic vegetables from Little Donkey Farm and serves them either as uncooked cold dishes or stir-fried.  We ordered the stir-fried broccoli and it turned out to be my favorite dish.  My brother liked the kung pao chicken, which used big chunks of a meaty mushroom as a chicken substitute,  and my friend’s favorite was the vegetarian sausage-on-a-stick (that’s what she said). Sounds gross, but I admit, it was pretty good.

If I were living in Beijing, I would definitely go back.  It’s a perfect place to sit, read and drink tea all day.

Note:  The restaurant is located at 草园胡同23号 (23 Cao Yuan Hutong), near the intersection of Dongzhimen Neidajie and Dongzhimen Beixiaojie.

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