Money is not everything. Money cannot buy love, health and happiness. That is what many advice me. To me, money might not be everything but money is definitely something.
If you don’t have money, how can you buy roses for your love one on valentine? Without money, who is going to pay for hospital bills and how are you going to buy iPhone to cheer up yourself?
Let me show you what I do with my money. Nowadays, with money, you can do just about anything. And that includes becoming an Emperor for few minutes.
I am not talking about wearing the emperor costume for photo shoot. All I am saying is to experience a lavish spread of imperial Chinese cuisines in Fangshan Restaurant, Beijing.
As soon as you enter the main entrance, you get to experience a truly unique ambiance and real ancient décor signifying numerous ruling Chinese dynasties in the past.
The dining hall is adorned with beautiful royal painting on the ceiling and even traditional Chinese art. Of course you are greeted with waitresses wearing original imperial dresses.
Gold and yellow used to be the Emperor’s color. If you are spotted using those colors, you will probably behead instantly but that was long long ago. The historic setting with yellow and gold in dining hall surely add the imperial effect into it.
As far as food is concerned, you get to experience truly sumptuous dishes as long as you are willing to pay the bill. As for me, I go for the set of RMB 298/per person (~RM 150). If you are richer, there are also set of RMB 2880/person (~RM 1440).
What I get as a start are Appetizing Cold Dish, Mashed Peas Pudding and Rolls of Kidney Bean Flour, Stir-fried Scallops and Brocolli and Ginseng Red Date and Deer Tendon Soup.
Despite the place is very congested, I personally give 9/10 to the waitresses as the services are pretty efficient. As soon as I almost finish my dishes, they instantly served me with new one.
This time I get Braised Sea Cucumber with Quail Eggs, Braised Camel’s Paw with Scallion, Sautéed Prawns with Spicy Garlic Sauce, Deep-fried Duck Rolls and Pork Rolls. Yes, you got it right! CAMEL PAW!
I must say I get to savor the authentic flavors of former imperial’s meals. Some of it might look exotic to me but hey, no harm to give it a try right? Besides, this is the finest dining you will ever get.
On top of what they served earlier, here are the remaining from the menu, Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish, Sautéed Vegetables with Mushrooms, Sesame Cakes with Minced Meat, Assorted Palace Dim Sum and Mixed Fruits.
If you have some spare time, try to visit the “Imperial’s Toilet”. I must say, now I know where the emperors did his big and small business.
The bills cost me about RMB 952. It might appear to be slightly on the expensive side but it is definitely an experience that is worth trying. Money is not everything? Think again!
Inside Beihai Park’s south gate, Beijing, China
TEL: +86 10 6401 1889, +86 10 6401 1879
Lunch: 11 am – 1:30 pm (Mon-Fri); 10:30 am – 1:30 pm(Sat-Sun)
Dinner: 5 pm – 7:30 pm (Mon-Fri); 4:30 pm – 8 pm (Sat-Sun)