This is part two of a seven part series. Part one featured Cantonese food, check the review and recommended dishes here.
In and Out has two branches in Sanlitun: Sanlitun Beixiaojie and Gongti. We visited the first location during the lively lunch rush. The wait staff dress in colorful Yunnan minority clothes, which kids will love, and the restaurant is full of artefacts and scented aromas from the region. Spanning three floors, it has a number of private rooms, which would make a good venue for a party. The staff are friendly and efficient, and the restaurant is nicely done out with very comfy seating. As soon as we were shown to our table, we were given water and a big bowl of delicious rice crackers. On Mondays, the restaurant has a unique promotion where customers can get 50 percent off the bill – provided they seal their mobile phones into a box that remains untouched for the duration of the meal.
Yunnan or Dian cuisine is an amalgam of the cuisines of the Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities in China. As the province with the largest number of ethnic minority groups, Yunnan cuisine is incredibly varied. In the north, the cold, pastoral lifestyle produces dried meats and dairy products, fused with Muslim cuisine. Eastern Yunnan produces the most recognizably “Chinese” dishes, with stewed chicken, noodles, and hot pot. Yunnan’s south is strongly influenced by Burmese, Lao, and Thai cooking methods. The south is also famous for producing good coffee and red pu’er – Yunnan’s best tea. Many dishes are quite spicy, and bugs and insects also feature.
Major ingredients and condiments: Wild mushrooms, Xuanwei ham (a slightly salty and sweet cured ham), rice noodles, tofu, red chilies, spring onions, lemon and lime juice, palm sugar, wild herbs and flowers, chili oil.
Main preparation methods: Steaming, frying, roasting, stewing
- Pineapple rice (菠萝饭, boluo fan): Kids will love this sweet, sticky rice combined with soft pieces of pineapple and served inside a hollowed-out pineapple. RMB 32.
- Roast chicken with lemongrass (烤鸡肉香茅, kao jirou xiangmao): Chicken stuffed with a mixture of vegetables and lemongrass, rolled, tied with bamboo, and slow-roasted. The chicken is tender and juicy – perfect for kids. RMB 42.
- Dai-style sautéed potato balls (戴式炒土豆球, daishi chao tudou qiu): Fluffy mashed potatoes rolled into small balls, coated and sautéed until crisp on the outside. A guaranteed hit for younger diners. RMB 32.
Family facilities: The restrooms are on the second floor, with squat toilets only. There are no baby changing facilities. Highchairs are available. The kids won’t need plastic cutlery; diners are provided with chopsticks and wooden spoons. The restaurant is non-smoking throughout.
In and Out 一坐一忘
1) Daily 11am-10pm. 1 Sanlitun Beixiaojie, Chaoyang District (8454 0086/6467 5235) 朝阳区三里屯北小街1号; 2) Daily 11am-10pm. East side of Tunsanli Mall, Yongli International, 21 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (5801 0086/0566) 朝阳区工人体北路21号屯三里永利国际大厦东侧
This article originally appeared on p50 in the January 2015 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Uni You