The Hainan Provincial Hotel Restaurant is located a stones throw north of Wudoaying Hutong, like most of the provincial restaurants in Beijing this one had a slightly bland setup, when I entered I discovered one large empty room with three extravagant 1950s looking chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and Elton John musak playing in the background.
|Outside the Hainan Provincial Hotel|
|Inside the Restaurant|
The service here was surprisingly quick, within about 5 minutes I was delivered my snail dish plus my bamboo pork. The snail was chewy and a tad spicy (the smell was less intriguing at times); and with snail shells floating around the plate like little land mines to be dodged, it reminded me of eating a bony Guizhou bull frog. The bamboo pork was excellent, the combination of the crunch of the bamboo and the citrus flavor made it light and refreshing. The waitress must have known this was decent, because she stood at the table insisting that I take a bite in front of her before moving to the next guest. Dumpling soup was my third dish, nothing too special, just a lightly fishy broth and a couple meat stuffed wantons.
|Bamboo with Pork|
My first thought on Hainan food is that it's light and to the point, lacking the heavy oil or spice that some of the local Beijing food comes with. This place is definitely worth a visit, and makes me wonder if Hainan might be also.
|Painting of Hainan|