Five thousand years of culinary history,
365 types of dishes, 100 percent passion. Thus reads
the banner as you walk into the lively Uncle Khang Fishing
Village restaurant. From the outside there's little
to distinguish it from other eateries crowding the university
district road. But once inside, the food and ambience
sets Uncle Khang above and beyond its neighbors.
The menu provides a diverse and unique
selection of dishes from Beijing, Hunan, Canton and
Sichuan. The restaurant is open 24 hours, ideal for
those late night snack attacks.
Decor consists of the inevitable
Chinese kitsch: a disco ball, posters of busty German
barmaids, and a three-dimensional relief of the Egyptian
Sphinx reminiscent of an elementary school art project.
One wall is covered with portraits, including those
of the big three of modern Chinese history: Sun Yat-sen,
Mao Zedong and Lei Feng. Below each picture is a famous
quote in English. Sun Yat-sen's reads: "For the People,
Of the People, By the People." Beneath Mao's smiling
face are the words "Serve the People Wholeheartedly."
And Lei Feng's bears a Chinglish version of his well-known
motto: "A lifetime of good deeds is harder than just
doing one." The Qing dynasty Empress Dowager Cixi and
the last Qing emperor Pu Yi are also on display.
Uncle Khang's waitstaff are eager
to explain why these five characters from Chinese history
were chosen to grace the walls. The Last Emperor and
the Empress Dowager represent the ancient feudal society
in China. Sun Yat-sen put an end to feudalism and laid
the foundations for Communism, hence the picture of
Mao Zedong. As for Lei Feng, "Well, he's just the best!"
exclaims one altruistic waiter.
Our dishes arrive within minutes.
Japanese-Style Tofu (hong shao ri ben do fu) comes first,
followed by Fragrant Fried Pork Ribs (xiang jian pai
gu). While this tofu dish is standard fare on many Beijing
menus, Uncle Khang's version is extremely tasty and
the tofu is fresh and generous in portion. The ribs
were tender, juicy and slightly sweet.
Many Chinese restaurants serve up
raw and greasy potato dishes. However, Uncle Khang outdoes
himself with Super Beautiful-Style French Fries (chao
mei shi shu tiao) a dish that not only looks spectacular,
but tastes splendid as well. An impressive mound of
crispy shredded potatoes shaped like a haystack is quickly
A must-try are the Small Sweet Potato
Pies (xiao bao su he) small mince pie look-alikes filled
with mashed sweet potato. Uncle Khang's King Fish (kang
lao ba wang yu) is presented to us in a large steaming
bowl covered with chilis. The fish is tender and full
of flavor with just a hint of spice. Mao's Favorite
Braised Pork (mao shi hong shao rou) is another hit,
as is the Ham and Lily Root dish (jin tui bai he).
Although there is no English-language
menu, there are photos of the more popular dishes and
the waitstaff can help you order. A new chef will start
at the end of the month, and the new menu is expected
to include xiaochi (snacks).
Khang's is inexpensive, the service
is excellent, and the ambience invites wiling away several
happy hours here with friends.
Uncle Khang Fishing Village Restaurant
22 Baishiqiao Road, Haidian District
Opposite the north entrance of the New Century Hotel
Tel: 6832-5688, 6832-5788
Food:*** Ambience: *** Service:
**** Cost: $
*= yuck! *=
good ***= very good ****= excellent
$ = RMB40 per person