Free on your phone or PDA
Search Beijing     Near:
Sample Searches: "bars near Hotel G" "Mexican near Fortune Plaza" Browse | Advanced Search
No.44 Private Kitchen
Food: 3.8 Decor: 3.8 Service: 3.5 Cost: 77 RMB/person
Xicheng, Houhai
Fragrant, spicy, authentic, unique dishes of the Miao minority
It's not every day that I taste something the likes of which I have simply never experienced before. While I wasn't necessarily floored by all the dishes I tried at No. 44 Private Kitchen, it was certainly an enlightening culinary tour. Inside this quaint private residence, a humble chef cooks up unique, authentic cuisine of southern China's Miao people.

The "secret recipe" sour soup dominated our lunch-time meal. Now I've had Guizhou tomato-based sour soups before at hotpot places like Guizhou Luoluo, but this soup is just so much more complex than anything I've tasted previously. No. 44 Private Kitchen brews their soup over fifteen days, allowing a light fermentation and for the raw spice of the peppercorns to fully infuse the broth; there is no water added. We tried a large bowl of the sour tomato-based broth with mixed mushrooms (68RMB). At first we were blown away by the spice, asking our server for napkins to wipe away our tears and white rice to help our tastebuds recover. As the endorphins started to wash over us in reaction to the first bowl's spice, the soup became more enjoyable. I was able to better appreciate the curious blend of fermentation, mala spice, and sour tomato broth. The mushrooms, saturated in the broth, were fantastically delectible as well. After about three small bowls each of the powerful soup, our sinuses were clear and our bellies were warm from the heat of the pepper.

The rest of the menu is a bit on the long side, but the translations are usually decent, so it's not too hard to get through. The restaurant uses its own recommendation system to help guests choose their food, but most of the dishes are rated "5 stars++", rendering it slightly unhelpful. The tofu with bean sprouts (38RMB) also had a unique flavor to it and tasted quite nice over white rice. I wasn't a terribly big fan of the vermicelli with juecai (28RMB), but it was nonetheless nicely prepared with homemade chili oil.

No. 44 Private Kitchen is a nice stop if you find yourself out for a walk near Xiguan Hutong. The three of us spent much of our lunch discussing the cuisine and the different flavors we were experiencing, surely a good sign that the chef has something worth trying. (Apr '09)

后海, 北二环中路内
No.44 Private Kitchen  
Area: Xicheng, Houhai (Inner N 2nd Ring Rd)
No. 70 Deshengmen Inner St

Near the north shore of Houhai

Hours:  Daily 10:00am-9:00pm
Phone:  +86(10)64001280

send to mobile
Nearby Venues: All | Nightlife | Restaurants

Average Cost Per Person$ (< 100 RMB)
Staff SpeakChinese
User Reviews     Add a review

Cost: 73 RMB/person
Audre & Dimitri at the Great Wall 2010
We spent about ¥146 and it was good but not worth repeating. We went because of the write up on Native and because the last time we had food from Guangxi, Guizhou, we liked it. We did not have tea because the cheapest was ¥30 which we thought was expensive for an unpretentious place. The courtyard house is atmospheric in a quirky way--it has Australian aboriginal art on the wall along with newspaper articles of Mao. We sat in the one heated room and it was very comfortable. The furniture was traditional and the seats had pads.

We chose the small Sour Soup Stewed with fish (¥48). It was tasty but for us utimately too spicy to be enjoyable. The small size was large and large enough for our main course. We also ordered the House Potato Pancake (¥48) which was supposed to have meat in it but we couldn't taste any. For a humble potato pancake it was good but for ¥48 it wasn't worth the price. For our vegetable we ordered the Private Kitchen BBQ styled aubergine (¥48). It was an unusual roll of eggplant filled with vegetables. The only thing that resembled BBQ was a dab of barbecue sauce on top of the roll.

The rice we ordered was mushy. This wasn't our best meal but it wasn't our worst either.
Oct 23, 2010

[Click here if you see garbled or missing characters instead of Chinese]