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A taste of old Beijing

Updated: Feb 26,2015 2:01 PM     

Opened in 1988, the teahouse is named after a famous Chinese writer Laoshe and his famous stage drama titled the “Teahouse.” Decorated in an elegant and traditional style, customers come here to be whisked back to 1930s Beijing.

The teahouse has attracted over 3 million visitors since its opening, from both China and abroad. It’s particularly busy during the Lunar New Years holidays, which presents a perfect time for families to unite and enjoy the traditional cuisines at its restaurant.

The Laoshe Tea house has really become the place to learn about the essence of Beijing traditional culture. People can come here to eat tasty food while watching puppet shows. Well in front of me these are some of the most traditional Beijing cuisines and with each cuisine there’s a story to tell.

“This fried dough is called Guanchang and it originates from the Manchu people. Before, it was made of pig intestines, but now it’s made using green bean powder. It’s crispy outside and soft inside and you dip it into this garlic sauce. This is Zhajiangmian, which is the most traditional staple food of Beijing. We mix thick wheat noodles with this pork stir-fried soybean sauce and top it off with different chopped assorted vegetables, such as cucumbers, radish and green beans,” said Li Zhiguang, the Head Chef of Laoshe Teahouse.

“Back in the days when we were young, we only liked eating the toppings and sauce, but not so much the noodle. This next one is called Madoufu, literally translated as numbing tofu, which is basically a protein rich paste made from fermented mung beans.”

New Year celebrations are about family unity. A lot of families have gathered in the Laoshe Teahouse to eat and enjoy each others’ company.

The three floor teahouse has a theater, which has distinctive performances such as traditional music, acrobatics, Kungfu and Sichuan Opera face-changing. It also has a beautifully decorated tea room, with a Chinese courtyard, a gourmet royal tea cuisine restaurant and a tea shop, which provides a history of Chinese tea drinking customs and folk culture in the form of a small museum.

The main draw of Laoshe Teahouse is it’s tea. There are almost 100 type of teas people can choose from and also learn about the tea ceremony. It also houses the world largest porcelain teacup, which took almost one year to make.

This teahouse doesn’t just act as a place for people to enjoy Beijing culture, but is also a place that can bridge the culture gap between China and other countries, passing down our tradition to future generations.