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Hot tables: Arrow Factory and Stuff'd to close, burger dumplings and beer fests

The latest on Beijing's restaurants and bars

Image: courtesy of Arrow Factory
Our round-up of the city’s latest (and greatest) food and drink news in bite-sized chunks covers new openings, new menus, new dishes, hell, new reasons to live and breathe. A sprinkling of closings, too, because this is Beijing. Anyhow, here’s what’s on our radar this week – keep an eye out for full reviews in the coming weeks.

What's hot

Booze news

Booze news

Here in Beijing, we love a good beer. So what could be better than not one, but two, beer festivals arriving in the capital over the next few weeks? 


Returning for its second year next weekend, Jing A’s 8x8 Brewing Project pairs eight knockout Nordic breweries with eight exemplary breweries from China to produce some special brews, alongside companion pints from all the breweries involved in one satisfyingly hoppy haze. Each session of the festival (priced at 258RMB) will last for three hours and include free-flow beer. 

For those of you looking for brews a bit closer to home, the CBAC (Craft brewer’s Association of China) Craft Beer Festival is set to take place at TRB Copper from November 16 to 18 this year. A celebration of some of China’s best indie craft brewers, 32 confirmed breweries (and counting) from across the Mainland will be taking part, including local brewmasters Great Leap, Jing A and Slow Boat. Tickets go on sale today via 247tickets and are priced at 150RMB per single session, which gets you free-flow drinks, canapés provided by TRB and a limited-edition glass. 

Things are getting hairy

Things are getting hairy

Forget about Beijing’s changing leaves (which are incredibly beautiful, by the way), you can pretty much gauge the arrival of autumn the minute restaurants across the capital start breaking out their hairy crab menus. Head to Ying at the InterContinental Sanlitun for a full-blown crabby feast (498RMB per person), Horizon at Kerry Hotel for hairy crab cooked according to different Chinese regional cuisines and Lu Yu at the Conrad Beijing for straight-up hairy crab served whole (168RMB). Jing Yaa Tang's also getting in on the action, dishing up a range of hairy crab à la carte creations and stunning dim sum (pictured).  

Bottega Sanlitun's new set menu

Bottega Sanlitun's new set menu

For those of you currently plagued by boring-lunch fatigue, Bottega Sanlitun's just launched a new set lunch menu that definitely breaks up any feelings of midweek meal monotony. Priced at 98RMB for two courses, starter highlights include the porcini risotto arancini balls and smoked salmon with strawberries and caviar, while main options include vegetarian spaghetti ragu and creamy mushroom fusilli. To power lunch like an absolute boss, add on an extra 48RMB to get yourself the beef fillet with shallots and potatoes (pictured), before taking a cheeky, but well-deserved, nap in your office.

What's not

The Last Stuffing

The Last Stuffing

Andingmen hutong favourite Arrow Factory Taproom, along with its neighbour Stuff'd, will be closing their doors for good on October 20 – another casualty, it seems, of the city's relentless redevelopment efforts. Pour one out for Beijing's brew 'n' bangers pros by heading to their final day of hutong revelry this Saturday. With 10RMB off all beers and cider, and 50RMB sausage meals, all day long, help them say goodbye in style before taking comfort in the fact that Arrow Factory Liangmahe is still going strong.

Fusion confusion at Royal Stacks

Fusion confusion at Royal Stacks

It’s not the first time we’ve seen some questionable culinary team-ups, but burger-peddling newcomers Royal Stacks have really put themselves in contention with their new Cheeseburger Dumplings. Featuring the unholy trinity of beef mince dumplings, mustard and pickles, these dumps may well be either a complete stroke of genius or a sign of monarchy madness. They’re available on Monday nights only, so those looking for the ultimate weekend sleazy drunk food will unfortunately have to look elsewhere.

The perfect noodle doesn't exi-

The perfect noodle doesn't exi-

The perfect noodle does exist and it is likely to be found at Pangmei Mianzhuang, or Fat Sister, just south of Beixinqiao subway station. That's the good news. The bad news is that the beloved slinger of fiery Chongqing string will be closing after this weekend for apparent refurbishment, with a vague, distant date of 'spring' offered as the promised second coming. Queues have always been a certainty here, but since news broke of its hiatus, lines have been stretching round the corner – head out and join them for one last fix, and one last inevitable post-scoff belly ache. It's sooo worth it.

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