Rejoice! Budget eats at Beijing Kerry Centre's new food hall

Expect budget-friendly grubs at the new food hall concept unveiled in the CBD centre

With an endless number of swanky cafes, hotels and restaurants, Beijing's CBD seems to be never out of options catering to every taste. But it's rare to find inexpensive spots for a quick bite, especially if you’re in a crunch for lunch or don’t want to break the bank.

Well, relief has arrived with a new food hall at the basement level of Beijing Kerry Centre with a new slew of restaurants and stores that offer more budget-friendly alternatives, from international favourites to Chinese regional cuisine. Unsure of what to expect and what to go for? Here’re a few of the newly opened spots to get you in the mood of trying something new:

Ice House Margaret 玛嘉烈

Ice House Margaret started as a pastry shop in Macau back in the 90s' and has gained a huge following among the locals and visitors. The star of their menu is its egg tart (11RMB). All handmade with creamy egg mixture poured into a tart shell and baked to perfection, it has a distinctively multi-layered, crumbly crust, and a sweet melt-in-the-mouth filling. Bringing a taste of Macau to the capital, this CBD outpost is now its fourth in Beijing. Featuring a slightly classier design than its other locations, it serves a limited edition egg tart and other Macanese classics like pork sandwich (26RMB), beef stew (18RMB) and milk tea (22RMB).

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1 Guanghua Lu (CBD, Chaoyang)

牛二喜 Cheer OX

Cheer OX serves many Chinese beef noodle dishes from the city of Xiangyang in northwest China’s Hubei province. What makes them stand out, other than their chewy alkaline noodles, is its rich bone-meat broth. Usually kept on a low boil for hours and sometimes overnight, it's infused with 30 kinds of seasonings and herbs just to strike the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. And to let customers see how they make it truly unique, their CBD outpost sports a window on the kitchen wall which you can peek into everything that goes on behind the scene. Apart from beef noodle soup, there’re also ‘hot-dry’ noodle options and plenty of Chinese-rice-wine-inspired drinks on the menu that are worth a try. A bowl of noodle starts at 29RMB.

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1 Guanghua Lu (CBD, Chaoyang)

Break Out Of Your Shell 虾小市

This chain restaurant has garnered a frenzy of online followers (apparently the top wanghong restaurant on Chinese short-video platform douyin) thanks to its gimmicky ways of serving crayfish – think the spicy crusteceans served on sandwich (38RMB), roujiamo (19.8RMB) and on noodles (38RMB). Go for the crayfish sandwich, one of their most hyped dishes, if you’re really down to try something different. Each mini baguette is loaded with a generous meaty filling of some 40 crayfish cooked in a mouth-numbing hot and spicy sauce – guaranteed to deliver a burn. If you want to work your way up, try the floating crayfish noodle. It’s served with a separate bowl of crayfish and beef tripe drenched in hot chili oil. Apparently the most appropriate way to conquer the dish is to pour the bowl onto the noodle and let the hot sauce soak in until the noodle is well marinated. Bring ample tissues for the ensuing sweat fest.

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1 Guanghua Lu (CBD, Chaoyang)

Dubujib豆腐家

This popular modern-styled Korean chain restaurant offers some Seoul food and is a nice break from Chinese cuisine. This new CBD outpost sports a quirky wall decoration featuring sets of traditional Korean utensils Sujeo, as well as bright lighting and an ample seating area. Expect a quality menu of affordable Korean dishes including the classic bibimbap (53RMB), kimchi tofu soup (53RMB), pancakes (48RMB) and grilled meats.

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1 Guanghua Lu (CBD, Chaoyang)

Gangting 港廷

Boasting nearly ten years of experience in the catering industry, joining the likes of canteens in CBD is Gangting. Its menu offers 30-60 kinds of western and Chinese grubs for peckish office workers. Perfect for budget-friendly quick bites any time of the day, they’re also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’ve come during the midday rush, you don't have to queue. Just scan the displayed QR code and order from your phone, and the staff will deliver your meal to your table. Fancy. A lunch box starts at 30RMB.

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1 Guanghua Lu
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