No. 16 Courtyard Restaurant
Houhai Dajinsi Hutong 4
Beijing, China, CA
Chinese name: 后海16号美食会所
No. 16 Courtyard Restaurant is a quaint little restaurant hidden in the touristy Hutong area most people tour on bike coaches. It is near Shisha Houhai lake, north of the Yundian bridge. The specialize in Imperial Chinese Cuisine, the best of all China. Tiny restaurant with only a couple tables, so reservations are a must. Be warned that tables usually have a minimum food charge. Our large table had a huge 3000RMB minimum. We happened to strolling at lunchtime without a reservation and lucked out in finding a table available. They host many private banquets.
Decor, Vibe – This is an oasis away from noisy, busy Beijing. A quiet modest courtyard with just a couple private dining rooms. Lots of traditional Chinese art, furniture, paintings, and carvings.
Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
Cold Appetizer menu
Mixed Green Salad with several kinds of greens, tomatoes, peanuts and lots of cilantro was very fresh and had some really nice tasting Chinese peanuts. Lite soy dressing.
Steamed Lotus Root stuffed with sweet sticky rice (18¥) was a dish we’ve never tried. It was in a sugary sauce so it was pretty sweet. A very refreshing summer dish.
Oyster Mushrooms with braised beef (48¥) looked like chow fun but was fantastic due to its complex flavors. Thinly sliced mushrooms, fair tasting beef (USA beef is the best!), couple veggies like carrots.
Royal dish – Fried Prawns (68¥) with Chinese tea leaves. Eat them in the shell. Very fresh with a subtle tea flavor.
Royal Dish – Buddha jumps over the wall (398¥) (Fat Tiu Cheung) is so called because this expensive dish is so good that it will cause that to occur. Single serving of broth with abalone, sharks fin, sea cucumber, Turtle egg, Fish maw, Deer Tendon. Complex flavor, thick but not creamy broth. It was cooked for over 4 hours.
Sauteed pork and pineapple with sweet and sour sauce – Lots of pork lightly egg battered and mixed in with some pineapple. Crunchy and tender meat, and nicely sweetish sauce.
Sauteed Chinese Vegetables (28¥) in Oyster sauce were cooked fine and were fresh.
Yang zhao style Fried Rice (20¥) was fair and mushy. It uses local northern rice that is a little sticky. Lots of Egg, scallions, pea, and Chinese sausage were present.
Royal dish – Sauteed Camel’s hump (108¥) with black mushrooms and broccoli. Slightly spicy sauce. The gelatinous meat was very rubbery.
No. 16 Courtyard Restaurant had very good service with a server dedicated to our room. The server disappeared from time to time though. The food can be expensive but this was a nice lesson on what Chinese Imperial cuisine is. You pay a premium for the quiet secluded location though. This restaurant is best for those who have finished a tour of the nearby lakes and Hutong. A cheaper bet might be the Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant. English descriptions on the menu.