Nanluguoxiang is one of the touristiest parts of Beijing. A stone’s throw away from it lies one of the city’s most popular dumpling restaurants: Mr Shi’s Dumplings.
This restaurant has made its name largely with foreigners in Beijing. Expats and tourists flock here to eat dumplings, invariably are associated with the city. Whilst we shall not discuss the merits of a restaurant being frequented by significant numbers of foreigners, the dumplings are mostly very good here.
Made to order, the guotie (锅贴； pot-stickers) in particular are worth coming for. Not particularly refined, but gutsy and full of flavour, they are very satisfying. Particularly good are lamb and coriander, or lamb and fennel seed.
The boiled dumplings are perhaps a little less special, but among the better ones you can find in the area. Whilst some of the more whacky fillings with cheese might be a little bizarre, classics such as pork and cabbage are very good, with plenty of filling and hearty seasoning. They claim not to use MSG here, so don’t expect a savoury kick that you might see elsewhere, but there is rarely a lack of flavour with the dumplings at Mr. Shi’s.
The rest of the menu here is not really recommended, although a spinach and peanut salad is a nice way to start. All in all, come here for dumplings, and don’t look around the rather ugly room, which is plastered full of comments of previous guests. If you stick to that, you might, however, have a very enjoyable experience.