If you are getting tired of the usual run around of pizza-burgers-salads that seems to dominate the Beijing food scene these days (Chinese cuisine excepted of course), then you might want to take a trip down to the area around Alien Street Market (Yabao Lu). According to an article originally from China Daily, although this area was once best known for its majority Russian population, as evidenced by its predominance of Cyrillic signs, now residents of central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan are making their mark on the area's food scene.
Slightly crassly referring to the area as "Beijing-istan", China Daily explains that the area's Russian population has been declining along with declining sales at the Yabao Lu fur market, allowing new traditions and cuisines to take hold. The piece recommends a number of restaurants specializing in different cuisines of the region, including Caspi, an Azerbaijani restaurant, Kavkaz, a Georgian restaurant, and Astana, a Kazakh restaurant, all on the Shenlu Jie dining street just to the north of Ritan Park.
Typical dishes found across central Asian cuisine include plov (a pilaf-like rice dish), grilled kebabs, yogurt-based sauces and drinks, and baked breads.
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Photo: Arthur Chapman (Flickr)
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