Not Your Average Beijing Chuan’er
I first reviewed White Tiger Village about 1.5 years ago and while I saw the potential, I also saw that it still had some kinks to iron out.
An innovative concept, White Tiger Village 白老虎屯 is an experimental Chuan’er 串儿 (obligatory pirate accent for proper Beijing pronunciation) and Dong Bei 东北 restaurant. The name comes from owner Nathan Zhang’s hometown and while the original concept was a selection of dishes that Nathan has recreated based on his mother recipes, he’s since started working with a new chef consultant named Starry, who was trained at Attica restaurant in Melbourne, Australia (ranked #33 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list).
When I recently went back for a re-visit, I was delighted to see that the kinks have been thoroughly ironed. When summer hits, this restaurant will be one of my go-to’s. The only thing it is lacking now is a balcony! That being said, they do have a few seats outside for those who don’t mind a bit of fuzz flying about. #BeijingSpringProblems
I always think that time in Beijing feels warped – it can either fly by in the blink of an eye or feel like things are happening in slow motion. While a year and a half may not seem so long to most, it’s brought along many fruitful changes for both White Tiger and its owner Nathan. Not only did Nathan get married and have a baby in that short time (Mazel Tov!), White Tiger’s moving in a new and improved direction with Starry re-designing their menu. With experience training at world class restaurants in the UK and Australia, it’s really cool to see that Starry has come back to his 老家 and brought with him a creative take on flavor combinations on a Chinese favorite – chuan’er!
We came hungry and managed to work our way through most of the 1-page menu of dishes. As expected, their menu has a focus on skewers aka 串 with a list of 13 unique meat and vegetable combos with 2 “Mixed Chuan’er” combos, each featuring 5 different popular chuan’er options for RMB 108 (Mixed B) and RMB 128 (Mixed A). As guests will want a few other items to compliment their meal of chuan’er, there are also a few appetizers and a couple of hearty options to make sure you leave stuffed (two types of risotto and stews) and a kick-ass dessert.
White Tiger’s Straight-Forward 1 Page Menu
Highlights on the chuan’er side: Lamb marinated in lavender and honey, brassica and broccoli (never ceases to amaze me how many vegetables there are in China that I have never heard of before!) and the Yunnan goat cheese were damn good and highly recommended.
On the cooler night that we went, the tripe soup was absolutely ideal, flavourful and warming in just the right way. But I have a thing for texture and even as the weather gets warmer, I’m still going to want a bowl of tripe stew! #temperaturedoesntphaseme
LDS Snapshots of Dishes at White Tiger Village:
Dry Tofu Salad (RMB 26)
Beef Tripe Stew with Chick Peas and Tomato (RMB 46)
Assorted Skewers (L to R):
Lamb, Leek, Lavender Honey, Thyme Crumble (RMB 25)
Yunnan Goat Cheese, Asparagus Shiitake, Tomatoes (RMB 22)
Chicken Breast, Pineapple, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Teriyaki (RMB 25)
Beef Fillet, Beet, Fennel, Pickled Mustard Seeds (RMB 25)
Brassica, Baby Broccoli, Crispy Garlic and Oyster Vinaigrette (RMB 18)
Salmon, Miso, Sesame, Shiso (RMB 25)
Skewers (L to R):
Italian Sausage, Shallot, Paprika (RMB 25)
House Special Meatball, Brussel Sprouts, Shichimi and Sriracha Mayo (RMB 30)
Seafood Risotto (RMB 168)
Bananas Foster Dessert (RMB 26)
The chuan’er here aren’t cheap, but they aren’t RMB 3 on the side of the road chuan’er either though. These are seriously good kebabs that use quality ingredients and a whole lot of creative flavor combinations that will put all street-side chuan’er to shame. Giving chuan’er a platform to expand on traditional lamb and veg variations, this is the future of chuan’er!
Throw in a great selection of wines and White Tiger is a great option for a really unusual but satisfying meal! And their Bananas Foster Dessert is absolutely phenomenal. I may have a soft spot for any dessert with bananas, but this simple concoction of grilled bananas with ice cream is a winning combination!
Contact Details for White Tiger Village:
Address: Close to the east end by Dongsi Beidajie, 84 Xiang’er hutong, Dongcheng district
Chinese Address: 东城区香饵胡同84号
Tel: 5719 2684
Opening Hours: Open Daily from 11:30AM-2:30PM; 6PM-11:30PM