Walking into the blindingly pristine store, you’d be hard-pressed to associate it with the bustling Chinese restaurants that made Xibei’s reputation. Their signature, the Mongolian hand-pounded yogurt, is both cheap (9.9rmb per tube) and delicious. It’s advertised as being pounded 3,600 times an hour (once every second), and, indeed, there is a woman with surprisingly thin arms wearing a headdress pumping the yogurt containers.
You can choose to DIY the yogurt with a range of fruit and nut toppings (12rmb per 100 grams) or have it served in an oversized test tube to your table (the pink one is red dragonfruit-flavored, 13rmb). The plain yogurt itself is excellent: rich, creamy and tasting like fresh milk. Frozen into fro-yo with no sugar or additives, it is less successful.
Though the yogurt is the main selling point, the other food on offer is also surprisingly well done. The roujiamo is served up like a pita pocket, made with a pan-friend bing, not the standard baked one, and comes in several varieties, from classic pork (16rmb) to “lamb skewer” (18rmb) to stir-fried spicy beef (18rmb). Two gleaming brass grills turn out individual lamb skewers (6rmb each). Also good, though served in an unnecessary aluminum can.
Overall, it’s a very good effort at cherry-picking just a few items from the Xibei menu and building a new brand around them. The yogurt is delicious. Is this the start of a trend?
Yoghurt House, 931 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Taixing Lu. Full listing details here.