Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts Tagged ‘mint’

A place to come back to: Dianke Dianlai 滇客滇来

_MG_4528 - Dianke Dianlai

Dianke Dianlai might be my favorite new Yunnan restaurant, always excepting those unshakeable classics Yunteng Shifu and Baoqin Daiwei of course. The chefs are from Yunnan, and so is the owner – a decided rarity in Beijing. The food is creative and modern while staying true to the province’s bold, sassy spice melangé. It even manages to capture some of the diversity of Yunnan food – with 24 different ethnic groups, there’s perhaps as much variety here as in a small country. The innovations, like touches of rosemary and thyme, are subtle; everything works together.

A mint salad, and then some 宝琴傣味

mint salad

One of my favorite Yunnan restaurants is Bao Qin Dai Wei (宝琴傣味), run by a Dai minority family, with Dai chefs and Dai waitstaff. Very nearly as good is its neighbor, two doors down, Golden Peacock (Jin Kongque 金孔雀), operated by another Dai family. Related to the Thai, the Dai people live in the Xishuangbanna region of Yunnan province, on the border with Myanmar and Laos. Their food owes more to Southeast Asia than China: lemongrass, papaya, limes, bananas, and pineapples all make frequent appearances, mellowing the more assertive spicy and sour flavors in Dai cookery.

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