Had dinner at the Family Li Imperial Cuisine on Jinbao Street. The restaurant only serves set tasting menus that cost from RMB600 to 3000 per head and is supposed to give a good representation of what their cuisine is about. It was very nice that the waitstaff was not particularly pushy in selling their higher priced menus and said that the lowest priced menu already gives a good taste of their style and the higher priced menus differs mainly in the ingredients used.
The menu was very impressive. 10 appetizers of a few bites each, 6 main courses, veggies, soup and a couple dessert. There are some traditional Beijingese items on the list such as the deep fried bean cake and green tofu, along with more “premium” items like the sea cucumber.
The food in general was delicious and well balanced. The portions, despite having so many courses, was manageable although I left well fed.
The very nice waitstaff (noticing that despite being Chinese, I was not a local and had no idea what I was eating) was also very patient in introducing each of the many courses, from their names to tidbits on how they were made – emphasizing on the use of natural ingredients.
If you are staying in the area, this Family Li Imperial Cuisine is definitely worth a visit. If you are NOT staying in the area then they have a couple other branches, and is still worth a visit. I didn’t make a reservation and it didn’t look like it was too full, so a group of a few people should be able to get a table walk-in.