Simple Fare

Brain Factory 脑子加工厂 @ Beijing

Every now and then, a new dining craze happens in Beijing. The latest craze is skewers bar called 串吧 “chuan’ba”. Beijing locals love skewers so much that they’ve even invented a slang for the action of eating skewers: 撸串儿 “lu chuan’er”.

They are a relative newcomer to the food scene in Beijing, a city filled with dishes and delicacies dating back centuries. Skewers on the table, beers in hand, plus a few best buddies – these are all a Beijinger needs to get heated up and really, really talkative.

Think of it as a younger brother of the shish kebab. Chuan’r is a skewer of grilled meat, usually lamb, typically cooked over an open flame and seasoned with liberal helpings of cumin and chili peppers.

You can pretty much tell from the restaurant’s name that it specializes in roasted pig brains, a speciality in southwest China.


The restaurant is both innovative in its menu and in the presentation of its food.

Just 20 years ago, you’d have to venture into the scattered, small communities of migrants from the far western region of Xinjiang to find them. But the popularity of chuan’r exploded when Beijingers discovered it was the perfect snack to feed the then exploding nightlife scene that accompanied the city’s economic growth these past two decades. Today, a metal skewer of greasy meat is still the preferred way to cap off a night of karaoke and a few too many Tsingtao beers.


Brain Factory 脑子加工厂
81 Xiaoju’er Hutong, Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District Beijing, China
+86 138 1031 3237

Date Visited : Apr 2019

2 comments on “Brain Factory 脑子加工厂 @ Beijing

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