The famous sauerkraut fish is now in Beijing. And they still stick to the same rules of engagement – no table greater than 4 persons.
As I have previously explained in detail what this famous sauerkraut fish is all about, I will not go into it anymore. Luckily, we had 4 persons no more no less. Another group had 6, they were asked to take two queue numbers. One had 5 and refused and was turned away. This would work in Southern China, not sure if the Beijingers can take this bull. Only time will tell.
They have a cheeky habit when it comes to naming their dishes. 叫个鸡藤椒味 order a (spicy) chicken is not a fair translation as it has a hidden meaning. Unlike 口水鸡 Sichuan spicy chicken where the chicken is soaked in the spicy sauce, here the sauce was poured over the chicken. So you get to taste a very well poached chicken not unlike Hainan Wenchang chicken 海南文昌鸡 in taste, and further enhanced by the spices.
I would say the same for their 芥末虾仁球 wasabi prawns – the prawn is tired, the sauce is bland, and the wasabi did not come through properly. Sad sad appetiser.
Of course their classics were all here – 没骨头的凤爪 boneless chicken feet、脆椒小皮蛋 century quail eggs in peppercorn and vinegar.
There’s only one main dish and because we have 4 persons, I can finally order the 土豪版老坛子酸菜鱼 “Nouveau riche” sauerkraut fish, their signature sauerkraut fish with all the trimmings. How was it different from the normal?
The size – it’s three fish portion instead of one. The serving bowl is twice as big as the normal portion.
The ingredients – it came with the add-ons – enoki, tofu, potato noodles, etc.
The taste – usually with a larger portion, the fish may be overcooked, the taste may be off. But it is consistently the same.
The presentation – there’s a ceremony to present the dish. Two persons are required to move the bowl to the table, and then the whole shop will shout together “上菜了！” (the meal is served) – cheesy but feels good too.
You can use the 中指小油条 black fritters to soak the goodness of the stock. But it was so dense and hard, it could hardly soak up any. But if you soak it in the soup for a while, it expanded and then it transformed into something delicious. Try it, but I would not reorder.
Cannot reserve, take a number and wait.
Taier Sauerkraut Fish 太二酸菜鱼(北京APM店)
Date Visited : Jun 2019