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Gong De Lin Vegetarian Restaurant, Beijing

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Cuisine: Chinese
Contact: +86 0 10 6702 0867
Gong De Lin was established in 1922 as Beijing's first vegetarian restaurant. Its food is of the Buddhist "imitation flesh" variety – using vegetables, mushrooms and tofu to construct dishes bearing an uncanny resemblance to their animal product namesakes, but completely without meat. The shrimp balls, for example, taste mightily real. The "short chicken with crisp skin" (CNY60, a more expensive dish) is delicious. The finest dish is the silken pineapple: delicately battered, then caramelized and served very hot. The main dining hall is downstairs, with three private themed dining rooms occupying the upper level. Beer, wine and spirits are available.