Getting a private driver to drive us to the Great Wall was probably the best decision we made during our Beijing trip. Honestly, it made the trip so much more enjoyable. Without having to squeeze with hordes of unruly tourists was a big plus, but what was also wonderful was that we could interact with a local who gave us insights on how living in Beijing was like. The best part? He brought us to Yu Shi Fu 鱼师傅 for lunch on the way back to the city – a restaurant we would probably have never found on our own.
Yu Shi Fu 鱼师傅 serves what our driver called 农家菜 which loosely translates to food from the farm. It isn’t your most glamorous of restaurants but who’s fussing when the food is so good?
Our driver who has clearly been to the restaurant multiple times was able to suggest the best dishes to order. (I’m thinking the meal was probably something he was looking forward to since taking up the job.)
Yu Shi Fu 鱼师傅 is apparently well known for their 烤红鳟鱼 grilled rainbow trout. Customers are greeted by a large pool of fish upon arrival. Sorry, none of those claustrophobic tanks of fish we see in seafood restaurants here in Singapore. If you are feeling up to it, you can even DIY and net the fish you want from the pool of fishies. But otherwise, watch the servers skillfully scoop up the catch and fling them into these contraptions before they head for the kitchen.
We opted to have our fish both steamed and grilled. Together, the fish cost us about 60 rmb. The price goes by weight. 25两一斤 plus 10两for cooking it. A smokey grill, a rub of cumin and a sprinkle of chilli flakes come together to glorify this trout. Definitely pick the grilled over the steamed if you have space only for one.
For hubbs and I, the 板栗红烧肉 chestnut braised pork was the main highlight of the meal. Tender, sweet cubes of pork belly with soft chestnuts bathed in this glorious dark sweet sauce you want to drench two bowls of rice in.
The simply cooked wild veggies were good too if you need some fibre in your system. I vividly recall the firm tofu had this tinge of smokey-ness to it too. Quite different from the usual soft, bland tofu we have in Singapore.
If you have a bigger party, try the 摊柴鸡蛋 which is essentially an omelet our driver also recommended. We saw other tables having it but honestly, we were struggling to finish the food we ordered already.
I found the address of Yu Shi Fu 鱼师傅 here on DianPing (China’s HGW equivilent). Can’t guarantee the accuracy but worth checking in with your driver if he knows of the place.