On our last night in China (tears), we had a tough time finding a restaurant open by the time we finished climbing the Great Wall and shopping at the Silk Market. Although McDonald’s was open 24 hours, we really didn’t want our final meal to be a burger. Finally we found a place just across the street from Quanjude off of Wangfujing Street to get some baozi (steamed bread dumplings). It was called Tianjin Go Believe Steamed Stuffed Bun. Now that was a mouthful, and we hoped their dumplings would be as well.
When we walked in, we seemed to be the only ones there. We attributed this to the late hour, but it was a Saturday night so we still thought it was strange. Apparently no one eats dinner after 9:00 in Beijing. The menu was on the wall and we decided to keep it simple with their steamed pork buns. They were 40 rmb for 9 of them and although that was a bit steep, I was hungry enough to splurge.
After ordering, our dumplings took quite a while to be made. I guess this meant they would be fresh, but was still surprised that a place with no one else took so long while a place like Yang’s in Shanghai took less time and had to make a crapload more dumplings. Nonetheless, they finally came out and didn’t look half bad. There was some soy and vinegar on the table as well as some interesting-looking brown shavings in a dish that seemed to be part of the meal as well. They also brought out a bowl of congee (rice porridge) to accompany the dumplings.
In my Great Wall-fueled hunger I dug in and found the dumplings to be pretty decent. They definitely needed the assistance of the soy/vinegar for flavor, but since I couldn’t figure out what the brown things were, I opted not to sprinkle them on the dumplings. The meat was nice and juicy and the bread was well-prepared as well, but the whole time I ate them, I couldn’t help thinking how much tastier xiaolongbao was. It was almost like I was eating training dumplings, where the xiaolongbao were the pinnacle of dumpling achievement. I know this makes me seem harsh, but I guess I’m just spoiled.
So if you’re looking for some late-night food around Wangfujing Street, Tianjin Go Believe can certainly satisfy your hunger, but the dumplings leave a lot to be desired (namely xiaolongbao). Sorry, Tianjin Go Believe, the only thing I believe about you is that you were the best I could get at that hour. Any other time of day, I know Beijing can offer me some better food.