October 25, 2008

Cool Beans

City Weekend has called Hot Bean Cooperative (合作社) "far and away the hippest chuan'er joint on the planet". I don't know about that, there are plenty of kaochi (, chicken wings) eateries that have stayed closer to their hipster roots the Transformers theme song wasn't played once while we were there. But, Hot Bean Cooperative is a fun place to grab some chicken wings, chuanr and beer in a laid back atmosphere, and a good place to start the night before heading to Gulou area bars.

In between each piece of meat on this gurou xianglian (骨肉相连) is a piece of chicken cartilage; it sounds unappetizing if you've never tried it before, but it gives a crunchiness that contrasts nicely with the chicken meat.

These Thai style chicken chuanr (沙拉泰式口味) were actually ordered from the salad section of the menu (I love China). While the garnish hardly qualifies it as a salad, this dish was the favorite of the night, with a slightly sweet and spicy sauce.

Hard not to smile when you have a bucket of meat in front of you

The chicken wings in the back are the 'perversely spicy' flavor (变态). These wings slapped me around and called me names like 'Nancy' and 'Susan', but in a good way.

Mantoupian (馒头) are usually the highlight of a meal at a kaochi eatery, but these were disappointingly soggy.

Rating (out of five): 串串串

Full marks for atmosphere and price, but HBC lost two chuanrs for serving its beer warm and mashed potatoes cold.

China Daily (original article from TBJ): Find of the month - February, 2007
HBC's Dianping page

Jiaodaokou Nandajie

reservations recommended



Matthew said...

Looks like some different chuanr than I'm used to getting around Shenzhen.

Benjamin said...


You're right, most of these are actually kaochi (烤翅, chicken wings), which are the main focus of the restaurant.

Judy said...

Is that you in the middle of the first photo?

b. cheng said...

Beijing went through a chicken wing explosion a few years back and now you can find them everywhere. HBC is a popular expat choice, but not too far away (on Jiu Gulou Dajie) is Kuan Dian, which has a similar menu, but is much better (and offers cold beer.

Benjamin said...


Thanks, I'll definitely check out Kuan Dian. There is also a place on the west end of Dongsi Liutiao that I like, it's small and nearly all of the patrons are actually the friends of the owners just hanging out.