Beijing with a twist

It’s amazing that I’ve lived in Shanghai for nearly three years (yes, time flies and all that) but I’ve barely made any trips out to Beijing.

Last week, I got the chance to visit Beijing on work, for 1.5 days – my third trip to the capital city, and the first in such extreme cold conditions (max 5 and min 1 deg C). However, this time I had a friend to hang out with for an evening (thanks Krish!).

With Krish
With Krish

Wrapping up work, we decided to meet up near Xigua hutong, to head to this tiny, underground-ish bar and bistrot called Cuju.

Cuju bar
Cuju bar

Brilliant little place which had to be part of my China story/ blog. Cuju, a Moroccan owned enterprise, seats about 14-15 patrons at a time, serving up some really beautiful, no drama food. They make their own rums so the place is already a win in my books. They have a comprehensive rum + rum cocktails menu, and we ordered ours in the recommended fashion – 3 shot glasses on a wooden stand (we went for the fig, the coffee and the Christmas), that you are meant to sip on.

rum rum rum
rum rum rum

I got the Chicken Tagine (v popular) which was exactly what they promised – chicken that will fall off the bone. Delicious it was!

Cuju's Chicken Tagine
Cuju’s Chicken Tagine

This is the kind of place where you’ll meet artsy folk, or get after-after party drinks/ food. I couldn’t leave without buying one of their bottled rums (the Christmas – smooth, almost like a whiskey) @ RMB 150.

Cuju's distilled rum - Christmas
Cuju’s distilled rum – Christmas

Cuju kinda gave me a very new perspective on Beijing, and now I want to know/ see more.

Krish is an amazing host and had a ton of funny stories. He warned me about the scary bit which is when you need to go to the toilet – hutong style, as he puts it. Basically step out of the bar, walk / freeze on the way to the public toilet, which doesn’t have a main door, and then pray some nice lady willingly stands by the door so no one walks in. Dignity is in major danger! I got lucky.

With temperatures down to 1 degree Celsius, that rum helped on that walk!

The other highlight of this trip was snow. Yeah, it snowed the next day (Nov 6), and it was beautiful, especially since it was my first time. And no it wasn’t some dirty slushy drops of ice, it was proper snow for the first half of that day. If only I had the patience to upload that better video from my phone.

Friday morning snow
Friday morning snow


Hoping to get more time in Beijing sometime soon, maybe go see the Great Wall in the snow!


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