It’s not often I find myself revisiting a restaurant soon after reviewing it. With Lantern Tribe, I was back in three days, and it was just as outstanding on my return trip. There are so many things to love here, from the self-serve rice and refreshing wheat tea, to the clay mugs and wooden spoons, to its beautiful location on the river at Xin Yi Fang. And the food, ohhhh the food.
The first few pages of the menu are in English, but after that it’s all hand-written characters. We started with a few veggie dishes, Mediterranean Vegetable Pot 地中海蔬菜锅 (28RMB) and Country Vegetable Soup 乡野浓汤 (22RMB). Both were outstanding and clearly fresh. The Deep Fried Shredded Potato 灯影土豆丝 (18RMB) was a nice treat, spicy and crispy shoe-string potato. The Iron Board Potato Noodles 铁板土豆粉条 (26RMB) were a great departure from your normal fried noodle dishes, and there’s a surprise fried egg hiding beneath the noodles. The Stewed Turnips 肉汁萝卜 (12RMB) were a value and a flavor-packed way to soak up the bottomless complimentary rice.
But let’s get real for a second. None of these dishes are really going to blow anyone’s mind. Well, maybe the Mediterranean Vegetable Pot, but the real reason I was drawn back, like a month to a lantern, was the lamb leg. Tribe's African Style Roasted Lamb Leg 部落非式炭烤全羊腿 (118RMB/large & 138RMB/extra large) was so good, I’m yet again forced to make up adjectives: it was suplariffic. Having lived in Beijing for 4 years, I know a thing or two about perfect Lamb Legs. This one, however, is suplariffic: lean, barely any fat, juicy, flavorful, and well seasoned. I will be back again soon.
To drink, if complimentary wheat tea isn’t your thing, they also have draft beer for 15RMB and cups and pitchers of fresh juice for 15 and 50RMB respectively. Wi-Fi is available, as is street parking.
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