Discover Mei Lanfang's epicurean taste in a courtyard restaurant

( ) Updated: 2015-11-24 16:32:05

Discover Mei Lanfang's epicurean taste in a courtyard restaurant

A costume once worn by Peking Opera legend Mei Lanfang is displayed in Mei Mansion in Beijing, Nov 19, 2015. Mei was famous for his cross-dressing female roles. [Photo provided to]

When talking about Peking Opera, Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) is a household name in China and even on the world stage. But few people know that the legendary maestro actually had very fine taste in food, or that private recipes he once favored are being served in a special courtyard restaurant in Beijing.

Situated in a hutong courtyard next to Prince Gong's Mansion, Mei Mansion has been serving the late master's favorite dishes for 13 years. Mei's youngest son, Mei Baojiu, also a celebrated Peking Opera artist, serves as the honorary president of the restaurant's board.

Many of his father's belongings are scattered throughout in the exquisite restaurant, which contains three small courtyards along the central axis. Red gates, stone steps, red lanterns and the subtle music of Peking Opera take people back in time to the 1920s.

Once in the restaurant, many may feel as if they are in a private art museum dedicated to Mei Lanfang, instead of a restaurant.

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