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Ding Ding Xiang, Beijing

Yuanjia International Apartments, 2nd floor
14 Dongzhong Jie
Tel: 86 10 6417 9289's insider take:

Hot pot is a must in Beijing, even in summer (what else are industrial-strength air conditioners for?). And there's no better place to try it than this restaurant, with its swinging '60s decor and white pleather banquettes. The individual hot pots here are do-it-yourself affairs: You're served paper-thin slices of beef or lamb, which you simmer in a bubbling vat of broth and then swirl in a rich sesame sauce. An assortment of vegetables and delectable sesame-encrusted shao bing buns round out a meal that's hot, steamy, and raucous—just the way Beijingers like it. No reservations.

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