Gou Bouli [狗不理]

  • Address:16 Jinlong Apartment, Shuisang Beilu, close to Tianjin Water Park, Nankai District, Tianjin
  • Contact: 022 2337 1999  
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Having lived in Tianjin for over three years, it is with a sense of obligation, rather than genuine adoration, that I include Gou Bouli in the list. This is as much out of tradition as it is from any culinary motivation. If you were to ask any Tianjinren to define their local cuisine, they are certain to respond almost instantaneously with the words 'jiaozi' or 'baozi' - dumplings. It is rumored that Tianjin's famous gou bouli baozi - slightly bigger than the standard jiaozi enjoyed across China at Spring Festival - were actually prepared and served at the same location as the Gou Bouli restaurant, although the original building has long since been replaced. The jiaozi and baozi on offer are, according to my Chinese friends, top quality. For non-Tianjin natives, discerning between high-quality pork dumplings and otherwise may not be quite so easy. However, they certainly are tasty and presented in lavish style in delicate wooden boxes. The rest of the menu is also quite impressive, with the seasoned rabbit a surprisingly tasty option. The other big plus point about Gou Bouli is the location. The decor and staff uniforms are steeped in traditional color making for an excellent 'dining experience', as well as a great meal.

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