While the mixture of Cantonese, Hunan and Sichuan cuisine is not bad, it suffers, like many Beijing eateries, from the Frankenstein-menu syndrome – stitching together multiple-cuisines that, more often than not, prove to be a failure. Unfortunately, the limited dishes from each region leave diners with few options to choose from, forcing them to mix and match with disappointing results. The bobo ji (16RMB) chicken with spicy dressing, is nicely done but the dressing has an unpleasant taste of pre-packaged food. The mapo tofu (8RMB) is much better, however, and the loofah soup (18RMB), a Cantonese dish containing crispy pork and glass noodles, is also good. The sautéed mixed vegetables (18RMB) – a combination of fungi, waffle-imprint tofu sheets, broad beans and red peppers are of a similar standard.
Though purists would do well to steer clear of Tiefanwan, those who are famished and passing by might be sated. Like the system of old, the iron rice bowl has been replaced with an alloy of sorts – one that may not rust, but cracks far too easily