In the Farini area there is a small, simple but decidedly particular restaurant whose kitchen is run by a chef originally from the Liaoning region, located in northeastern China and bordering on North Korea. The food influences here are evident, which is why Qiyun is a very unique restaurant in the city!
The menu offers numerous interesting specialties, such as stir-fried tun (a particular preparation that can be based on vegetables or meat, served in a wooden barrel) or fire bowls (more typical, however, of Sichuan). In order not to get confused, ask the kind owner for advice, who will give you directions on how to eat the most authentic dishes.
Among the appetizers I tasted grilled meat dumplings (albeit simple, large and tasty - unfortunately the boiled ones were not available) and liangpi, i.e. transparent rice flour noodles, large and chewy, served cold and seasoned with spicy tofu, carrots and julienned cucumbers, meat, mushrooms and a sesame-based sauce. Refreshing and well-seasoned, they're a really good starter that I think will be especially popular in the warmer months.
But the real reason for my stop at Qiyun is the yi guo chu. It is a huge iron pot with a hot preparation (whose taste vaguely resembles stew) and wheat flour and corn buns. Honestly, I've never tried this dish: here you'll find it called "alla pentola" and you can choose pork (bacon and ribs) with sauerkraut, but also ribs, beans and potatoes, or mixed vegetables with bacon. I opted for the chicken stew with mushrooms which, according to the owner, was supposed to be spicy, but in my opinion it was just a little spicy.
Yi guo chu is an infinite dish (just like the other dishes of this restaurant and, more generally, those of northern China), finishing it even with just two people will simply be impossible. The flavor is that of a homemade stew, enriched with liangpi at the bottom. The potatoes, which complete the preparation, are very tasty and everything is perfect to be enjoyed making "scarpetta" with corn bread. The only drawback, in my opinion, is the chicken, in the sense that it is prepared in small pieces without bone and with the skin on, which at least bothered me. But the taste was good, just like a homemade preparation.
My overall experience at Qiyun is positive: here you can enjoy abundant and decidedly unobtainable dishes in a homely atmosphere with an exclusively Chinese clientele. The prices may be slightly higher than in other Chinese restaurants in the city, but given the quantity of dishes, I'd say they are more than justified.