By Jim Boyce | Qiyuan Market, the modestly sized intriguingly stocked food shop behind Yashow, is closing after more than 15 years. Across from Sanlitun police station, Qiyuan carries a hodge-podge of goods from around the world. And often has that lone ingredient you can’t find anywhere else. From rices, flours and beans to dried and fresh herbs and spices to chutneys, pickles and all manner of sauces to cheeses, teas, tortilla shells and more, it is a good place to source hard-to-find items or discover something new. It’s also my go-to spot for Arm & Hammer baking soda.
During my past few visits, the staff has handed me cards for a new spot in Tuanjiehu (see below). While predictions of the Qiyuan’s Sanlitun demise had thus far been the equivalent of a shoulder shrug, with the store sign now down and the restaurant space next door recently razed, those predictions today became an urgent “very soon”.