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Part of the Beijing Olympic menu, local cuisine

DOG may be off the menu for the Olympic Games, but adventurous gourmets can still choose from a dazzling array of culinary delights in Beijing - from seal ***** to cow stomach, deep-fried scorpions or sea urchins, turtle (really best done as a broth) and brains in hot pot.

Locals may be grumbling after some of the city's favourite eateries were forced to close for two months because they are considered too close to venues, but others such as Beijing's first specialty ***** restaurant is still taking bookings.

The Guolizhuang ***** restaurant, which has now expanded to five franchises after opening in the capital three years ago, offers such delights as lobster with donkey *****, horse ***** and testicles with chilli dip, and the speciality: "Head Crowned with Jade Bracelet". A dietitian is available to explain the many health benefits and which dishes are best avoided by female diners.

Seal ***** costs 3288 yuan (about $A500) and banquets can cost from 2000 yuan to 100,000 yuan for tables of 10-12 diners, but set menus featuring ***** hotpot and several other dishes start from just 200 yuan per person.
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