20 best Beijing restaurants
In the shadow of Zhizhusi, a hitherto forgotten Tibetan temple, this 120 seat restaurant is Beijing’s hottest address for fine dining in a historic setting.
Standout dishes include a masterful double play of lobster and goose liver on toast, and grilled pigeon with ceps, smoked duck and truffle jus.
The Francophile cellar is skewed towards Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux (yes, they have vintage Chateau Lafite). Some of it is relatively affordable about a dozen bottles are priced under RMB300.
Temple Restaurant Beijing,Songzhusi Temple,23Shatan Bei Jie, near Wusi Da Jie; +86 10 8400 2232
The Courtyard, with its famed perch overlooking the Forbidden City’s moat, has stumbled through several incarnations in recent years, but its fortunes look bright under the new stewardship of maverick British chef Brian McKenna, famed for his molecular tinkering.
There’s also been a designer makeover from the team behind the W Hotel in New York.
Spoiler alert: diners brandish mini garden forks and spades to tackle a fiendishly creative garden salad that at first sight appears to owe more to horticulture than gastronomy. legation, executive chef Brian Reimer turns out classics such as duck confit and escargot alongside new world imaginings like “baby pig” with daikon sauerkraut and apple coleslaw.
Weekend brunch carries the “DB Burger,” a medium rare Wagyu slab topped with truffles and braised short ribs. Service is exquisite to the finish complimentary petits fours of sugar dusted madeleines round off each meal.
Maison Boulud,Ch’ien Men 23, 23 Qianmen Dong Da Jie, near Guangchang Dong Ce Lu; +86 (10) 6559 9200
Having lived in Beijing for more than a decade, Hong Kong born father son chef team Peter and Wilson Lam formulated what they believe to be the perfect Peking duck: 43 days old, two kilogram birds roasted for a longer than usual 65 minutes over 40 year old jujube wood. Carved up, dipped in a heavenly house made hoisin sauce and rolled into gently steamed pancakes, the results are hard to refute.
Supporting dishes, mostly Cantonese, are very good, too.
Duck de Chine,1949 The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, near Nansanlitun Lu;+86 (10) 6501 8881
The burly, Secret Service like doormen and the choice location beside the Forbidden City lend this Chinese restaurant a VIP air; the prices do the rest.
Inside, it’s all fancy hardwood furniture, lion sculptures, tinkling water features and fawning service.canada goose bird
Chef Zhang Shaogang mixes classical Imperial style techniques with unusual ingredient pairings for a uniquely contemporary Chinese experience.
The forward thinking Beijinger puts a creative spin on old Beijing style snacks, such as his petite take on shaobing (sesame pancake).
Tiandi yijia, 140 Nanchizi Dajie, west of Changpuhe Park; +86 (10) 8511 5556
Head chef Marco Calenzo, previously number two at London’s Michelin starred Apsley’s at the Lanesborough, had the task of designing a fine dining Italian menu worthy of probably the glitziest restaurant interior in China.
In the newly opened Four Seasons Hotel, Mio is quite a sight, but Calenzo’s innovative fare, like sea urchin spaghetti, foie gras cooked sous vide or simply the house baked breads and wood fired pizzas, holds up impeccably.
Mio, 48 LiangMaQiao Road; 100125 Chaoyang District, Beijing;+86 (10) 5695 8888
The nightly queues outside this 4,500 square meter restaurant are all about the duck, but there’s more to the menu than Beijing’s signature. About 200 more dishes, in fact, comprise chef and general manager Dong Zhenxiang’s “artistic conception of Chinese cuisine.”
A student of many culinary styles, Dong Zhenxiang is one of the most celebrated cooks in northern China, famed as much for his “super lean roast duck” (less oily than the competition) as for his braised sea cucumber.
Many dishes feature showy flourishes “noodles” made of lobster meat, hollow globes of C02 filled ice, steaks blowtorched tableside you wonder how they can possibly manage in the kitchen. Well, it’s easy when you have 300 chefs.