Like reading restaurant reviews in That's Beijing? We realize there are a lot of them. So to help you keep track, here's a list of the ones from 2016 we liked the best.
This is definitely one of Beijing’s best new restaurants. It is, perhaps, Beijing’s best restaurant, period. In terms of international-standard fine dining, anyway, The Georg has easily cemented itself in the echelons of Beijing greats. A respect for traditional Nordic dishes combined with high-quality ingredients. In short: Simple, done well.
There is “sauteed mushroom - cauliflower - brioche.” There is “grilled angus tenderloin - smoked sweet potato - fennel.” There is “chocolate - hazelnut - yogurt.” The names certainly won’t tell you how good they are, so let us: They are fantastic.
In Beijing, the all-you-can-eat phenomenon currently resides in three arenas: high-end hotels, hedonistic teppanyaki joints and Nali Patio. He Cai has most in common with that second category, in that its Japanese and there’s lots of Kirin. But the similarities stop there. This is no raucous, chaotic teppanyaki joint. It is calm and focused – and its food is too. We have a fat platter of sashimi, a tray of varied sushi rolls, a warm eel soup, tasty udon, crunchy salads and so, so much more, perhaps too much more. The variety of the dishes does not come at the expense of their quality. Which is, frankly, rare.
At the Crowne Plaza’s long-awaited new steakhouse Char, choice is everything. We opt for the Tajima Wagyu (RMB668 for 200g fillet; RMB558 for 250g sirloin), but there is something to suit all budgets: a Blackmore Wagyu for larger ones and some affordable, though still excellent cuts for those more modest.
Although you’d be foolhardy to leave Char without a dish from the grill, the menu features much else worth sampling. Of the seafood options, we recommend the delightful ceviche (RMB168) and the black cod with confit baby carrot (RMB288).
Wuhan is one of China’s ‘three furnaces’ due to its hot and wet summer. Its noodles, on the other hand, are hot and dry, and can be found at Morning. Unlike a Wuhan summer, their heat is delightful. The Wuhan dry noodle joint’s first iteration on Dongzhimen Wai Dajie was so popular it’s already moved to a bigger venue. (Don’t worry – it’s just around the corner from the old one.)
See a listing for Morning.
Tiger Sweet offers a refreshing change from Sanlitun’s Western dessert places. The shop is the second concept from popular Macanese noodle joint Tiger Mama, and it serves a variety of well made, good-value desserts. We like the cold, soupy yangzhiganlu (mango, grapefruit and coconut, RMB38) – a near-perfect snack option for the rising temperatures outdoors.
See a listing for Tiger Sweet.
You know what we recently said about the plague of mediocre Japanese restaurants in Beijing (see this review if you want to know what we're talking about)? Well, Sake Manzo’s new location is where you go to escape all that. Rent out one of the adorable private rooms and let the sake drinking begin.
See a listing for Sake Manzo.
It doesn’t seem so long ago that we first dropped into Tribe’s original Gongti location. There we found a restaurant offering not only wholesome, ethically sourced food, but a chance to buy into an aspirational lifestyle. Fast-forward a year and a half (ish), and the population of this particular tribe has grown substantially – enough for it to spread to new hunting grounds. Thankfully the consistency that matters most – food quality – hasn’t suffered in the transition. Salads, grain bowls and other favorites from the original location have made their way across in tact. The new dishes we try are equally on-point.
See a listing for Tribe (Lido).
Toast might not technically be a new opening, but considering they went from being just a brunch place to a full-blow restaurant we’re including it on the list. The Orchid’s restaurant, like an orchid flower, is rare and beautiful. But it’s also small, so book ahead. Toast’s food is excellent value, its service swift and its atmosphere hushed and calming. We especially liked their spicy coconut wings (RMB68), simple shakshua (RMB78), samosas with stewed chickpeas (RMB68) and their rather beautifully-plated poached egg kofte (RMB78).
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