There is certainly no shortage of odd concepts when it comes to Beijing’s food and drink scene. Proving that is the latest playful landing in Sanlitun, Laboratory of Sweet Potato. The white interior is practically empty, aside from an ordering counter, a few ovens and a painted wall (featuring a sweet potato scientist rocking neon-lit lab glasses, who looks to be experimenting with various liquids of some sort). The point here is this: It’s all about the starchy root vegetable.
Start by choosing 3-4 small potatoes or 1-2 large ones (both RMB17) and upgrade it with various toppings (+RMB2-4). Though tempted by more daring garnishes like black tea-flavored condensed milk, caramel butter and sliced bananas, we stay on the mild side with some old-fashioned honey and chopped pistachios for a little extra flair. Every forkful of our hot potato is sweet and soft – a delicious antidote to the stark afternoon. Opt for ‘something special’ like sweet potato fries (RMB23) or a slice of purple yam mozzarella pizza (RMB12) if you’re running on empty.
[Image via Valerie Osipov/That’s]