Bring the Kids: The Orient Kitchen
New to the Village at Sanlitun, this bright, buzzy eatery turns out tasty, healthful Chinese and Southeast Asian food at easily digestible prices. Part industrial loft, part hip hangout, the funky interior fuses traditional elements like pillars hand-painted in Chinese ink with sleek, jet-black tables and chairs and an open kitchen. All the dishes we sampled were unfailing fresh, colorful and appetizing, with many suitable for younger diners. The Hainan chicken rice set (RMB 45), boasting tender poached meat and ethereally soft skin (with no bones), is perfect for even the littlest of gourmets. And you can be sure of clean plates if you order in the curry pineapple fried rice (RMB 32), Thai-style spaghetti with plump shrimp (all nasty bits removed – RMB 45), or steamed codfish with black bean sauce (RMB 48). Older kids will love the super-sweet iced drinks for dessert (RMB 20-25), brimming with red beans, shaved ice and coconut milk. A Kids Club, starting in the New Year, has events like cooking classes, kite making, clay workshops and even farm trips in the pipeline. For more information, contact Jacqueline Li at email@example.com.
Daily 11am-11pm. S4-31, 3/F, Bldg 4, The Village at Sanlitun, 19 Sanlitun Beilu, Chaoyang District (6417 4070) 朝阳区三里屯北路19号三里屯Village南区4号楼3-4层
Date Night: Duck de Chine
Peking Duck, Beijing’s undisputed culinary signature, has a tradition stretching back to the Ming dynasty. These days, the city’s duck restaurants are typically bright, noisy and crowded with patrons – a renao atmosphere for sure, but far from romantic. That’s where Duck de Chine comes in. Its location inside the 1949-Hidden City complex gives it an air of exclusivity, and the industrial-chic, understated interior, complete with attached Bollinger Champagne bar, is both sexy and cozy. More importantly, the duck is some of Beijing’s finest. After exactly 65 minutes of roasting over apple wood, black-attired waiters sound a gong to herald the arrival of your kaoya (RMB 228 including condiments). The longer than usual cooking time renders much of the fat, resulting in a leaner, healthier duck with super crisp skin. The deep-flavored hoisin sauce, made on site, contains upwards of 30 Chinese herbs, and can be mixed with your choice of peanut sauce, sesame and sautéed diced garlic. For dessert, try the Lotus Duck (RMB 28), sweet lotus root paste encased in cute, miniature duck-shaped pastries.
Daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm. 1949–The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu (opposite the south gate of Pacific Century Place Mall), Chaoyang District (6501 8881) 全鸭季, 朝阳区工体北路4号院 (太平洋百货南门对面)