Two of the heroes behind the magic of FIZZtastic are F&B Manager Sun Young Moon and Executive Chef Yu Xiang Gu. The enthusiasm and creativity of South Korean Sun and Beijing native Yu are key ingredients in the continued success of FIZZtastic. Agenda caught up with them both to go behind the scenes of FIZZtastic.
Where are you from and how does it influence how you do your job?
Executive Chef Yu Xiang Gu: I was born in Beijing and went Australia in 1991 when I was 19 years old. In Australia I spent seven years in Perth and then nine years in Melbourne. As a result, after I had grown up with Chinese food, I had the opportunity to experience many other cuisines once I was abroad working in Australia.
F&B Manager Sun Young Moon: I am from Korea. I left Korea in 1999 to go to university in Switzerland. Since then, I have worked in Geneva, London, Florida, Sydney and Dubai. Obviously, all these experiences in different places trained me to adapt to new cultures, styles and environments. Of course, I can inject different characteristics of each place I’ve been into my operation to create something more fun.
What are your favorite things about Hilton Beijing Wangfujing’s F&B outlets?
SYM: What I like most about my team is our flexibility. We can basically turn our venues into whatever the guest wants.
One example is a recent conversion of our lobby lounge, The Library. A few weeks ago we converted The Library for private dinner, decorated like a small dining room in a castle with a brown and black color theme. It was a bit gothic but looked amazing! Nobody would have imagined that this lounge would make such a fabulous private dining room.
A second example is the small birthday party we held in our wine cellar. The cellar is equipped with an iPod station, which allows the guests to play whatever songs they like. It was a really fun party. Chef cooked in front of them, they had all these beautiful wines around – what else you need? Also we do kids birthday parties every Saturday, when we hold a kids’ cooking class in our show kitchen. We get quite a few enquiries for kids’ birthday parties. They always have so much fun!
What are your favorite things about FIZZtastic?
YXG: My favorite thing about FIZZtastic is our amazing dessert station!
SYM: My favorite part of FIZZtastic is the fact that it allows our guests to have quality time together. Many times, when you go to brunch, you are too busy – getting the food from gigantic buffet, looking after your kids, you have to eat, you have to ask bartenders to make cocktails or pour champagne …
But at FIZZtastic, we manage to get rid of all the hassles by providing superlative service. Our chefs come around to the tables with our signature dishes, including house made Portuguese sausages, Macanese curry crab, roast beef, smoked pork neck (smoked tableside), crepe suzette, cocktails and so on! Also, we have “Kidz Paradise,” right next to dining area – featuring our kids’ buffet, an air castle, an air pool, slides, Wii station, cartoon play station and dedicated personnel to look after kids. Most of time when parents come, they are able to enjoy their own time as they just drop off their kids and we look after them.
Not to forget our live jazz band – I love their music!
Another thing about FIZZtastic is, of course, the fabulous food itself. You often find that brunches are good at certain things. Some brunches do good cold selections, some brunches do a really good job with a certain few dishes. At FIZZtastic, we do have a great selection of cold and hot, savory and sweet, Western and Asian. We get a lot of positive comments on the freshness of our food – since many items are homemade, including house-made sausages (three different kinds), house-smoked salmon, home-stewed beans and so on.
Why do you think that FIZZtastic has been successful?
YXG: We have the best food in the market.
SYM: I think our audience in Beijing is mature enough to recognize quality over quantity. Our team puts a lot of effort into bringing quality to our FIZZtastic brunch. Once you arrive you will understand what I mean. We know that what you really want on Sunday is just to have a good time with good food, flawless service, and a hassle-free experience. I think the quality of our brunch shows all of above, and fortunately our guests appreciate it.
What are the strengths of your service team?
YXG: Our team in the kitchen is made up of highly motivated, highly-trained group of seasoned culinary professionals. They are proud to be chefs.
SYM: Attitude. Attitude is our key criteria when we recruit and I think it definitely shows in our service. I know this is something easy to say and hard to show, but when I see our team, their attentiveness and smile just make a big difference. I do hope you can visit us and witness that!
Any exciting culinary specials, promotions or developments coming up in the near future at the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing?
SYM: We will launch a Portuguese buffet during lunch and dinner in Vasco’s during October. We had a very successful Portuguese promotion in May and we decided to bring back the real flavor of Portugal developed by our Executive Sous Chef, Ricardo Bizzaro.
Also, our Chynna restaurant is launching a new menu comprising Beijing and Cantonese food. Our new menu will be ready by the time you read this! Our signature dishes include Beijing “Healthy” Roast Duck, roasted duck stuffed with Chinese herbs and medicine, served with colorful pancakes (colored with natural ingredients like carrot, beet root and spinach).
FIZZtastic Champagne Brunch First birthday promotions include a three-for-one special (for every 3 paying guests, one guest can brunches for free), as well as a half bottle of Champagne Taitinger to take home for every table (Sunday the 19th only). Premium Taittinger Champagne on free-flow and a lip-smacking array of international gastronomy. “Kidz Paradise” features a special food buffet, cartoons and toys for the tots. RMB 388/adults, RMB 129/kids 6-12 years old + 15%.
Sundays 11.30am-3pm. Penta, 5/F, Hilton Beijing Wangfujing, 8 Wangfujing Dongjie, Dongcheng District. (5812 8888 ext 8411) 东城区王府井东街8号希尔顿北京王府井酒店5层
On September 19, the Fizztastic champagne brunch presents trial art class by Beijing Color Studio, so your children can explore their artistic abilities.