Named after the great Persian poet of the 13th Century, Rumi is situated in the heart of Sanlitun. As soon as you walk into this crisply white restaurant, you can’t help but notice the plentiful natural light courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows. This, combined with the exotic Persian background music, has the effect of taking you far away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets outside. The centerpiece of this large dining space is the three giant mirrors inscribed with Rumi’s poetry. Voted "Outstanding Middle Eastern" in The Beijinger’s 2010 Reader Restaurant Awards, Rumi offers a wide selection of delicious Persian fare. The kids’ menu is quite impressive; however, we recommend bypassing the perennial kids’ favorites – milkshakes, burgers and fries – and opting for the chicken kebab (RMB 30), salmon kebab (RMB 49), or beef koobideh (RMB 28). Stews such as gheimeh bademjan (RMB 28) – lamb and eggplant stewed in tomato sauce – are popular choices for picky eaters. For dessert, kids can try the Persian shole zard (saffron rice pudding). On weekdays, the restaurant offers lunch buffet at RMB 88 for adults and half price for kids. For those unfamiliar with Persian cuisine, this is a great way to sample a range of dishes and pick your favorites. The small playroom, which the owners’ daughter helped design, contains a table, stools and boxes of toys where kids can entertain themselves for hours on end, or at least the length of a quick meal. There are also private and semi-private dining areas on the second floor, ideal for family or work functions.
Daily 11.30am-midnight. 1A Gongti Beilu,
Chaoyang District (8454 3838)