After our two previous visits to the Agrilandia Italian Farm, we were left with a favorable lasting impression; enjoyable food and ample ground for brisk walks. Despite being one to two hours away, going to the farm felt like a quick getaway. A week ago we decided to go back in search of a relaxing Sunday breakfast but there was one small incident we had the displeasure of encountering.
We were informed breakfast was no longer being served after arriving at 10.30am but the kitchen would start to prepare lunch at 11am. Without reservations, we decided to wait and promptly placed our orders. Our server reiterated the kitchen would be opened at 11am after taking our orders.
However, a few moments later when a Chinese hotel guest come in she was told the kitchen would be open at 11:30am. Taken aback but this, we called our server to clarify the kitchen opening times but this time in Chinese. He indeed confirmed that it would be open at 11:30am. The server explained the miscommunication was due to being a new hire and had not learned the working times properly.
Firstly, Agrilandia needs to train their servers to get all the service-related details correctly. Secondly, to always provide the same information to locals and foreigners. Especially as their menu items are on the expensive side furthermore they are located much farther away than the other restaurants in the central villa areas of Shunyi, diners tend to expect a high standard of service.
That small unpleasant incident aside, when the food finally came, it was still the same good quality we have come to expect from this Italian restaurant. The portions for the mains are large, and the dishes are very satisfying.
Our order consisted of two salads: a farm salad and a parma ham and melon platter; one risotto; a grilled chicken with gravy and a lobster pasta. The parma ham and melon platter was flavorful. The risotto was topped with two small beef kebabs and some crispy pork. The lobster was accompanied by pasta which was a little on the heavy side like the risotto hence very hearty. The lobster was not overdone, so it retained its juicy texture. The total bill was a little over RMB 800, making Agrilandia a place that you would visit occasionally but not every week.
A large presence of locals could be seen wondering about the orchard and play areas. A bouncy castle had been set up on one end of the farm near a small petting zoo with most of the young families there. A few other families came with their pets and chose to play on the main garden. In the small library, all the coffee tables were occupied with families chatting, or playing board games together, a sight for sore eyes especially in this digital age where human interaction is preferably through electronic gadgets.
Agrilandia provides a good country weekend experience. A better-run restaurant could make people keep coming back for more.
Photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado
Dana is the beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.