Balmain Gourmet is an increasingly popular choice for diners in the Shunyi area. As well as catering to the palates of foodies craving a gourmet burger or hot dog, they also offer great options for children of all ages. We decided to put that claim to the test by taking our young food critics there for dinner.
Brynn Comes (age 7) and her younger brother Alden Comes (6) both attend the International Montessori School of Beijing (MSB). They were accompanied to Balmain Gourmet by their mom, Michelle. Michelle and Justin Comes moved to Beijing from New Jersey in August 2012. They are really enjoying their first expat assignment and they especially love the travels that it allows them. Thanks to all that travelling, both kids have fairly adventurous palates, and are always open to trying different cuisines. They particularly enjoy tasting local fruits wherever they visit.
Brynn’s favorite dish is Sweet & Sour Pork and she is also quite fond of Mexican food. She thought the variety of burgers on the menu looked interesting and ordered the Cheese Burger (RMB 80) for herself. Alden, who enjoys hot dogs and burgers, could not resist ordering one of Balmain’s Red Cheddar Dogs (RMB 60), loaded with cheese. Both orders came with a side of fries and half a passion fruit, much to the delight of the kids who giggled while trying it. Michelle ordered a Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes (RMB 35) for herself. The kids also decided to share a Strawberry Milk Shake with marshmallows on the top (RMB 40) for dessert.
Biting into his Red Cheddar Dog, Alden gave me an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’. When I enquired if it was as good as he had imagined, he responded with a matter-of-fact “better”, and that was all I got out of him till he finished dinner. Brynn took a bite of her burger and gave her approval too. When Michelle’s order of Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes arrived, everybody ooh’d and ahh’d at how appetizing it looked. Michelle took a bite and pronounced it delicious, with just the right amount of cheese and a dash of salt & pepper. The flavors, she said, were a perfect balance of good bread and lots of cheese, ideal comfort food that just hit the spot. Both brother and sister jumped at the opportunity to try it. Brynn savored her bite for a few seconds and then said she was going to order that next time.
It was time for dessert and the children gleefully grabbed their milk shakes and proceeded to suck up the marshmallows through the large straw, before drinking it all up. There is something old-world and charming about kids enjoying a classic shake, predictably with big smiles on their faces!
The portions were generous, and the children thought it would be a good idea to take their leftovers back for Dad to try when he got home from work. Balmain Gourmet’s predominantly meat-based menu has hotdogs, burgers, sandwiches, fries, and salads aplenty. They also have a few options for vegetarians. Some of their specialties include Beef Chili Dog (RMB 80), Eggs Benedict (RMB 80), Kimchi Dog (RMB 80), and Aussie Burger (RMB 140). Their bread, which they source from L’Atelier JMT in Shunyi, pairs exquisitely with their meats. Incorporating subtle twists into their regular fare, such as kimchi in a Korean Dog or grilled pineapple in the Aussie Burger, they’re managing to cater to a culturally diverse customer base in Shunyi.
Delectable food and a laid-back atmosphere, with outside seating options on a clear day, make it a perfect hangout option for families. Our Dining Out critics, Brynn and Alden gave Balmain Gourmet a five star rating. They said they’ll be back for more, preferably with Dad too next time!
The restaurant is small and cozy, with WiFi. It offers outside seating in summer months. It has filters so you don’t need to stress about the air quality, and its own private restroom. They’ve also started to carry an organic range of pork sausages, for the health conscious. The owner Drew’s pet, an adorable brown Labrador Retriever named Coco, never ceases to delight little ones. Brynn and Alden were no exceptions.
Balmain Gourmet Meat & Grill
Tue-Sun, 9am-9pm. South Gate of Yosemite A, YuYang Road, Shunyi District (18600039708, email@example.com) 顺义优山美地A区南门向东100米宝美热狗店
This article originally appeared on page 20-21 of the 2016 June-July Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Dave’s Studio