If love is what keeps the family together, sharing food together perhaps is what makes the bond of many families stronger. Our family shows that in this month’s Dining Out, as we bring them to a chic Asian restaurant in one of the city’s finest five-star hotels, Fairmont Beijing.
Mom Yinan An is a true-blue Beijinger, and dad Lei Gong hails from Yangzhou. A decade ago, they both lived in the US. In 2009, they welcomed their daughter Zian here in Beijing. Now, mom is head of school at AnRic Little Montessori Room. Dad works in an accounts management company, while Zian attends a local elementary school in the city. Though it sounds like they’re a busy family, there’s one thing which keeps them even busier, especially on the weekends: cooking and eating! Dad and daughter are the masters of the kitchen, while mom is their ever-loyal customer.
In a break from their usual weekend, we bring the Gongs to a buffet brunch at Lunar 8. The cozy but contemporary Asian setting of the restaurant counterpoints the vibrant array of international seafood favorites being offered at the brunch table. Master chef Andy Song tells the family they can enjoy dishes like Australian and Atlantic lobsters, Atlantic snow crabs, and French oysters. There’s a Chinese noodle soup section and kids’ buffet area too! The cost is RMB 358 for adults and RMB 164 for kids aged 9 to 12 (inclusive of soft drinks and mocktails) or RMB 458 (adults, inclusive of soft drinks, mocktails, beer, wine, Prosecco, and cocktails).
It’s a different family bonding experience for the Gongs because what they do instead is to indulge in the different seafood delights: Zian can’t stop eating sushi and sashimi. And in the middle of the meal, Dad Lei told us a secret: that he wants to start up a restaurant! And Mom Yinan spilled a little more: that her studious daughter wants to have a restaurant too!
It is when we share food together at the same table that the bond gets stronger and the best stories, however grand or trivial they are, often come out. And when that food is like Lunar 8’s yummy buffet, be prepared for a long and fun talk that will make the family closer than ever.
Photos: Dave’s Studio, Uni You
This article appeared on p28-29 of beijingkids December 2017 issue.