Sunshine. Beaches. Exotic food. Ice-cold cocktails. Historical ruins. If your inconsiderate friends are clogging your social media feed with such vacation photos, even while you’re stranded in your Beijing office, life can be tough. However, you can at least try and find some solace with these local restaurants’ summery new dishes.
Be it their eggs benedict, bagel brunch, lobster rolls, butterfly-pea flower drink (pictured above), or their kimchi Bloody Mary, the menu at The Rug has no shortage of decadent treats which are still light enough to suit a summer day. They’ve now also launched a handful of new hot weather delights like handmade pastas (a highlight being the bone marrow crab roe pasta, RMB 98) and oysters from Marlborough, New Zealand served with champagne. There are also over a dozen new cocktails to counteract the at times unbearable heat and humidity of Beijing, as well as a stylish range of “boutique drinks” by the bag at their new Wangfujing location, which make for a fun alternative for customers on the go.
Combal, the Mediterranean fine dining destination at Cofco Plaza, recently launched its weekend brunch (11.30am-3pm), including a three-course brunch set for RMB 308/458, or a four-course set for RMB 568. The complimentary parmesan cheese ball topped with salmon roe (pictured above) is a savory delight.
The lox with passion fruit salad, meanwhile, is a zesty and refreshing mix of leafy greens and radish, among other flavorful and summery ingredients. But if you’re hankering for something more indulgent, say, steak for brunch (and since you’re pretending to be on holiday, why not?) then upgrade your brunch to grain-fed 300-day Angus rib eye, sirloin, tenderloin, or Wagyu beef steak for an extra RMB 100-300. If you really want to push the boat out, add RMB 200 for free-flow Italian sparkling wine.
Staying at China Overseas Plaza, Simply Fresh has released their new Spanish menu overseen by their new head chef Frida Pan. Highlights include the tapas platter for RMB 98 (pictured above, featuring pan-fried quail egg with mixed veggies, marinated salmon with truffle sauce, potato and salami, and mushroom) and the paella, which boasts a delightfully crunchy base as well as fresh morsels of seafood to whisk your taste buds away to the Spanish coast.
There are also plenty of great value dishes to get you salivating, like the Mexican chili oil marinated salmon with cayenne pepper (RMB 108), and their juicy sous-vide chicken leg (RMB 88), which is paired with orange marmalade for a nice citrusy balance. And if you want something fancy, try the pigeon trio (RMB 158) with sous-vide marinated pigeon breast, fried pigeon leg covered with crispy oats, and a melt-on-your-tongue pigeon liver pate. Couple with Simply Fresh’s new range of beautifully designed cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for maximum effect.
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Photos courtesy of venues, Tracy Wang