The Ellison girls came fully prepared to try the delicacies awaiting them at East Hotel’s FEAST in Lido. On the second floor in the ambient-lit dining space, Lola and Eva beamed with excitement as voyeurs of an array of international dishes on display under the spotlight in the buffet area. From candyfloss to steamed dim sum, the girls were truly spoilt for choice and loving the prospect of defying the limitations that one sets on the appetites of little girls.
While parents, Mark and Vanessa checked out the new weekday menu, the girls were keen to check out the play area, conveniently located at the back of the room and fully equipped with age-specific play and toy options. This significantly adds to the family dining experience at FEAST, particularly on the weekends when an Ayi supervises the area.
The Ellisons had the option of choosing between a number of dishes on a generous but concise dinner menu that included free-flow tea, coffee, and soft drinks for RMB 245. The menu included a hearty steak and burger, mushroom risotto, pan-fried salmon, spicy chicken parm, and crispy pork belly.
The options on initial review may not seem child-friendly, but mom Vanessa pointed out the positive aspect of the menu allowing the girls to try something new. Margherita pizzas and carbonara pasta are usually the call of the day for the girls. However, Lola exclaimed that rice would be her choice of meal, so risotto it was. Eva happily accepted the suggested wagyu burger while mom and dad opted for the salmon and steak dishes.
There were smiles all round and real family-style dining with the sharing and trying of one another’s dishes around the table. The backup a la carte menu for the girls wasn’t needed, and everyone tucked in. Eva thought the burger was “so nice!” but was unsure, at first, about the red chopped beetroot nestled at the bottom. Despite Eva’s weariness over the “red stuff,” the burger was almost completely demolished, and while Lola banished the spicy rocket that garnished her risotto to the side, she happily tried generous mouthfuls of perfectly al dente rice and mushrooms without complaint. In the end, Lola’s eyes couldn’t help but find their way to her mom’s plate of food. After mom welcomed Lola to try her pan-friend salmon it was all over and time for swapsies around the table! “Yummy” cried Lola, consuming every single morsel of salmon on the plate.
Mom Vanessa pointed out that the salmon option could be the perfect dish for those dining out when avoiding carbs for the night. The dish was hearty and filling without the usual side of potatoes that was liberally substituted with a bed of creamy scrambled eggs, spinach, and tomatoes. Lola not only ate what was least likely to be a choice for a young child, but also gobbled up all the spinach to her mom’s delight.
As the sharing of dishes continued, the fries on Eva’s plate were a massive hit with dad. Mom said she would definitely order her choice of meal again and the steak was a good-sized portion for dad. All in all; the dinner menu went down without a hitch.
On to the buffet it was! Copious amounts of delights from different regions decked the marble surfaces of the buffet area. The parents were surprised at the dinner menu, which included all you can eat trips to the buffet. They gasped at how all this choice was such value for the money, while the girls ladled perfectly portioned mini dessert slices of cheese, pasta, and salad on to their plates.
To enjoy what truly can only be described as a FEAST in modern surroundings loosen your pants, skip on lunch, and bring the family on down to East Hotel. Don’t just leave family dining to the weekends, mix it up and add some variety to the week ahead. RMB 245 per person includes free-flow beverages.
This article first appeared in the beijingkids December 2018 Charity and Goodwill issue.
Photos: Uni You