Bee brunch at The Intercontinental Hotel Sanlitun

Nestled in the heart of Beijing’s entertainment district – Sanlitun, on the third floor of The Intercontinental hotel is a popular steakhouse – Char bar & grill. The interior is warm, cozy, and spacious yet modern, with panoramic views of the Sanlitun area. The steakhouse not only offers classic and premium cuts but also a brunch menu (also known as bee brunch) and a four-course set lunch menu. Most hotels offer brunch on the weekends, but brunch is offered on weekdays and weekends at the Intercontinental hotel.

Brunch
RMB 268 net for 3 courses
RMB 298 net for 4 courses

Char 4 course lunch
RMB 388

I enjoyed it so much I dined at the restaurant for two consecutive days.

On the first day, I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. It was my friend that recommended this restaurant. My second visit was unplanned. I left my cardigan in the restaurant the day before, and I thought, since I have to go pick it up, why not bring a friend along for lunch.

We were given a little amuse-bouche to start – tuna salad on crackers, sundried tomato bread, and a complimentary cocktail (alcoholic or non-alcoholic).

Bee brunch 1

Starter 
Pancake with Nutella, Orea, Caramelized Nuts, Honeycomb

Appetizer
Mozzarella, Pachino tomatoes, Rocket leaves, Lemon olive

Main course
Butter Chicken with Basmati rice

Lunch day 1

Starter 
The iconic char salad
rocket leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, shaved pecorino, honey-infused balsamic dressing, grilled serrano ham

From the pot
Porcini mushrooms & Truffle soup
Herb Potatoes, Asparagus, Truffle dust

Mains
Australian grass-fed beef tenderloin M2+
Grilled cape grim 200 days grass-fed tenderloin, truffle croquet, green pepper glaze

Dessert
Very Berry
Strawberries, blueberries, sponge, mascarpone cream, crumbles

*With any order of steaks, customers are given a selection of 6 steak knives accompanied by a tray of 8 salt options such as fleur de sal, Himalayan salt, and black salt.

Lunch day 2

White tomato consommé
Sweet peas, roman tomatoes, croutons, organic seedlings

Silver cod
Grilled cod fillet, lime, caviar, seaweed dust, truffle croquet

Duck and honey
Crispy duck breast, honeycomb, asparagus, truffle, applewood smoke, cassis glace

Tiramisu
Mascarpone cream, espresso, dry sherry, sponge

Bee Brunch 2

Cold cuts
Lyonner, Salami, Ham, Cheese, Pickles

Steak & Eggs
Argentinean beef tenderloin, sunny side up, waffle fries, hollandaise

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All dishes were wonderfully presented and delicious. However, the Tiramisu was the highlight. It was rich, creamy, airy with a subtle sweetness and the right amount of bitterness from the coffee and cocoa powder -absolutely divine!

All in all, I must say I am impressed with the overall dining experience at Char bar & grill. The staff spoke English, and the service was attentive, with good quality food for a great price.

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Char Bar & Grill

Website: https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/beijing/peghe/hoteldetail

Telephone: +86 010-85160062

Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. , 5: 30 p.m. – 10:00 p. m.

Address: No. 1 South Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Mo bar

Mo bar is perched on the fifth floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This stylish contemporary bar offers inventive cocktails and a spacious outdoor terrace with views of the Forbidden City.

The rich wood paneling and warm lighting decorated with leather seats make the perfect setting to enjoy their cocktails. There is even a flavor map that outlines each cocktail’s flavor profile.

Certain seating areas on the terrace require a minimum food consumption of RMB 2000 ($308).  It gets busy on the weekends, so either go early or make a reservation.

 

It was a last-minute decision to go to the bar. We were lucky to get a seat on the terrace. The view was nice, but we could only see the rooftops of the historical buildings.

Service was slow, drinks came out slow, and the waiters’ attitude was not up to par for a high-class bar at a five-star hotel. Instead, they were casual, inattentive.

Original sin (RMB 128)

Peach, apricot, toasted oats, Michter bourbon, milk, lemon

Sweet and tangy with a hint of bitterness

Mogroni (RMB 98)

Seedlip spice 94, Seedlip grove 42, Campari syrup, Mancino vermouth Rosso

Beautiful presentation – bold and bitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mo Bar

Website: https://www.mandarinoriental.com/beijing/wangfujing/fine-dining/bars/mo-bar

Telephone: +86 (10) 8509 8850

Opening hours: 4:00 p.m. – midnight (Mon, Tues, Sun)
4:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (Wed, Sat )

Address:  No. 269 Wangfujing Street, Beijing, China, 100006

 

Ralph’s coffee

The latest addition to Beijing’s coffee scene is Ralph’s coffee by fashion mogul Ralph Lauren. Located in the heart of Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping village inside the Ralph Lauren retail store, this café serves coffees, teas, hot chocolate, and desserts.  The establishment is relatively small, with six tables inside and four tables outside.

The chic retro green and white color schemed interior with marbled countertops and jazz music playing in the background reminisce of a cafe in New York. I love the relaxing vibe and smartly dressed baristas and waiters.

Coffee beans are available for purchase along with merchandise such as mugs, tote bags, and t-shirts.

The dessert menu is small, but the cakes and cookies come in a generous size. Your cake options are carrot cake, chocolate cake, brownies, new york cheesecake, and honey cranberry loaf cake. For cookies, you have chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter, jelly cookies, red velvet sandwich cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.

I ordered a chocolate cake (RMB 65) and an 85% dark chocolate drink (RMB 48), and my friend got a carrot cake (RMB58) and an Uji matcha latte (RMB 42).

The hot chocolate wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I like mine thick and creamy, and this was the opposite. However, the chocolate cake is the chocolate cake I have been waiting for; it is decadent, moist with the right balance of sweetness. In my opinion, the best chocolate cake in town. This is now my go-to place if I have a hankering for chocolate cake.

The carrot cake had a good balance of sweetness and spice with a velvety cream cheese frosting. The Uji matcha latte was bold and creamy. My friend is a matcha fan, and she absolutely loved it.

I will definitely be making another visit to try their coffee and cookies.

 

Ralph’s cafe

Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/RalphsCoffeeSanlitun/

Telephone: +86 10-64155600

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. daily

Address: Unit S6-10a on First Floor, Taikoo Li Sanlitun South, No.19 Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District 100027 Beijing

Cafe Flo, Sanlitun branch, Beijing

Cafe FLO is the new casual dining space from Groupe Flo, who also owns Brasserie Flo, Beijing longest standing French restaurant. There are two other branches located in Parkview Green Mall and World Trade Center mall. Each branch has a slightly different menu and different decor.

When I entered the cafe, I was taken with the decor of the restaurant. The whole interior was aesthetically pleasing. The dark wooden beam columns along with the different shades of blue accentuated the ambiance of a Parisian bistro.

I was at Cafe Flo on two different occasions. One was for brunch and the other dinner. I will share both experiences.

 

As stated on the menu, all brunch meals come with French imported butter, croissant, and Bonne Maman jam. The croissant was buttery and flaky. The baguette emanated a subtle sweet fragrance, the kind you get from a freshly baked bread.

Brunch du Chef C. 100g grilled beef tenderloin with truffled scrambled egg, bacon, pork sausage and sauteed baby potato 

150RMB

In my opinion, the price for this dish was a tad bit steep. It just had the usual ingredients for a full breakfast meal. It was good, but nothing was outstanding that would justify the price. I was not a fan of the scrambled egg. It was not because it did not taste good, but it was the way it was made. The French-style scrambled egg has a more creamy consistency with tiny curds. I prefer my eggs “dry”.

Saumon norvégien. Norwegian salmon topped with sauce Vierge with a side of cauliflower puree accompanied by asparagus.

98RMB

The salmon was cooked just right. The sauce did not overpower the natural sweetness of the salmon. The cauliflower puree was a good companion to the food.

Red velvet chocolate

I did not know what to expect from this drink. It was my first-time hearing about it, and I am a big fan of red velvet cake. In my mind, I thought maybe it would taste somewhat like a red velvet cake (plus it looked stunning in the picture). The drink was a little too sweet for me, and it tasted like a hot strawberry candy drink with milk.  Some people may like it, but it did not fancy my palate.

Vienna coffee

Two shots of strong espresso topped with whipped cream with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

This was an enjoyable coffee. You take a sip of the coffee with the whipped cream, and it gives the coffee a light creamy sweetness, and you get this lovely bittersweet flavor with each sip.

Soupe de champignons
Creamy mushroom soup with marinated mushrooms

48RMB

The mushroom soup was delicious. This substantial warm-hued soup was a perfectly balanced blend of good quality fresh ingredients complemented by a dollop of cream.

Frites de patates douces 

Sweet potato fries with garlic aioli

25RMB

These sweet potato fries were fried to perfection.  The sweet potato used were pleasantly sweet – just a basket of deep-fried goodness!

Spaghetti au boeuf

Spaghetti with minced beef, Provençale sauce, Parisian mushroom, and Parmesan

79RMB

The spaghetti bolognese was somewhat different from the American or Italian style. It was light, creamier, and smoother in texture. There was not a lot of ground meat. I did enjoy the dish,  it was flavorful.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the food. However, unlike its more famous sister restaurant, Brasserie Flo, the service at Cafe Flo lacked professionalism. The waiters were all gathered at a counter, in the middle of the cafe, in some sort of discussion. I raised my hand to get the attention of one of the waiters for the bill, but no one saw me until I called out to one of them. Shouldn’t there be at least one waiter at different corners of the restaurant? That was my only disappointment.

Vai Milano

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I love having ice cream in winter. There is something about having ice cream in the cold that makes it extra pleasurable and enjoyable. I was doing some shopping at the Indigo mall with my siblings and had a sudden craving for ice cream. I have passed by the Vai Milano store many times, and this time I decided to give it a try, it would be good to expand my choices of ice cream from the usual Baskin Robins, Cold Stone, and Häagen-Dazs. Other than gelato, they also serve cakes, sorbet, and coffee. Vai Milano’s gelatos are freshly made with natural ingredients.

We ordered a dark chocolate and pistachio gelato cone. The texture of the gelato is between traditional and soft ice cream. The dark chocolate was creamy, rich and decadent, one of the best I’ve had. The pistachio was an acquired taste for me. It had an intense pistachio flavor. It took a series of licks of the gelato for my taste bud to accept the flavor.

Al Safir, Middle Eastern Cuisine

Al Safir is my go-to place for middle eastern food  – good value for good food. The restaurant is not big; there are 6 tables inside. When the weather is warmer, there will be tables outside to accommodate more customers. Al Safir is not as fancy as the other middle eastern restaurants in Beijing, but the food is one of the best. The menu has a good selection along with pictures which are very helpful when ordering especially for those who are not familiar with the dishes.

I always order the lentil soup when I’m here. It’s hearty and savory. The lemon juice adds a zing to the flavor. The vegetable soup was not too bad, nothing exceptional.

The fattoush is a great tangy palate-cleansing salad. It is a toasted pita bread salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, and cucumber. I love the crunchiness and juiciness of the salad.  The Moutabal (eggplant and tahini dip) on the other hand was too sour for me. So I did not have too much of it.

The Bamya bel lahmeh is popular Arabic okra with lamb stew. It is a strong tomato-based stew but not offsetting. You can have it with rice or on its own as soup. The kebab platter consists of beef, lamb, and chicken. The meat was tasty and succulent. There are two dips for the meat, one is a tomato and onion dip, and the other is some kind of mayo dip which is absolutely delicious, it gives the meat an extra boost in flavor.

One of my favorite rice dishes is the Kabsa chicken. The chicken is tender and comes right off the bone. It is lightly seasoned, so it still retains its natural chicken flavor. There are yogurt and a special sauce that you can add to the rice for more flavor. The saffron rice is just plain saffron rice ..haha.

 

I highly recommend this place!

 

Brunch at Toast, The Orchid

20161105_114040My friend and I had brunch at this lovely rustic boutique hotel restaurant tucked away in a hutong located in the ‘old city’ part of Beijing (Gulou). This hotel is pretty hidden, so I had to use a map on my phone to locate it.  The hotel also has a pickup service for a fee if needed.

I’m used to dining in a more contemporary setting at the more modern busy part of the city, so dining at the toast was a refreshing experience. There is an indoor and terrace dining area. There is a warm, cozy feel to the restaurant. Most of the waiters are foreigners, so one does not have to worry about language.  Since it was a lovely day, we opted for the terrace. I could see the bell tower from the terrace along with the rooftops of the Chinese-style houses. I liked that the surrounding was adorned with greenery. Shortly after we placed our order, it started to get windy, so we had to go indoor.

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The brunch menu is a tight menu of Mediterranean and Western inspired dishes. I ordered a Cappuccino and The Full Chinglish (seared spinach, a poached egg, Andy’s homemade maple sausages, flatbread, potato, and seasonal fruits). My friend ordered the Cake for Breakfast (organic rye flour buttermilk pancakes served with homemade cinnamon syrup and seasonal fruits) and cookies with roasted almonds. The ingredients were fresh. Both the Full Chinglish and pancakes were delicious. The only issue I had was that the spinach had a little too much salt on it.  The cookies were a little disappointing. They were average.

Overall, we had an enjoyable brunch, and I am looking forward to my next trip!

 

The Orchid
#65 Baochao Hutong
Guloudong road
Dongcheng District
Beijing
北京市东城区鼓楼东大街宝钞胡同65号
+(86) 10-85659295
http://www.theorchidbeijing.com/

The Brasserie Flo, Beijing

 

The Brasserie Flo is a quaint restaurant with a beautiful courtyard and a bar area. The setting reminiscent of 19th century Paris. I love the warmth of the vintage wooden interior and chandeliers. I have driven past this restaurant many times and have been wanting to dine there. Finally, I did! I went with a friend two days ago to try out their business lunch special. The business lunch special comes in three price groups (RMB 148, RMB 188, RMB 198). We chose the RMB 188 lunch special which includes an entrée, a main course (Chef specialty), a dessert and tea or coffee.

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We were served two amuse-bouche and a bread basket with their own made butter. I am not quite sure what the green one was, but the mini bruschetta was bursting with flavor! The flavor was amazing! The tuna was good and fresh, and the bread was crusty on the outside, warm and soft on the inside.

 


 For the entrée, I had the salade de foie gras “Rougie” (“Rougie” foie gras with fig, Granny Smith apple salad, and crispy fig brioche). The salad greens were very fresh, and the foie gras was rich and flavorful. These two combined had a certain je ne sais quoi to it.
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Next, I had the crépinette de porc Rossini, purée, sauce périgourdine (“Le Pont de l’Ouysse” truffle and pork crépinette with seared foie gras, mashed potato, périgourdine sauce. On the menu, it stated that this was a Michelin star dish. If this was indeed a Michelin star dish, then I was somewhat disappointed. It didn’t blow me away. The overall taste was nothing exceptional.
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For dessert, it was the Crème brûlée and red velvet cake. The Crème brûlée was fantastic. Very creamy! The red velvet cake … let’s just say, I have had better ones.


 At the end of our meal, we were given a complimentary basket of Madeleines and a box canelés. The canelés were gorgeous!
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  Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at the Flo profoundly. Each dish had an aesthetic appeal, and the waiters were friendly and attentive.



PHONE: +86 (010) 65 95 51 35

FAX: +86 (010) 65 95 51 40

HOURS:

Lunch :Sunday – Monday : 11:00 – 15:00

Dinner:Sunday – Monday : 17:30 – 23:00

http://www.flo.cn/brasserie/

The Lounge at the China World Summit Hotel

 


It was a polluted day, and I didn’t feel like staying at home. So my friend and I decided to chill at the China World Summit Wing hotel lounge, perched up on the 80th floor of Beijing’s tallest building. I know it’s not the best of days to be up so high, seeing that the view would just be smog.

We went to the lounge after dinner. It was dimly lit, with lounge jazz music playing in the background. The lounge attracts mostly foreigners, couples, and rich Chinese second generations. One can dine at The Lounge, or select from the array of beverages offered.

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I ordered a peppermint tea, and my friend ordered some kind of South African red tea.

Other than chilling, we also brought along our work. After working for some period of time, we felt like having dessert. I ordered a chocolate mousse with raspberry jelly and my friend the Tiramisu.  The fudge cake was rich but not too sweet.  The texture was somewhat dry. The Tiramisu came in a cup made of white chocolate. It was 90 percent cream and hardly any cake. The cream was good quality, and the taste was decent.

The Village Cafe, Opposite House, Beijing

 9704214The Opposite House is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Sanlitun. Its emerald glass exterior
makes it hard for one to miss. The cafe is located next on the ground floor, next to the hotel’s large central atrium with various art sculptures on display. The cafe is a great place to have brunch or lunch. It is a popular spot for the foreigners and is usually busy during brunch/lunch on the weekends. I like its chilled, casual, and naturally lit setting.
I also like their simple contemporary menu, so one is not overwhelmed by choices. There are burgers, sandwiches, steaks, pasta, and salads. 
 

I ordered the smoked turkey on rye with avocado, coriander, tomato, lettuce and cheddar cheese. It was decent and hearty. The lotus root crisps were delicious.  I was going to order a dessert, but I was stuffed! So I ordered a Cappuccino instead.

All in all, great environment, good service, and great food!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Opposite House

Phone:
+8610 6417-6688

Website:
http://www.theoppositehouse.com/

Email:
answers@theoppositehouse.com