Irish-born chef Brian McKenna was something of a Continental wunderkind—by his early 20s, he’d already worked in several Michelin-starred European kitchens—before he brought his super-creative cuisine to Beijing in 2007. A devotee of molecular gastronomy, McKenna whips up supremely complex dishes (only a few of which incorporate rare namesake blue lobsters from France). His 42-ingredient salad, for instance, includes such seemingly discordant ingredients as hazelnut mayonnaise, Chardonnay jelly, and slow-cooked egg; his Asian-spiced crab risotto is accompanied by avocado ice cream and lemongrass foam. Savvy foodies—who congregate nightly beneath the dining room’s cascading chandeliers—know to finish up their meal (no matter what they’ve ordered) with McKenna’s signature frozen gin-and-tonic sorbet.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for the chef if he is around. McKenna loves to chat and offer advice. He can also suggest interesting bars for after-dinner drinks.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.