Made in China
Small as it is, this sleek northern Chinese restaurant, set in a narrow space off the Grand Hyatt’s main lobby, packs a big punch—in fact, some locals claim it’s the best restaurant in the city. Reservations for the two evening sittings here have to be made at least two weeks in advance; the angular dining room, which looks onto a glass-walled kitchen, has just 118 seats. Once you’ve scored your table, though, and the innovative, perfectly prepared dishes start to arrive, you’ll understand what the fuss is about. The Sichuan-style chicken, fried string beans with minced pork, Xinjiang-style crispy pancakes, and cumin-spiced lamb are all top-notch; star billing, though, goes to the Peking duck—which, after roasting in a wood-fired oven, arrives with plates of plum sauce, slivers of spring onion, cucumber, and whisper-thin pancakes. The wine list is extensive and includes a big-ticket Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac (1982), priced at the auspicious RMB 88,000 (eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture); converted to U.S. dollars, that’s roughly $13,000.
Tip: Book your table here as soon as you book your airfare to Beijing—it’s that popular.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.