Whampoa Club, Beijing
This high-design hot spot in a converted siheyuan (courtyard home) is the latest offering from chef Jereme Leung—already well known in Shanghai for taking traditional cuisine and turning it on its head. High-rolling financiers and their dates gather here under the soaring glass ceiling—hung with hundreds of silvery discs for a reflective, mod-chandelier effect—to sample Leung’s innovative dishes: Shandong-style braised pork knuckles with a crispy herbed crust, for example, or roast pigeon topped with sweet vinegar, scallions, and Sichuan peppercorns. The desserts push the envelope a bit; onion-pancake ice cream might be a little much even for adventurous palates.
Tip: Have a cocktail in the slinky, hip upstairs bar before dinner.
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Chef Jereme Leung of Whampoa Club Shanghai recently opened this Beijing spin-off in a replica of a traditional, four-sided Chinese courtyard home, hidden among the skyscrapers of the nascent financial district. Leung, who oversees the staff of talented on-site chefs, imprints his own style on the cuisine of Northern China, intensifying flavors and adding drama to the presentation: For instance, waiters pour soup tableside out of a teapot. The dining room sits underneath a a vast goldfish pond, so guests look up at the sky through a watery glass ceiling.
We loved: noodles infused with Sichuan peppercorns.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.