My regular readers know my fondness for French cuisine. We love checking out new French restaurants everywhere we travel and Beijing was not an exception. Beijing’s food scene is flourishing, and although Michelin Guide hasn’t established its presence there just yet, I’m sure there will be a few contenders. TRB Hutong will surely be on top of that list, as the dinner we enjoyed there was nothing short of eloquent and exquisite.
Your dining experience starts when you weave your way through low-rises of Hutong, and step inside an unassuming doorway to find yourself in an amazing courtyard of a 600-year-old temple ZiZhSi dating back to the Qing Dynasty. It was particularly impressive when we arrived – minutes after the sunset, when the surrounds are drenched in that beautiful golden glow and lights are about to start turning on.
The restaurant dining space – a former black-and-white TV factory transformed by the Australian architectural and design firm Hassell – contrasts with its ancient surroundings with its contemporary and minimalistic setting, emphasizing on the clean, light filled and thoroughly modern lines. The lights floods through the floor-to-ceiling windows feeling up the space with brightness, while smart Scandinavian furniture stands in subdued colors against the deep-grey walls.
The service here stood in stark contrast with other restaurants we dined at in Beijing and Shanghai (with an exception of 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo). In fact, the quality of service and attention to your every need would rival with any major city in the world. The moment you step inside attentive, yet never overbearing, staff wows you with kindness, complimentary champagne and a seemingly endless supply of amuse-bouches. And guess what? When Justin ordered wine pairing with our menu, they poured me four glasses of complimentary wine so that I wouldn’t miss out! Oh, and at the end of the night they took our photo, printed and framed it, and gave it together with a box of house-made madeleines as a sweet memory to take home.
While the menu primarily features prime French fare, you’ll find all the dishes bare the Modern European influence with inventive and harmonious adaptations to local seasonal ingredients. We opted for the one of the tasting menus, and while not everything was a hit, the majority of the dishes impressed us with beautiful presentation, delicious taste and complex flavors. Even though Micheline stars (yes, plural!) haven’t landed on its doorstep just yet, I’m sure it’s not too long till TRB Hutong gets the ultimate accolade.
I apologize for the quality of photos, my choice of lens for the nightwas obviously not smart.
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