Blue Lobster I like the cooking style of chef Jordi Villegas Serra. It is distinctively simple, yet the taste of each ingredient is distinguishable and complementary in every dish. You can expect influences from France, Italy, the Middle-East, and Asia, mixed in with his own Spanish culinary roots.  Think tomato, mango and wild leaf salad with hazelnut dressing; octopus tart with crispy asparagus and red pepper coulis; melt-in-your mouth Wagyu beef; and light potato lime soup served with seared scallops. Jordi has a collection of enticing sweets, including chocolate and peanut mille-feuille and salted caramel ice cream, just to name a few.

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29 Zizhuyuan Lu, Shangri-la Hotel, Haidian District. Tel 6841 2211 ext. 6727蓝韵海淀区北京香格里拉饭店紫竹院路29号

Huang Yan (黄研),the head chef-cum-owner of this adorable courtyard eatery, learned his culinary skills quite by chance. When he worked  at a 5-star hotel in Kyoto, he moved from the banquet department to working in the kitchen when the chef suddenly quit. Since then, Huang kept honing his cooking skills in different areas, including French and Italian, while picking up some Japanese cooking on his own. His pasta is impeccably al dente and each dish prepared, including risotto, spaghetti with clam sauce, eggplant and cheese over spaghetti is simply marvelous. I also adore his avocado salad served with Italian dressing. Every bite is fresh and flavorful.

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18 Bancang Hutong, Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District. Tel 6406 0918 东城区南锣鼓巷板厂胡同18号

Cepe, one of the finest Italian restaurants in the capital, revolves around its namesake—which is the Italian word for mushrooms. Under Chef de Cuisine Eugenio Iraci’s culinary direction, Cepe also offers creative and stimulating dishes that are simply wonderful. The wine menu includes more than 2,000 fantastic Italian wines. Cepe also has terrific desserts.  Read more...

The Ritz Carlton Hotel, 1 Jinchengfang Dong Jie, Xicheng District. Tel 6601-6666 意味轩 西城区金城坊东街1号丽思卡尔顿酒店

Yotsuba When it comes to eating raw fish, there is no place in Beijing that can rival Yotsuba’s sushi master. Best to park yourself at the counter where the master does his art right in front of you–a deft squeeze of his palm produces bite-sized rice balls topped with slices of perfectly cut seafood. Yotsuba’s seafood arrives fresh each day by air from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji seafood market. Only open for dinner and so reservations are a must. Read more...

2 Xinzhong Jie Xili, Chaoyang District. Tel 6467 1837 四叶 朝阳区 新源西里中街2号楼旁(近新东路)

Maison Boulud is one of Beijing’s hottest dining spots, offering spectacular food, wine and impeccable service.  The restaurant exudes the classic interior of the former American Embassy compound, which dates back to the early 1900s . The infinite menu offers the gastronomic charms of different regions in Europe as well as French classics, such as escargot, steak tartare, and coq au Riesling.

23 Qianmen Dong Dajie, Dongcheng District. Tel 6559 9200 布鲁宫餐厅 东城区 前门东大街23号

Naoki, part of Aman at Summer Palace, offers spectacular French accented Japanese dishes, adhering to the kaiseki tradition, where dishes are artistically arranged to stimulate the eyes as well as the taste buds. Housed in a beautiful traditional building on the edge of the Summer Palace—wonderful surroundings. Expensive, and across town, but well worth the trip.  Read more...

Aman at Summer Palace,15 Gongmen Qian Jie, Summer Palace, Haidian District. Tel. 5987 9999, 安缦颐和 海淀区 颐和园宫门前街15号

Mosto This chic but casual restaurant, with a central open-kitchen in the midst of diners, has a Latino-inspired menu created by Chef Daniel Urdaneta, a native of Venezuela. Among the impeccably executed dishes are truffled red wine risotto, beef tenderloin with chanterelle mushrooms, ravioli and steak salmon. There’s also an array of delightful desserts to choose from. The business lunch is a good deal.

3/F, Nali Huayuan, 81 Sanlitun Beilu, Chaoyang District. Tel 5208 6030 朝阳区三里屯北路81号那里花园3层

W dine & wine Chef-owner Geoffrey Weckx offers contemporary French-based continental cuisine with consistent quality and attentive service. Geoffrey also created 30 kinds of cocotte dishes, including roasted carrots with cumin and honey, spinach and mushroom potato gratin, red wine risotto, spicy prawn in tomato, as well as a variety of egg cocottes during the weekend brunch. The warm bread served with three types of puree–olive, tomato and eggplant—is a real treat.  Read more...

22-1 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District. Tel 6416 5499 东城区 东直门外大街22-1号

Sureno Marino D’Antonio, the new Italian chef at Sureno, whips up exquisite and memorable dishes that continuously amaze your palate, from simple crab salad to squid ink taglioni to roasted rack of lamb.


I am impressed with Marino’s no short-cuts style of preparing his food from the kitchen to the diner’s table. It takes two days to marinate the lamb chops with roasted garlic, rosemary, apricot honey and apple puree; two weeks to soak the artichokes in olive oil; and eight hours to complete the cooking process for the stock, with an overnight sleep to get rid of the fat. The chops are grilled just before serving. All these details make his superb lamb chops especially delicious.


The lobster taglioni, a lighter but very satisfying entree, is made using handmade pasta with a subtle seafood flavor, while his scampi and asparagus risotto is remarkably tasty.  Read more...

Opposite House 11Sanlitun Bei lu, Sanlitun Tel 6410-5240 瑜舍酒店 三里屯路北路11号

3/F, No. 2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street, Chongwen District. Tel: 6702-2727 前门大街2号3层

Capital M Parked at the northeast corner of the new Qianmen pedestrian street, with spectacular views of the Forbidden City, Capital M is making a splash and posing a challenge to the cluster of high-end restaurants in the Legation Quarter complex, officially known as Ch’ienmen 23. With executive chef Robert Cunningham at the helm, Capital M’s extensive menu includes small shared tasting plates with 40-50 dishes to choose from: braised ox tail with red wine, orange and olives; audacious aubergine, fesenjan, a Persian duck stew with walnuts and pomegranates; zarzuela, a Catalan seafood stew; and a risotto of exotic mushrooms and mascarpone cheese. Last but not least, and not to be missed, is the fabulous dessert called pavlova–a concoction of egg white meringue, cream and fruits.

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Bei Max Levy, a native of Louisiana, is one of the most innovative young chefs in the capital. His cooking is fresh and light with a hint of Japanese cooking. I love the way Max profusely uses Asian ingredients, such as sautéed mushrooms, which exudes an alluring aroma, to accompany a flavorful roasted chicken, or how he pairs miso soup with bacon. Max adds a bit of sea salt to his chocolate mousse, resulting in a surprisingly good mix of saline and sugar.  Read more...

The Opposite House, 11 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District. Tel 6410 5230 朝阳区三里屯路11号

Le Pre Le Notre A sister of Paris’ highly regarded Le Pre Catelan, this French restaurant delivers on its reputation.  One can enjoy fine French cuisine and true Parisian baguettes. Foam and bubbles, created by Chef de Cuisine Frederic Meynard, over some of his dishes, such as frothy sauce over scallops and avocado foam on a bed of crab meat, present a novel excitement for diners’ taste buds. The wine cellar offers a collection of Bordeaux wines from the Loire Valley and the Rhone Valley, as well as wines from lesser-known boutique wineries.

6/F, Sofitel Wanda, Wanda Plaza, Tower C, 93 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District. Tel 8599 6666

朝阳区 建国路93号 万达广场