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Sunday 10 April 2011

Top 5 Favourite Spots in Beijing, China

Sofie Yü used to work within international marketing at Ericsson in China. She has a great insight in the culinary scene in Beijing. Why, it's because she simply does not stop beeing curious and experiment in terms of food. She has almost tried every single restaurant that is worth visiting in Beijing and can therefore provide Western Taste with a good insight in the amazing experience within food and beverage in the city. She is today a Business Administrator at the largest radio stations in Northern Europe. 

Many chefs, Food & Beverage Directors and other interesting aspects of the culinary scene in Beijing respects her opinion and aspects of food in the city.

Please enjoy some of her favourite locations in Beijing for a relaxing evening.

The Cellar - Hilton Wangfujing 
If you want to experience something out of the ordinary and have a cosy private dinner, you should try out the cellar at Hilton Hotel in Wangfujing. It is located on the fifth floor among other restaurants, but it is secluded so that you have your own private wine room. You will be seated surrounded by hundreds of different wines while you're beeing served some amazing food. You usually get a pre-decided 3 or 5 course menu when you call them and make the reservation. You can either choose the Chinese or the Macaunese/Portoguese food for your specialized menu. The sommelier, Peter, is a terriffic host and he knows exactly how to take care of you. He knows how much or how little service that is appropriate at the right time. You feel really special when you sit in the room with your company, 2-6 people, and you have the candles and the superb wines around you. Not to mention the food, it is really well prepared and gives you a blend of innovative amazing flavours.

La Bai De Anges **
A French wine bar in Hou Hai, owned by two brothers from Nice. The bar is named after the famous bay in Nice. It is hidden in the hutongs of Hou Hai and can be difficult to find if you’ve never been there before. Great wine bar, relaxing and easy atmosphere. They’ve got a wide range of different wines. All wines are of very good quality and valuable for money. 
It is really great to just sit here a Friday evening or Wednesday evening and just relax. It is a good place both if you’ve been somewhere for dinner before and just wants to calm down or if you plan to have a night out it is a good place to start your drinks. They also have a small range of cocktails as well as cheese platters and coffee.

Qbar *

In Nan Sanlitun Lu on a roof top you can find Qbar a very famous cocktail bar among Beijing expat community. They make great cocktails. Their signature cocktails are Pina Colada, Mango Mush and Strawberry Daiquiri. People are crowding at this bar. They have just recently renovated their terrace, which also is one reason why people come here, the ability to sit outside during spring/summer/autumn. The new terrace is very nicely done in wood and it feels like a lounge with sofas and cosy sitting. It is a great place to just sit and sip on your cocktail. I often go here not only during the weekends but also during the week because it is so close and relaxed.


In Sanlitun on the street behind 3.3 you will find this bar which is owned by an Italian. On their out door seating you can sit and look at all the different kinds of people that rumble around in Beijing. 
They have a signature cocktail that’s called Aperitivo: White wine and Campari with an orange wedge and ice. Perfect for summer!! Well it works well in winter time to, but it is a great feeling to sit in their outdoor seating sipping on this. A great start on the weekend is to wake up late, take a walk around Sanlitun and then you end up at Aperitivo for a late breakfast/lunch. They have spaghetti, salad, bruschetta and pizza. I love their different kinds of bruschettas and it is so nice to nibble on. They have also a wide range of wines, cocktails and other beverages. 
The owner makes a killer Long Island Ice Tea.

The Beach - Block 8

This is the place where all the “posh” Beijing people (both Chinese and foreigners) crowd in the weekends. The roof top of Block 8 has a fantastic and famous terrace. It is made to make you feel as if you are at the beach. On the terrace there are comfortable sofas, a big nice bar with a lot of cocktails and posh surroundings. But the reason why I love to go here is because it is so nice to feel as if you’re not in the big city. You lie there in your sofa and pretend you’re off on the beach. It doesn’t matter that famous Chinese people go there, I don’t have a clue who they are anyway. Being with your friends, drink some cocktails, listen to some great music and just relax is a nice feeling.
During the Olympics it cost 15 000 RMB for each table to book and the lines were crazy outside. 

Written by: Sofie Yü

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