I love having ice cream in winter. There is something about having ice cream in the cold that makes it extra pleasurable and enjoyable. I was doing some shopping at the Indigo mall with my siblings and had a sudden craving for ice cream. I have passed by the Vai Milano store many times, and this time I decided to give it a try, it would be good to expand my choices of ice cream from the usual Baskin Robins, Cold Stone, and Häagen-Dazs. Other than gelato, they also serve cakes, sorbet, and coffee. Vai Milano’s gelatos are freshly made with natural ingredients.
We ordered a dark chocolate and pistachio gelato cone. The texture of the gelato is between traditional and soft ice cream. The dark chocolate was creamy, rich and decadent, one of the best I’ve had. The pistachio was an acquired taste for me. It had a strong pistachio flavor. It took a series of licks of the gelato for my taste bud to accept the flavor.
The interior of the restaurant is creatively decorated in a way that gives customers a pseudo-classy impression.The centerpiece light ornament was alluring. I love the color palette. It felt homey and relaxing. I like the furnishing too. The chairs were very comfortable. The background music was a mixture of 80’s and 90’s English and French pop music. There is a little reading corner for children. There are no private rooms, however, certain areas can be made private with curtains. The staff was professional and friendly.
The salad ingredients were fresh. Both had a light sweet dressing and just the right amount. We ordered the grilled fresh tuna salad (RMB 55) and the chef’s “no oil chicken” salad (RMB 45). The Tuna salad was accompanied by a french styled caesar dressing. The tuna was very fresh and the salad was refreshing. The chicken salad was accompanied by a sweet mustard dressing.The chicken was a tad bit on the dry side, it could have been juicier. Nonetheless, I love how well the flavors of chicken, melon, salad greens, and dressing come together.
For the main course, we ordered the roasted lamb chops (RMB 118) and the roasted mustard chicken leg (RMB 68). The lamb chops were roasted to perfection. The first taste of the lamb chop felt like it was underseasoned. But as I ate on, the flavors began to manifest itself. The lamb was tender and had a mild and earthy taste.
The roasted chicken leg was savory and delicious! The zucchinis were sauteed in butter, still maintaining its crunchiness and sweetness. I was not too fond of the brown sauce, it didn’t enhance the flavor of the chicken.
The chocolate and peanut fondant was warm and very chocolaty. My friend who was a chocolate lover absolutely loved it! I, on the other hand, would have preferred if it was accompanied by a different flavored ice cream.
Before we entered the restaurant, we browsed through the menu. The menu is very limited. We contemplated whether we should go somewhere else seeing that there was not a lot of choices. I was glad we decided to give it a try. We had an enjoyable meal.
The German restaurant, Paulaner Brauhaus, at the Kempinski Hotel is my go-to place for good German food. The restaurant has an expansive beer garden and a large indoor Bavarian decorated dining area. It also has its own microbrewery.
Complimentary bread basket
The breadbasket I was served consists of three types of bread – Pretzels, rye bread, and oatmeal bread, accompanied by three different spreads. The liverwurst and the homemade butter was absolutely divine with the bread.
Altdeutsche Tomatensuppe Traditional German tomato soup with rice and meat dumplings
A nice hearty bowl of soup for a chilly day! The tomato soup was thick and tangy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a tomato soup as rich as this.
Halbes Wiesnhendl Roasted half chicken
The roasted chicken was a disappointment. The chicken was dry and somewhat bland.
The potato salad was decent, however, in my opinion, there was too much lemon juice in the dressing that it overpowered all other flavors.
Schnitzel von der Poulardenbrust
Vienna style Chicken schnitzel
Schnitzel perfection! The chicken was tender and juicy, the crust was flavorful and crunchy. The lemon juice gives the chicken a nice tangy flavor. The Schnitzel comes with tomato salad, cranberries and pan-fried potatoes with bacon and onions.
Rich and moist! Lovely!
The prices of the dishes are little high compared to other German restaurants in Beijing. It would cost around RMB500 ( $75 ) for two people. However, if you love German food, this is the place to be!
The Brasserie Flo is a quaint restaurant with a beautiful courtyard and a bar area. The setting reminiscent of 19th century Paris. I love the warmth of the vintage wooden interior and chandeliers. I have driven passed this restaurant many times and have been wanting to dine there. Finally, I did! I went with a friend two days ago to try out their business lunch special. The business lunch special comes in three price groups (RMB 148, RMB 188, RMB 198). We chose the RMB 188 lunch special which includes an entrée, a main course (Chef specialty), a dessert and tea or coffee.
We were served two amuse-bouche and a bread basket with their own made butter. I am not quite sure what the green one was but the mini bruschetta was bursting with flavor! The flavor was amazing! The tuna was good and fresh, and the bread was crusty on the outside, warm and soft on the inside.
For the entrée, I had the salade de foie gras “Rougie” (“Rougie” foie gras with fig, Granny Smith apple salad, and crispy fig brioche). The salad greens were very fresh and the foie gras was rich and flavorful. These two combined had a certain je ne sais quoi to it.
Next, I had the crépinette de porc Rossini, purée, sauce périgourdine (“Le Pont de l’Ouysse” truffle and pork crépinette with seared foie gras, mashed potato, périgourdine sauce. On the menu, it stated that this was a Michelin star dish. If this was indeed a Michelin star dish, then I was somewhat disappointed. It didn’t blow me away. The overall taste was nothing exceptional.
For dessert, it was the Crème brûlée and red velvet cake. The Crème brûlée was fantastic. Very creamy! The red velvet cake … let’s just say, I have had better ones.
At the end of our meal, we were given a complimentary basket of Madeleines and a box canelés. The canelés were gorgeous!
Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at the Flo profoundly. Each dish had an aesthetic appeal and the waiters were friendly and attentive.
It was a polluted day, and I didn’t feel like staying at home. So my friend and I decided to chill at the China World Summit Wing hotel lounge, perched up on the 80th floor of Beijing’s tallest building. I know it’s not the best of days to be up so high, seeing that the view would just be smog.
We went to the lounge after dinner. It was dimly lit, with lounge jazz music playing in the background. The lounge attracts mostly foreigners, couples, and rich Chinese second generations. One can dine at The Lounge, or select from the array of beverages offered.
I ordered a peppermint tea and my friend ordered some kind of South African red tea.
Other than chilling, we also brought along our work. After working for some period of time, we felt like having dessert. I ordered a chocolate mousse with raspberry jelly and my friend the Tiramisu. The fudge cake was rich but not too sweet. The texture was somewhat dry. The Tiramisu came in a cup made of white chocolate. It was 90 percent cream and hardly any cake. The cream was good quality and the taste was decent.
The Opposite House is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Sanlitun. Its emerald glass exterior
makes it hard for one to miss. The cafe is located next on the ground floor, next to the hotel’s large central atrium with various art sculptures on display. The cafe is a great place to have brunch or lunch. It is a popular spot for the foreigners and is usually busy during brunch/lunch on the weekends. I like its chilled, casual, and naturally lit setting.
I also like their simple contemporary menu, so one is not overwhelmed by choices. There are burgers, sandwiches, steaks, pasta, and salads.
I ordered the smoked turkey on rye with avocado, coriander, tomato, lettuce and cheddar cheese. It was decent and hearty. The lotus root crisps were delicious. I was going to order a dessert but I was stuffed! So I ordered a Cappuccino instead.
All in all, great environment, good service, and great food!
The Park Hyatt Lounge is perched up on the 63rd floor of the Yintai building, situated right across the street from the China World trade center. On a good day, you get a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city. The lounge offers a serene environment with lounge jazz music playing in the background, creating a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for meetings or just to chill. I love coming here to read or to do work because of the environment and that the noise level is relatively low. The staff here are friendly and professional. The lounge mostly attracts couples and business clientele.
I ordered a Cappuccino. It came with a bite-size lemon coffee cake. The coffee was decent, light and smooth. The cake was moist and mouth watering. I also ordered a black forest. It was different from all the other black forest cakes I’ve had. It tasted more like a chocolate mousse cake. There was only a thin slice of cake in the middle and the rest was cream. The cream was velvety and not too sweet. My friend ordered a cheesecake topped with blueberry cream. The blueberries were fresh and the cake was smooth and rich.
Niajo is a little authentic Spanish restaurant tucked away on the 3rd floor of Nali Patio (A Mediterranean-style courtyard mall). This is my favorite place to come for Spanish food. The place is dimly lit with a window view on one side of the restaurant with an elegant and sophisticated ambiance. Great place to bring a date.
The manager is a Filipino, he was very welcoming and friendly. On special occasions such as birthdays, they will give a complimentary drink.
Ensalada queso cremoso, frutos rojos, berenjena, pepino, tomates, y aceitunas
The goat cheese salad with forest berries and eggplant was interesting. I’ve never been fond of any kind of fruit dressing but this one turned out to be very flavorful. It had the right amount of dressing so it wasn’t too sweet and overwhelming. It went well with the goat cheese and lettuce.
Croquetas de jamon iberico de bellota y pollo
The croquettes are one of my favorite dishes and a must-try. I ordered the chicken and ham croquettes. They were crispy on the outside and deliciously creamy on the inside. Taste like a crispy creamy chicken pie. Love it!
The chicken paella was mouth watering. The portion was perfect for two. The chicken was tender and the beans were well cooked. The first time I had their paella, it came with some kind of garlic cream which went amazing with the rice dish. But this time there wasn’t. It was still good nonetheless.
If you are looking for an authentic Spanish gastronomy experience in Beijing, this is the place to be!
3rd Floor Nali Huayuan (Nali Patio)
81 Sanlitun Bei Lu, Chaoyang District
The Missa restaurant (formerly known as Mesa) is located on the 3rd floor in Sanlitun’s vibrant North village offering a continental menu. We went during brunch week. The tables are sufficiently spaced and I liked that there are tables by the windows. The only downside is that it is situated in the hallway. The sound is level is relatively low. The manager is very friendly and accommodating.
The sweet pea soup was delicious. The egg and bacon were a little dry but the french toast was amazing – moist and delicious. The sprinkle of icing sugar on top added the right amount of sweetness.
I specified that I wanted my steak well done, which was how I like it, but it was medium cooked. I definitely did not enjoy that. The scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, and toast was decent.
For dessert, we had the green tea cake and fruit granola yogurt parfait. The green tea cake wasn’t amazing, the cake was dry and the taste was bland. The parfait was gratifying. The yogurt was smooth and rich- not too sweet. The harmonized combination of the honey, fruit, and yogurt, made this parfait unforgettable. I highly recommend it!
The Punjabi Indian restaurant serves up Indian-Pakistani cuisine. This cozy venue serves up great Indian classics such as Paneer Saag and Murgh Makhani. The restaurant is furnished with South-Asian ornaments and Indian paintings. When you enter the restaurant, there is a strong aroma of spices and incense. There are four window booths decorated with Indian fabrics. This is my go-to place for Indian food and it might just be the best in Beijing.
I am from Malaysia, and Indian food is one of the major cuisines there. Having been exposed to Indian food at a very young age, I have come to love it. Some dishes remind me of home. They have a comprehensive menu which makes it hard to decide what to order. Nonetheless, the food here is awesome!
One of my favorite Indian dish. Indian crepe served with coconut chutney and curry. Lovely!
Paneer Saag (Spinach Cottage Cheese)
I have never been a fan of this dish, but it is a refreshing dish from all the curry dishes.
Butter Chicken and Garlic Naan
One can’t go wrong with butter chicken and naan – the pair goes well together.
Malai Tikka (creamed marinated chicken Tikka)
served with 3 different dips – jam-like sauce, bbq sauce, and a green minty sauce. It went very well with the green mint sauce. The chicken itself is a little bland.
Mixed vegetable curry
This curry was very flavorful, great for vegetarians.
If you are a fan of button mushrooms, then this is the dish to get!
A very savory lamb curry.
This rice dish is delicious! The mutton is tender and flavorful. It’s good on its own or with curry.