Restaurant: Country Kitchen (at the Rosewood Beijing)
Location: China, Beijing, Fengtai, Chaoyangmen Outer St, 1号京广中心 邮政编码: 100020. +86 10 6597 8888
Date: July 31, 2018
Rating: Kitschy kitchen but really good
My research into best restaurants in general (in Beijing) and best Peking Duck in particular brought me (via the web) to Country Kitchen.
Located inside the Rosewood hotel (which looked very nice).
It’s sort of a modern fashionable Chinese take on their own “rustic” kitchen. Sort of like a large “rustic” Italian place here. It’s not really a country kitchen in any way, just the Kitsch of it. As they say on their webpage:
For an exquisite taste of Beijing, Country Kitchen presents an array of Northern Chinese specialties. With an open show kitchen and a wood-roasting oven, chefs demonstrate their culinary art with dishes such as hand-pulled Chinese noodles, Beijing duck and a variety of dumplings. A fine selection of local Beijing and Chinese drinks are also available to perfect the dining experience.
Country Kitchen is a modern tribute to traditional Chinese dining in a sophisticated, yet casual environment that includes an outdoor terrace. The integrated décor features granite, wood, soft red tones, terracotta and oil paintings to embody the charm and simplicity of a village restaurant.
lol. But the food is great. At the helm is Chef Leo Chai.
We preordered our Peking Duck, and so they brought it first. You can see the “raw” ducks aging in the larder.
Then the duck chef moves it to the hook and dresses it.
Notice the drippings bowl. After that they go in the oven where he moves them around perfectly to achieve that golden brown doneness.
At the table our chef gets to work with the carving.
See the crispy skin. Drool.
A bit of skin comes out first for dipping in sugar and eating straight.
Then plates of the meat and skin, sliced in an interesting scallop pattern here.
Some with heads or legs.
The condiment tray is more classic and a bit simpler than at Dadong.
They have just pancakes.
My duck pancake, before rolling. This was seriously good. Maybe the best I’ve had? Hard to say, but really really good.
Young Dylan manned up and sucked the brain from the duck!
Clay Pot Roasted Pork Belly, Sour Cabbage, Glass Noodle. From the “lost recipes” section of the menu. This was like Chinese/German pork and cabbage soup! It was a touch sour and very rich. Quite delicious actually, but did keep reminding me of a German dish.
Because lunch didn’t have enough dumplings. Some pork dumplings.
And a few more veggie dumplings. Not as popular, of course. They had cabbage, glass noodle, fungus, and mushroom.
Zha Jiang Mian. Hand cut noodle, pork belly, fried soy bean paste.
Here is the soy bean pate.
Then you mix it all up. These look better than they taste. The bean tends to be flat in taste and yet dominate. I’m thinking after many tries at many places that Zha Jiang Mian is just not my favorite Chinese noodle (and I love a LOT of them).
Wok fried market vegetables. Pretty good actually — for vegetables.
Clay pot with braised tofu and crab roe. Ordered this dish. Loved it! Really nice savory umami crab roe broth with silken tofu.
Cabbage with pork.
They have a bunch of skewers on the menu, robotoyaki style. In this case mushroom and eggplant.
Pulled thin noodles with egg and tomato. Very Beijing comfort food. We had a lot of kids with us, which is why we end up with so many noodle dishes.
Pulled thin noodles with eggplant and string-beans.
Plain “cat ear shape” noodles.
Country Kitchen was good. Very good in fact. We didn’t have the most balanced order due to our group composition (vegetarian, a bunch of kids, etc), but everything we had was quite good for what it was — and the duck was amazing. We also liked the high production quality kitsch and the service was top notch. Sure it was more than most Chinese restaurants, but it still wasn’t bad (maybe $35 a head).