CITY GUIDE >City Special
Vintage decor
By Ye Jun (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-08-29 10:37

Don't do a double take when you enter 9Dynasty (九朝会). No, you are not in a museum, but in a recently opened Chinese restaurant. The complexity and beauty of the dcor here is simply amazing.

The second floor, for example, looks like a classical Suzhou garden has been moved indoors. Visitors are bound to go "wow!" at the sight of the pavilion-style rooms linked by stone paths, interspersed with bamboo, miniscapes and imitation river scenes. One is hardly surprised to learn that the interiors are the work of top designers with a renowned luxury furniture company.

Vintage decor

Other sections of the restaurant on the second and third floors are also infused with traditional Chinese designs. There are ancient Chinese paintings on the walls, some of which are copies of those in the Forbidden City Museum, and are available for sale. One room has a single 15-m-long scented rose wood block that serves as the table top, and paintings of legendary Chinese fairies on the walls.

The second floor has a theater, where professional performers stage Kunqu, an ancient opera form, on Wednesday and Friday evenings. The restaurant has 20 private rooms, each with its own design themes. There are also tea rooms, a bookstore, and a cinema showing experimental films.

The quality of the food matches the dcor, and comprises mainly Cantonese and Shandong styles, as well as what the restaurant calls "official cuisine". There are plenty of typical high-end ingredients such as abalone, shark fin, bird's nest, sea cucumber, and Chinese caterpillar fungus with pilose antler soup. But one can also go for more common options such as deep-fried and braised fish head (煎焗鱼嘴 ), combining a crispy texture with a super tender part of the fish. Other dishes worth a try include Shenjing Cantonese roast goose (深井烧鹅), braised prawn with cheese (金牌芝士焗大虾), and sashimi platter (刺身拼盘), besides the classic fried dishes.

Average cost a la carte on the second floor public area will come to more than 150 yuan per person. In the private rooms, it can go beyond 800 yuan per person. Spend 69 yuan per person on tea, and choose for free from 20 dim sums, four porridges, noodles and fruit at the buffet table. Kunqu opera tickets cost from 299-999 yuan per person, inclusive of a light meal and dim sum.

Daily 10am-2:30 pm. Kunqu starts from 8:30 pm on Wednesday and Friday evenings. 39-1 Eastern North Fourth Ring Road, Chaoyang district. Northwest of Wangjingqiao. 6439-5899. 朝阳区北四环东路39-1号(望京桥西北角)