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Don't let the cool weather ruin Oktoberfest spirit

By Ye Jun | China Daily | Updated: 2011-09-25 15:32

Don't let the cool weather ruin Oktoberfest spirit

Black cod in seaweed butter served by Yannick Alleno at S.T.A.Y. Ye Jun / China Daily

Although this is just the end of September, the spirit of Oktoberfest seems to be running cold in Beijing's autumnal weather.

A few of Beijing's restaurants, such as DK1308 Brauhaus and Villa Castanea, are even winding up their beer festivals on Sept 24. Luckily, there are still some German beer events in the offing in October.

Paulaner Brauhaus Beijing at Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, is expected to put out a special beer and also invite a young girls' band from Germany and Austria for their signature Oktoberfest, that will run from Oct 7-23. Performances will start at 6 pm and last until 11 pm.

China World Hotel Beijing will, for the first time, set up an Oktoberfest tent right in the middle of the CBD, where they will offer freshly brewed German Weihenstephan beer, from the world's oldest brewery in Bavaria, as well as a seasonal lager called Festbier, a naturally cloudy wheat beer.

Meanwhile, three star Michelin chef Daniel Boulud was in the capital and showcased his culinary skills at a media lunch organized recently at his restaurant Maison Boulud at Chien'Men 23. His chosen flavors of the Mediterranean are now the theme at Boulud Sud, his newest restaurant in New York City.

The lunch started with some astonishing canaps, such as the super smooth anchovy on a toothpick, and an aromatic duck katafi with date chutney. There was also seared mackerel and sweet-and-sour sardines, besides duo of lamb and peppered beef chop prepared by using traditional methods.

At the opening of S.T.A.Y. (Simple Table Alleno Yannick) at Shangri-La Hotel Beijing, French chef Yannick Alleno, dubbed "five-star" Michelin chef because of the five stars rating of his two restaurants, introduced Beijing media to some of the innovative offerings of his new restaurant.

The appetizer came in three parts - Schrenki caviar, quail egg with coral sea urchin, followed by a refreshing lobster tart. Black cod in seaweed butter had an almost fresh scallops texture. Black peppered wagyu beef fillet grade 7, prepared medium to suit Chinese tastes, was perfect. The chef puts down the amazing quality of his dishes to the use of simple ingredients and fresh seasonal produce.

Alleno says 7 years ago, when he first came to China, many Western ingredients were hard to find. But the situation has changed now, and he hopes to learn from Chinese cooking, and find new flavors and textures here. Is he working to get more Michelin stars for his Chinese restaurant?

"I don't work for that," he says. "I work always for the pleasure of my customers."

PAULANER BRAUHAUS Daily 11 am- 1 pm. 1/F Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, 50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang district, Beijing. Tel: 010-6410-4212

MAISON BOULUD Lunch from 11:30 am-2 pm, Monday-Friday, 11 am-2:30, Saturday&Sunday. Dinner from 6-10 pm. 23 Qianmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng district, Beijing. Tel: 010-6559-9200

S.T.A.Y. 11:30 am- 2 pm, 5:30-9:30 pm. Restaurant might close on Sunday and Monday, call to confirm. 1/F Shangri-La Hotel Beijing, 29 Zizhuyuan Lu, Haidian district, Beijing. Tel: 010-6841-2211 Ext 6727

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