Food review | Ye Jun
Spring is a time for new beginnings, and plenty of restaurants have introduced new menus full of seasonal materials.
If you feel a need to recharge, pick a nice day and try out the latest culinary creations.
Haiku Teppanyaki and Sushi Restaurant at Financial Street serves Japanese style teppanyaki featuring high-end seafood and beef. The chefs use olive oil and rock salt to seal the juices and make them taste succulent. Peony shrimp on a sashimi platter, grilled beef ribs, and free-range chicken with matsutake soup are worth trying.
Haiku serves up some really nice appetizers. Among them is a "hot spring egg", which is put into boiled water to soak for 10 minutes and served with fresh caviar and sauce.
You wouldn't expect the egg to taste so different and so good. Baby spinach is a common vegetable, but you don't see it so much in salad. Haiku soaks the spinach in water for hours to obtain a better texture, and mixes it with a very good sesame sauce.
After Thyme One Restaurant at Guangqumenwai Dajie, chef Hao Wenjie opened a branch on Gongti Beilu, and named it Thyme New Chinese Innovative Cuisine. He introduced some traditional Chinese dishes, along with new presentations and matching new ingredients.
Henan province's famous Daokou slow braised chicken is served on a beautiful round plate with smoke from dry ice. Braised beef is processed into very thin slices and looks peachy. A ball of mashed Chinese yam is matched with a peach flower.
The restaurant's soup - sour and spicy cuttlefish roe soup and "Buddha Jumps Over the Wall" soup, with a variety of seafood in chicken broth - warms the body and comforts the stomach.
Steamed king crab paved with steamed egg is a tender winner. But paper-wrapped braised codfish is a tad too salty. The dessert is rather different - sugar preserved cumquat and a tiny purple tomato, with a taste resembling Beijing sugar-preserved fruits, but not that sweet.
Da Dong Peking Roast Duck Restaurant held a media tasting featuring beautiful, individual, shiny bronze hot pots. Owner Dong Zhenxiang offers top level ingredients for the pot - king crab on a plate of ice, wagyu beef with marble, boletus from Yunnan, along with 10 bowls of sauces, diced shallots and coriander.
The hot pot menu includes some of the restaurant's signature appetizers, such as sugar-glazed cherry tomatoes with walnuts, mashed bean curd with spring shallots, and a traditional Huaiyang-style crab preserved with yellow rice wine, in which the crab meat is like jelly.