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Stuff of summer

By C.J. Henderson | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-04 08:50

Stuff of summer

Creamy chicken and mushroom pot pie is a signature dish of Stuff'd. [Photo by Fan Zhen/China Daily]

Stuff of summer

Watercress salad with fennel, pear, bacon, walnut and blue cheese served at Stuff'd cafe in Beijing. [Photo by Fan Zhen/China Daily]

In winter it is a warm, whitewashed haven serving delicious fish and chips and chicken Kiev, but in summer it transforms into an airy chilled getaway. Hidden down a small hutong off Wudaoying close to the Lama Temple, Stuff'd features corner spotlights, wooden tables, a mixture of exposed and rendered brick walls, wooden beams and candlelight that work with the ambient music to put you at ease.

This is not a fancy restaurant, but an honest one.

Stuff'd used to be Vineleaf, a favorite for fans of the Vineyard cafe who wanted shorter waits and a lighter menu. After name and menu changes, Stuff'd is now missing the fish and chips that made Vineleaf a favorite haunt for homesick Brits and Aussies, but they've kept the pies and added a wealth of new flavors more suited to the summer season.

They now offer four different homemade sausages that suit the barbecue season far better than a Chicken Kiev.

A golden, round pie sits on a plate, surrounded by steamed baby carrots, green peas, and a large cloud of herb-flavored mashed potatoes. This is classic pub food dish, lent some sophistication via presentation.

Forks descend upon its perfectly short pastry crust which has the perfect combination of meltiness and crumbliness; a sign that some high-quality fat has been used in its making. The filling is gourmet-style creamy, well-flavored chicken and mushrooms. The use of Chinese mushrooms adds a flavor dimension that goes beyond the usual button mushrooms, and the chicken breast pieces are generous, tender and juicy.

Stuff of summer

Stuff of summer

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Chicken is safe and delicious

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