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Winter warmers

By Mike Peters ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-12-25 09:13:22
Winter warmers

Capital M, with its commanding third-floor view of the Forbidden City area, has updated its menu, adding winter-season specials to the mix of modern European cuisine.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Capital M restaurant adds to its cozy charm with a selection of hearty dishes to make diners forget it's cold outside.

It takes some bravery to mess with success.

But Capital M, Beijing's award-winning sibling, Shanghai's M on the Bund, has recently updated its menu, adding winter-season specials to the mix of modern European cuisine that has made the restaurant, with its commanding third-floor view of the Forbidden City area, a favorite for special occasions.

A monthly luncheon menu attracts regulars and curious newcomers at midday, priced a la carte or with the option to choose two courses plus tea or coffee and petit fours for 188 yuan ($29) per person. We suspect few people settle for two courses, but the option is there.

We choose roasted pumpkin soup, finished with maple and rosemary cream, for a warm start to our recent lunch, and an appetizer of baked figs - a special treat as the season ends for these beautiful fruits. They come wrapped like tiny Christmas gifts in Parma ham alongside soft goat cheese and grilled sourdough.

Char-grilled Australian beef is a tempting main-course option - M Group founder Michelle Garnaut is an entrepreneur who has made an art of using the best foods from her native Australia.

But the promise of cinnamon and honey lured us to the roasted duck breast, which is also spiced with a bit of chili and sided with purple carrots and Brussels sprouts. The latter veg has a reputation for being hard and tasteless (or even bitter), but the young sprouts selected by this kitchen staff come out tender with just a bit of crunch. The duck itself is everything you want it to be: succulent, sweet, rich and indulgent.

Indulgent could be the restaurant's middle name.

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