Thursday, 30 March 2017

Fine Western Cuisine in Beijing

Lovely leek, eel and potato soup as a starter at TRB Forbidden City
Last time I was in Beijing I had the opportunity to have lunch at TRB Temple Restaurant.

It's off the beaten track, but once you find it, you feel like you've stumbled upon a culinary secret you only dare to tell a few foodie friends because this kind of quality food is served with precision and perfection.

The eggplant is the skin of the ravioli here with pine nuts
Last night I had the chance to dine at TRB Forbidden City on Donghuamen Street. The east gate of the Forbidden City is next to the restaurant, but now there is scaffolding up in the area.

Last night we even saw three guys out there with their fishing rods trying to catch something from the moat...

In any event, restauranteur Ignace LeCleir was there serving most of the tables. Watching him and his team swiftly "dance" around the room is amazing.

A few days ago the restaurant changed to TRB Forbidden City from TRB Bites. LeCleir explained that his customers want this location to offer the fine dining experience too and so he obliged.

A pretty salmon dish, but was just a tad overcooked
There are five-course tasting menus, but we chose to pick three dishes from the a la carte menu for 398 yuan.

I enjoyed the eggplant ravioli that featured a slice of eggplant wrapped as if it was the ravioli skin.

Another nice starter is the potato and smoked eel soup that had a range of textures and the taste was sublime, flavourful and hearty.

My main of slow-cooked salmon looked pretty with lots of garnish on top, but it was overcooked and I lost interest in it.

However, the dessert called milk and Mandarin saves the evening. There's a yogurt sorbet on top decorated with meringue sheets, while mandarin marmalade is at the bottom. So light and refreshing!

Delicious finish of yogurt and mandarin marmalade below
The hospitality displayed by LeCleir and his team is genuine and warm. A young Chinese waiter enjoyed chatting with us and even took a picture of us for a thoughtful souvenir.

We're so glad to be able to try it and have fond memories of the restaurant and of course, Beijing.

If and when Michelin decides Beijing restaurants should be awarded stars, TRB Forbidden City should be high on the list...

TRB Forbidden City
95 Donghuamen
Beijing

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