Last night Ian and I enjoyed a delicious 8 course dinner at Maison Boulud in the Legation Quarter in Beijing. This was without doubt the highest quality meal we have experienced in Beijing. I think it will be hard to find a place in China that matches up to such a mouth watering menu and choice of ingredients. What made it extra special was that in an innovative twist on the classic tasting menu that many high end restaurants partake in, Ian and I were each offered different dishes for 6 of the 8 courses meaning we got to experience a total of 14+ dishes which was amazing. Some of the noteworthy tasters were the creamy powerfully pungent Garlic Soup, the Salad of Alaskan King Crab with Grapefruit Gelée and Avocado which was cool, zingy and sweet, the Olive Oil Poached Cod with Crushed Potato and Tender Leeks in a Watercress-Clam Emulsion which was soft, light and smooth and the Sardines Done Two ways – grilled and pan fried. I was certainly a fan of the appetizer and fish courses more than the heavier meat dishes towards the end of the meal but we were both happy to try sweetbreads which were new to us as well as ribs, pigeon and the omnipresent foie gras.
Many reviews of this place (Time Out, Bloomsberg) slight the service and I would agree, there is room for improvement (yes, water was poured into my half full wine glass!) but in comparison to many restaurants in China this is certainly as high quality service as we have experienced anywhere.
If we weren’t planning on heading West again I certainly think is a restaurant I would return to especially to try their brunch or lunch menus which aren’t nearly as big bucks as the taster we went all out on last night.
Maison Boulud @ Legation Quarter, 23 Qianmen Dongdajie, Beijing, China 100006