Saturday, May 24, 2008
New Hidden Gem
My friend and I checked out a new place that recently opened behind Pacific Century Mall in Sanlitun.
Literally behind the mall is a stone wall and a sign that says "Nineteen Forty-nine". Then you enter through an art gallery with contemporary graphic prints, photographs and even sculptures of missiles pointing downwards but made with the Chinese character for "double happiness" used for weddings. How ironic.
And then the gallery opens into a courtyard area using old Chinese bricks on the pathway to several restaurants and bars. This area is developed by Elite Concepts, a restaurant company based in Hong Kong.
We checked out the Noodle Bar. There are two tables outside, but it was cooler sitting inside the Japanese-inspired, minimalist design. There are 12 seats around the bar which is actually an open kitchen were you can watch the noodle maker prepare your dish right in front of you.
He takes some dough, sprinkles water and oil on it, twists it a few times and then all of a sudden it becomes a bunch of strands. I still don't know how they do it. It's all magic.
The menu is reasonably priced and we tried the special set which is a giant bowl of noodles, thin or thick, with beef tendon, brisket and tripe, as well as a big piece of turnip in a beef-based broth.
The tendon was so good, practically melting in your mouth.
The set also comes with a small dish of sliced cucumbers with garlic, and thinly sliced spicy beef.
We also ordered a plate of kale with oyster sauce and a small beer to share.
The place only opened a month ago so not many people were eating here. In the end our bill came to 125RMB for two.
The courtyard is such a nice tranquil area, and several expats have already discovered the bar, Sugar Bar, and a Chinese restaurant called Duck de Chine that includes fire-roasted duck.
As we were leaving, some musicians were just arriving, and I'm sure their music, played in the courtyard creates a wonderful ambience in this hidden gem.
1949 - The Hidden City
Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu