Monday, 17 September 2007

New Highlight: Whampoa Club Beijing

Paris is romantic even on a grey rainy day. Venice is romantic especially on a grey foggy day. But Beijing's grey smog days are just depressing. For curing your depression in Beijing have a dinner at the new Whampoa Club and it will delight all your senses.

In Shanghai, the Whampoa Club at Thee on the Bund is already an established and successful venue. Now, the internationally acclaimed chef Jereme Leung has opened the stunning Beijing branch in a siheyuan (courtyard house) on Financial Street. He formulates his own creative New Beijing cuisine by taking inspiration form Beijing's imperial cuisine, imperial high official home cuisine, citizen cuisine, minority cuisine and temple cuisine. With modern and stylish presentation, Whampoa Club Beijing is guaranteed to delight and inspire lovers - and even non-lovers - of Chinese food.

The set lunch menu starts at 288 yuan, the set dinner menu at 488 yuan per person. The appetizers are fabulous. Especially the delicious soy-braised pomfret fillet terrine and the cabbage and spinach rolls with shrimps and scallops, flavoured with yellow mustard and wasabi jelly (left pic). My favorite main course were the Beijing pancakes with goose liver and pork fillings (right pic).

The restaurant is in the basement of the courtyard house. You can either book a table in the main dining room or in one of the more intimate separés that seats two to six people but still leave you the view of the main restaurant. The service is efficient and friendly.

Whampoa Club wouldn't be a club without a cosy stylish bar. For your private party you might rent a dining room that hosts up to 12 guests or the outside courtyard itself for a bigger event.

The interior of the courtyard house is decorated in a clean modern Chinese style. The spectacular bird cage lamps setting (above pic) is downstairs before entering the restaurant. The restrooms are more appealing than the dark unisex 'powder rooms' by Philippe Starck at the overall more kitsch-opulently decorated Lan Club.

Conclusion: Whampoa Club Beijing delights all your senses. It is an inspiring experience and a great enrichment for the restaurant scene in Beijing.

Price category: $$$

Whampoa Club Beijing
Financial Street 23 A
Xi Cheng District, Beijing, China
phone (+86 10) 8808 8828

link: Whampoa Club


laradunston said...

I have just discovered your blog and absolutely love it. I've been to the Whampoa Club and it's one of my favorite Shanghai eats. Your blog is wonderful!!! I'm going to link to it from my own and write about yours in one of my posts. Keep up the fab posts! They're really taking me back to Beijing/China and are better than any guidebook! They really make me want to return!! Hope to see you there soon!!!
warm wishes,

-Suzie- said...

Hi Lara,

thank you! This is really a big compliment. I am glad you like my posts.

I got an email once from two guys from the Philipines saying that my blog is better than the Lonely Planet that they bought for 20USD as it just contains un-updated material.

laradunston said...

Suzie, that's funny you say that. I write guide books for a living and each time we do a new book we put so much effort into the research to make them fresh, but the sad thing is that there can sometimes be 9 months to even a year between the time we submit our manuscript and the time the book hits the bookshelves... by then things have closed or changed and the book is already out of date...

But it's only a 'guide' and it should be treated as such... and people should get their information from a few sources, from the internet, from wonderful blogs like yours, but most importantly, from the local people they meet when they get there. Don't you think?

-Suzie- said...

Lara, you are right.
I think they referred to my post about the courtyard restaurants. And I know, that by now the scene might have changed. Especially here in Beijing where new restaurants open every week.
Anyway, I was flattered with the comparison.
Do you write for Lonely Planet?

Brigitte said...

Dear Suzie,

next time when I will be in Beijing I will try out Whampoa Club. I saw it recommended in Shanghai but I did not manage to go there last March. Your wonderful blog is a nice way for me to keep in touch with Beijing and the exciting things going on. I will be back latest next year for the Olympics!
Thanks and please go on like that!

-Suzie- said...

Liebe Brigitte,

thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! Maybe we will be able to dine together at Whampoa next year.

[roman.6314] said...

Wonderful blog!

I just wanted to make a quick note that the restaurant is actually the entire building...both upstairs and downstairs. The main dining room and 'opium banquettes' were located downstairs to take advantage of the pool/skylight from down below. The upstairs is the Black Bar that you mentioned, as well as the obligatory private dining rooms. The Green Private Dining Room at the end of the pool is the best of all and by far one of the most requested because of it's location even though technically the Red Room has the favored position in history!

Jereme Leung has been traveling between Whampoa in Shanghai, the new one in Beijing...and then The China House at The Oriental in Bangkok. He is the chef-consultant for that restaurant...go there if you are in Bangkok, the food is fantastic and Mariage Frères even blended a tea specifically for the restaurant.

Each one profiles a different regional Chinese cuisine, so if you like Chinese food...definitely try them all. If you can plan around it, call ahead to find out where Jereme will be cooking!


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