When big-name chefs come to town, particularly ones with
stars from a certain tyre manufacturer at the end of their name, the result is
almost always underwhelming. Opera Bombana, the Beijing outpost of Hong
Kong-based maestro Umberto Bombana, rips that sad trope to shreds with a fine
Portraits of Marylyn Monroe oversee the dining room, while chef
de cuisine Marino D’Antonio presides in the kitchen. The rules at Opera are
simple: serve only the best ingredients, respectfully prepared in blissfully
unadorned Italian fashion. When Bombana is in town to cook at his restaurant
the truffles pile high and the crowds gather, but the cuisine at Opera is
flawless year-round – from the first lip smack of thick, aged balsamico to the
last bite of pastry chef Enzo Jiang’s famous ‘pistachio three ways’.
The swordfish carpaccio with mandarin puree sings as a briny bite yields to the
INSIDER TIP The Sunday brunch (328RMB) is essentially a scaled
down, cheaper version of the excellent dinner menu and can be kitted out with
freeflow Bisol Jeio prosecco for 148RMB.
Fine dining is all about occasion, and no restaurant
respects the pageantry of the formal meal more than Temple Restaurant Beijing.
Proprietor Ignace Lecleir commands an army of highly trained, attentive staff
that wow you with kindness, complimentary champagne and a seemingly endless
supply of canapés – all in a beautiful modern dining room inside a 600-year old
Sip on grand a premier cru from one of the best cellars in China as the
kitchen whiles the hours away with course after course of modern takes on
classic European haute cuisine. Fancy a butter-poached lobster with crab foam,
or maybe sweet pea soup with crème fresh and Beluga caviar? TRB is unabashedly
luxurious, and we apologise for none of it.
SIT HERE For supper, request one of
the cosy booths.