Nestled on the ground floor of Stey, a co-living and co-working building in the Wangfujing neighbourhood, is Tease, the Beijing offshoot of CreatureS, a trendy Singaporean joint that serves an upmarket take on Southeast Asian staples.
Tease’s signature dish is its atas (Singaporean slang for ‘classy’) take on Hainanese chicken rice. The rice roll (88RMB) transforms a common hawker fare into delicate spring rolls – cucumber ribbons and Vietnamese rice paper wrapped around poached chicken and a morsel of fragrant rice. It looks better than they taste, though the dish’s standard trifecta of sauces – homemade garlic chilli, sesame soy sauce and spring onion-ginger dip are spot on.
Kampung Beef Rendang
We then tried tofu blooms (80RMB), a block of Japanese chilled tofu resting on freshly blended century egg sauce laced with salted egg yolk, crispy lotus root slivers and tobiko. While flavourful, the dish lacked texture.
Its Kampung Beef Rendang (168RMB) however, is a main that deserves special mention. A family dish passed down through the generations to executive chef Jardine D’Cruz, its moist and flavourful slow-braised beef pairs well with the pyramid of bluish butterfly pea coconut rice. Unfortunately, its side of an undressed cucumber salad adds nothing to the dish. Also a winner is the tom yum soup (65RMB), its spicy clear broth is one of the punchiest takes of the Thai staple in the city.
Crème de Moutai
While it's an inventive menu, it’s Tease’s desserts that steal the show. Crème de Moutai (85RMB) is a concoction of caramelised cream with baijiu infused into the ice cream mix. Paired with black sesame praline crisp and caramelised meringue shards that balance the sharp rice wine flavours, even the teetotallers will be tempted. Its Durian Dome (70RMB) replicates the ritual of eating the ‘king of fruit’. Genoise sponge, topped with creamy white chocolate mousse and decadent fresh D24 durian purée, is encased in a white chocolate crust and turmeric-seasoned glace. It is then topped with pandan-infused meringue spikes. Crack it open like you would the fruit and enjoy the pungent flavours within.
While its current menu is a hit and miss – most dishes lack a satisfying finish – it’s obvious that a lot of thought was put into creating them. If anything, the desserts are phenomenal and are reason enough to just come by for pastry chef Jacob’s changing roster of experimental sweet creations.