Maru

  • Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Korean
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Guangqu Lu
A fixture of Beijing’s dining scene for almost a decade, chef Andrew Ahn (formerly of Sanlitun's One Pot) made his return this past August with the opening of Maru, a modern Korean concept located in Shuangjing’s Hopson One.

For those previously familiar with One Pot, Maru instead sees Ahn shift away from everyday street snacks in favour of contemporary Korean cuisine, serving up homestyle favourites such as bibimbap, samgye-tang (ginseng chicken soup) and jjigae (kimchi stew) alongside reinvented fusion mash-ups.

Kimbap gets a reworking in Maru's noodle kimbap (48RMB), resulting in a noodle-filled seaweed roll, which joyfully feels like the equivalent of putting crisps in your sandwich as kid, just on a way more gourmet level. Similarly, bulgogi rice bowls get a vegetarian (or millennial) twist with avocado, radish and rocket (48RMB) for what's a refreshingly zingy side dish, particularly when contrasted with the shatteringly crispy and confident garlic soy fried chicken (68-128RMB).

On the more traditional end, Maru’s cheese kimchi pancake (48RMB) is based on a recipe handed down by Ahn’s grandmother, in what’s a moreish medley of homemade kimchi cooked into a crispy pancake and topped with melted cheese. Sautéed spicy pork belly and baby octopus (68RMB), served in a sizzling stone pot is probably the most rigidly Korean dish we try, yet its execution – juicy pork belly draped atop a pool of tender squid and umami-rich broth – proves that some classics don’t need improvement.

Dessert comes in the form of a lemon curd tart shaped into a rubber duck (38RMB). We’re unapologetic supporters of kitsch, except the lemony duck retains its structure at the detriment of the curd's texture, which is tough and rubbery. Creamy with a herbal kick, the ginseng date tiramisu (38RMB) is a pleasant enough spin on the Italian classic, but we could probably take it or leave it.

The arrival of Maru offers a timely reminder of what we've been missing since One Pot closed. With Sanlitun’s Korean options now scarcer than ever, it looks like Shuangjing might very well be the new place to be for unfussy, tasty eats.

Dinner for two 350RMB

By Leanne Wong

Venue name: Maru
Contact:
Opening hours: 11.30am-10pm daily
English address: 6F, Hopson One, Guangqu Lu, 21 Dawang Xi Lu, Chaoyang district
Chinese address: 朝阳区广渠路西大望路21号合生汇6层

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