A friend took us to this quaint restaurant within a Si He Yuan, known as “Red Capital” in Beijing. Nestled in one of Hutongs at DongSi DaJie, it was a little bit hard to find. But apparently, the restaurant has received much accolades from all over the world – such as “World’s Sixty Hot Tables” for the Millennium by Conde Nast.

From the exterior, the restaurant resembles a typical entrance of a siheyuan, which is the traditional courtyard that families in the Old Beijing stayed in.

By now, you should realise from the name of the restaurant that it is inspired by Mao and Communism. Thus, the decor of the restaurant is Oriental, complete with memorabilia from the Communist era.

Underground dungeon!! Actually it’s an underground bomb shelter that is a secret room. The stairs were too narrow, so I didn’t walk down.

Different rooms in the courtyard had different themes. One of the rooms was converted into an old-school retro bar with worn-out couches and vintage lace dollies.

Picture time with the Oriental pillar! Check out some stash of wine at the back.

Interior of one of dining rooms, which resembled a room in one of the Chinese palaces I have been to.

The menu was modeled after those kungfu manual I have seen on Chinese period dramas when I was young. Food wise, the restaurant claims to serve Zhongnanhai cuisine. It felt like typical Chinese fare, although the restaurant indicated that some dishes were favourites of China’s top leaders. Price is slightly on the high side.

One of the dishes we had – diced beef with chestnuts, complete with a carving of Chairman Mao on a turnip and words from his Little Red Book.

One of the signature dishes – fish baked on bamboo mate. I found it rather mediocre, nothing much to rave about.

Verdict

This is a place to go for a kitschy experience, as you can enjoy decoration that resembles the old opulent Beijing mashed up with the history of Mao’s era. I suggest that you could go there for drinks or small bites, rather than for dinner as the food is pretty normal Chinese fare. It is also a good opportunity to see how the communal Hutong has evolved in modern Beijing today, as I noticed some construction work along the way while walking towards Red Capital restaurant.

Rounding up my post with an outfit shot at the courtyard. Top from H&M, skirt from DKNY and necklace from Diva.

Red Capital Residence and Club
66 Dong Si Jiu Tiao alley, Beijing, China, Tel: (86) 10 6402-7150

前阵子在北京去了新红资-这家设在胡同里的一间餐馆。里头的装潢非常古典,却又有五六十年代的感觉,五味杂陈。四合院的概念让我想起若干年前去过的故宫或颐和园。但是某些房间里的摆设又充满毛主席时期 的纪念品及照片。餐馆就是一个四合院的设计,可以让我们微微感受到老北京时代的生活方式。 食物方面,本人觉得菜肴中规中矩,是典型的中餐。因此建议大家,若想看看这家餐馆,可以在非繁忙时间过来,喝点东西或吃些小菜点心,享受一下这里独特的气氛。

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