Perhaps the hippest eatery in Beijing, Capital M has a lot going for it. The restaurant is housed in a traditional building at the entrance to Qianmen Street, one of Beijing’s most historical quarters. The terrace also affords one of the most spectacular views of Tiananmen Square – facing the two huge imperial gates.
This stylish restaurant was opened by Australian restaurateur Michelle Garnaut, also the proprietor of Shanghai’s M on the Bund. It took Garnaut seven years to make Capital M a reality. In an interview with TIME magazine, she said she had planned to open Capital M before the 2008 Olympics but was scuppered by delays in Qianmen’s construction. The restaurant was again forced to shut during the huge security operation surrounding the celebrations marketing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
“The restaurant business is difficult anywhere,” says Garnaut. “But you probably need more patience in China than anywhere.”
But the result appears to have been well worth the effort. The staff at Capital M are attentive and professional. Meanwhile, the food, like Garnaut’s other establishments, is influenced by cuisines along the Mediterranean.
A range of fine wines and cocktails are on offer at the bar (open until 2am on weekends), and small dishes, canapés and desserts are served in a central bar and a lounge area – the Oval Room – from 5pm to midnight. The ornate dining room serves dinner from 6-10pm.
What to order?
For starters, we suggest you try the spring green pea soup with fresh mint (Rmb78). And for entrée, order house specialty M’s crispy suckling pig, served with roasted baby carrots parsnips and apple sauce (Rmb258). To finish, order M’s Very Famous Pavlova (Rmb98).
3/F, 2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street (southeast of Qianmen), Chongwen District Tel: +8610 6702-2727
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