Rendezvous with Beijing’s romantic eateries

By Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/16 15:03:40

Zuoyou tent restaurant Photo: Chen Xi/GT

Beautiful decoration exquisitely compliments the served beef and tuna salad with dry ice at the Zuoyou tent restaurant. Photos: Chen Xi/GT

Beautiful decoration exquisitely compliments the served beef and tuna salad with dry ice at the Zuoyou tent restaurant. Photos: Chen Xi/GT


Beautiful decoration exquisitely compliments the served beef and tuna salad with dry ice at the Zuoyou tent restaurant. Photos: Chen Xi/GT

In a fast-paced city like Beijing, when it comes to relinquishing to a restful evening of romantic dining, most couples would prefer restaurants with reposeful auras, the more imaginative, the better it is. Among a plethora of restaurants, the following two have managed to gain high popularity online. 

Zuoyou tent restaurant has been much sought-after for its unique tent theme. Located on a building in Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District in Beijing, the tents on the interior of the first floor is the waiting lounge, and those placed on the terrace of the second floor is the dining area. This distinctive design cultivates a sense of outdoor dining experience. 

The tents are decorated with a variety of props and each tent varies from the other. Some have dolls, cushions, and pillows, while another might be laded with balloons, dream catcher nets, and flowers. Customers can choose whichever they fancy when booking an appointment online.  

I booked a spot in the restaurant a month back, for a 50 yuan ($7.1) booking fee. I presumed I need to order the dishes after getting to the restaurant; however, upon my arrival, the waiter, Xiaoxiao, told me their menus have been designed by their managers. They offer two menus per year, hot pot in winter and autumn and western delicacies in spring and summer. That made perfect sense to me, as to why the dining fee is 199 yuan per person.

According to Xiaoxiao, their managers first opened a guesthouse in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Often when all the rooms would be booked by guests, they would spend the night in a tent. Chatting under a night sky and gazing at the blanket of stars, they realized tents could be a conduit to bringing people closer. That's when they came across the idea to start a tent-themed restaurant in Beijing, hoping to usher an invigorating experience to the lives of perennially busy people in this big city.

She told me the Zuoyou tent restaurant has been in business for the last two years and the number of customers has continued to surge. The restaurant's growing popularity comes laded with its advanced-customization service, another reason that drives customers to return.  

Besides offering the dining service, the restaurant also offers a range of personalized services like birthday and anniversary celebrations and engagement parties. Adding to its uniqueness, customers can also sign-up for a service to propose their beloved. 

The younger generation is now pursuing a special and personalized lifestyle, and they want every day to be special. 

Many male customers book this place for February 14, the Valentine's Day, and surprise their girlfriends. They need to book the date at least one month in advance, and the waiters would decorate the dining place according to the requirement of the customer. 

If tents bring people closer, then floral surroundings can ensure intimacy in a dining environment. Tomacado is one such restaurant famous for its elegant decorations of flowers and healthy recipes. The combination of a surprising-level of taste bud experience with a remarkable visual treat, Tomacado attracts swarms of customers coming for a fine dining experience. 

The founder of Tomacado Karen once read a medical report that mentioned avocados and tomatoes were two complementary ingredients in addition to their delicious taste. The lycopene in tomatoes has anticancer effects, while the unsaturated fatty acid in avocados speeds up the anticancer effect of lycopene by four times. Avocado and tomato seem like "perfect partners", and the name Tomacado (tomato & avocado) comes from it.

Tomacado currently has four branches in Beijing. Each outlet has its notable design, floral decorations, including scrumptious delicacies and art-sharing classrooms. The eccentricity of each outlet can be compared to women with different personalities. For instance, the branch located in one of Beijing's shopping streets Wangfujing wears a distinctive decoration of simple diatom mud and woody notes that perhaps signifies charming mature women. 

The branch I went to is located in Sanlitun, Chaoyang district in Beijing. The theme "City's Jungle" rolls out to its customers a fusion of food, space, and light and shadows, using a semi-virtual effect to portray the blend of nature, structure and urban spirit. 

The top dish on the menu is vanilla-roasted chicken. As per its description, the production process is quite refined. The selected high-quality chicken should be first marinated, dried naturally for 24 hours, and then they are ready to be baked in the oven. It is crispy and tender, fresh and juicy, and served with honey-baked pumpkin and a special chili noodles. 

I asked a waiter named Zhang Yang if most of their customers are young people, she told me Tomacado was also popular among the elder. Although she has served many young customers in their restaurant, she was deeply touched espying the affection of an elderly couple.

"Every year during their anniversary, the old couple would come to Tomacado for a celebration. But one day, it was only the elderly lady. Later we came to know that her husband had just passed away, and she came by herself reminiscing the beautiful memories of their togetherness. Before she left, we gifted her a bunch of flowers," Zhang said.

Besides a romantic restaurant, Tomacado also provides courses in dining, floral, retail and lifestyle aesthetics. "The food, flowers or courses are tailored for busy professional women, and we hope our customers can enjoy a quiet and leisure time here," Zhang added.
Newspaper headline: Dining & Dating

Posted in: FOOD

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