UPDATE: I reviewed this great little vegetarian / vegan restaurant for The Beijinger back in September 2011, but in 2013 Laura, the foreign partner (or food consultant, not exactly sure on the details) left the business, so standards may have slipped.
I've added this restaurant review here, one of dozens I wrote for the Beijinger during my stint as Dining Editor, for the rare chance I got to dish out some vitriol. As a freely-distributed, advertiser-supported magazine (with most ads bought by F&B outlets) we had to tread pretty carefully. So - apologies, Loving Mom's Vegan Cuisine. Yes, you were indeed a dreadful restaurant. But so were other venues that got off much more lightly. Such is the fate of the little guy.
One of thirty hotel reviews I penned for Simonseeks, the travel organisation that invested big bucks in writers and content from 70 or so global cities, promptly closed, and now (2013/14) seems to be tentatively finding its feet again. The Opposite House remains Beijing's hippest address. Here's what I think / thought about it.
How to write a restaurant review? To begin with, don't begin at the beginning. Never open with an appetizer or amuse bouche. Go straight to dessert and work backwards and you'll end up with a more readable review. Entertain and entice. Seek out context and characters. And better not to talk about the food all that much unless you're pretty sure you know why a dish hit the high notes, or the culinary blunder that meant it failed to come together. The title of this post might be a cheap excuse for click bait, but this review - of a middling restaurant since closed, incidentally - works nicely for what I think might be the reasons outlined above. Please read and see what you think.
Long considered Beijing's most romantic restaurant, The Courtyard had fallen on hard times before being taken over by Bostonian chef Dan Segall. 2013 update: the new steward of this historic restaurant perch is British chef Brian McKenna.