Dong Zhenxiang, founder of Beijing's Dadong roast duck restaurants, is one of China's most famous celebrity chefs. He featured in Heston Blumenthal's 'In Search of Perfection' episode all about Peking duck. This interview feature on the 'real Dadong' was published in The Beijinger magazine.
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.
Fatburger, the East Coast chain beloved of hip-hop stars and Hollywood folk, opened in Beijing in 2010. This was my take on the franchise, the prose unashamedly influenced at the time by the devilishly urbane style of Sam Sifton from the New York Times. Reading a Sam Sifton restaurant review was like watching an episode of Mad Men, his eaters an enigmatic cast of high-rollers, crooks and wannabes, the food on the plate mere props. The wine always got a bit more attention. He certainly knows his grapes.