202 / 2/F China World View / Meilin Building
/ 2B Gongti Donglu / Chaoyang / +86 10 8587 1299
Liquid Gold Mine
November marks a cardinal date in the Italian culinary calendar when boughs begin to grow heavy with ripening olives, and farmers don their flat caps and long-handled nets to begin harvesting for the country’s iconic and treasured staple, olive oil. It is with this reverence in mind that Sardinian native Chef Robert Masili has made olive oil the focus of his new Italian restaurant Bantu. What some are hailing to be the first elegant establishment in Beijing’s China World View, Bantu makes use of its small space with minimal fuss: white-wash walls dotted with vibrant modern canvasses, rustic rafia seating, and low-hanging copper lights.
In the spirit of Italian generosity, Bantu’s portions are hearty (not that we’re complaining) which shows a refreshing lack of pretension compared with many of its fine-dining counterparts. If you can countenance all three courses, the refined fare on offer includes salty bruschetta piled high with earthy mushrooms, crisp bacon, olives, fleshy mozzarella and, of course a liberal dash of olive oil; eel and fennel carpaccio, with crunchy oil-brushed vegetables, and a cool tomato gazpacho; and a fresh-made zesty lemon tart with butter-crumbly pastry to finish. And did we mention Bantu boasts a top-notch glass-fronted wine cellar, including an excellent Barolo imported direct from the Seghesio vineyard? Now that’s amore!