Eat Local and Organic
Set foot in Beijing today and talk to some savvy locals, and you’ll soon realise that quirky alley cat Nanluoguxiang is so 2012. Today the title of hippest hutong goes to Wudaoying, home to chic eateries King’s Joy
and Mediterranean haven Saffron, the latter of which saw sister restaurant and across-the-hutong neighbour CHI open to critical acclaim this October. CHI’s ethos stands on a strict commitment to local, organic, and artisanal ingredients, and that natural spirit is evident even in the surrounds: reclaimed woods, exposed bricks, upcycled door and window frames, and an open kitchen facing counter stools and a handful of tables.
It’s a lovely, cosy ambiance from which to enjoy the daily-changing 6 to 8 course tapas-style menus (choose from meat or vegetarian options), with the local roll-call including ‘Andy’s’ craft sausages, Uncle Bean coffee, beers from Jing-A brewery, fresh produce from the Beijing Organic market, and wines sourced from regional vineyards. With handwritten menus frequently changing it’s hard to predict what delicacies are to be found on each visit, but past highlights have included fusion standouts like roast eggplant with miso, basil and sundried tomato toast, and pan-fried duck breast with onions and bell peppers. Welcome to the neighbourhood!