DARA Life Lounge
Wandering through the many shops and galleries in the 798 Art District (a former East German warehouse and factory site turned creative hub) can certainly work up an appetite, but with a distinct lack of stylish eateries to match such stylish environs, it was always a bothersome task to leave the compound in search of a decent meal. That is, until DARA Life Lounge – a store favoured by expats for its luxuriant homeware and innovative furniture design – launched a res only restaurant in its upstairs gallery headed by chef Robbie Wu of Temple Restaurant fame, and his weekly-changing, European-inflected menu.
Heaving with designer art, Chesterfield sofas and vintage bird cages, the sumptuous neo-Oriental space provides the perfect contrasting backdrop to Wu’s continental fare. Past standouts have included a creamy red snapper bisque with freshly baked bread rolls; a delicate smoked salmon salad; prime Australian beef cheeks with wild mushrooms and a peppered oxtail sauce; crispy roasted pork knuckle with a medley of vegetables; and an indulgent butterscotch ice-cream cake to finish. However, taking all of the above into consideration, especially a lack of any real nearby competition, it should go without saying... res essential!
2 Jiuxianqiao Lu / 798 Art District / Chaoyang / +86 10 5978 9702 / www.dara.com.cn