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Kaiseki Cubbyhole

May 18, 2015
‘I Read It On The Weibosphere’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, but if the legendary Marvin Gaye were around today, it’s more than likely that’s what he’d be singing... OK, that might be a stretch. But it’s exactly how savvy Beijingers have been getting their metaphorical mitts on the city’s gourmet goss and, ultimately, how they can make or break a restaurant’s future with the click of a mouse. One such example, which (phew!) has found itself on the right side of the tastemakers’ tongues, is new Japanese dining desti, Xifan.
Before you even contemplate navigating the precise passageways of the Dongsi hutongs in search of this storied and secretive kaiseki salon, you must first call ahead to not only make a booking but also arrange payment – in advance. Once your foot (and credit rating) is through the door, this delightfully boutiquey affair reveals an intimate, cosy and exclusive setting complete with homely furnishings, a single dining table and a four-seat bar. 

Xifan offers a choice of three traditional set menus, which, you’ll remember, you have already chosen and paid for. The reason the restaurant works this way is to allow the chef to select the very best ingredients available on that day for your own personalised omakase. Previous classics have included fresh prawn, oyster and tuna sashimi, wagyu beef carpaccio and abalone soup with salmon roe. Gochisousama!
52 Beigouyan Hutong / Dongcheng / +86 10 6858 5005 / 11am-10pm daily / res essential