I’ve finally reached the last Beijing food post. It has been a blast discovering some of
Beijing’s finest. This last one, TRB (Temple Restaurant Beijing), was definitely not the
least. Quite the contrary – the restaurant served an exceptional tasting menu. The
restaurant is headed by Ignace Lecleir. Lecleir, originally from Belgium, opened Daniel
Boulud‘s restaurant Maison Boulud in Beijing back in 2008. Lecleir decided to open
TRB in 2012, an upscale restaurant serving contemporary European cuisine. This is a
restaurant of high standards, definitely a restaurant I would love to see open a sister
restaurant in Europe. I don’t know if TRB has plans to open a restaurant in Europe.
For now, we’ll just have to travel to Beijing for this!
We start off with some lovely amuse bouches: a cup of saffron butter (heavenly) with bread sticks, anchovies cream on a rice crisp and cream on rye bread.
Fried parmesan balls – mad love for this.
Fried risotto in a light tomato sauce – so flavourful!
Terrine, Salad, Soup
Top: a foie gras terrine, served with a lobster salad, truffle mayonnaise and brioche. The dish was a lovely light and elegant dish, near-perfect. The dish was paired with one of the best whiskey sours I’ve had so far. Very tangy, which I like.
Bottom: I love my pumpkin soups and this one was gone in mere minutes. This was a light pumpkin soup, served with a lovely creme fraîche and Iberico ham, to add that contrast. It was well-balanced.
Duck Egg Polenta
The third dish was a crispy duck egg on a bed of polenta, greens, mushrooms and bacon.
This was a mighty but beautiful dish. I would have loved a bit more flavour on the egg,
but all in all, definitely a dish I would order again. The dish was served with a nice, sweet
sherry that complemented the dish well.
You can’t ever go wrong with suckling pig in my books. The beauty was
served with a pumpkin puree and paired with a gorgeous, rich red wine.
Chocolate & Beer
Last, a dessert of chocolate mousse, opera, feulletine and a 68 espresso crumble. The
best thing about this dish wasn’t how lovely every component was (which it was!),
but it was the pairing with a Belgian Westmalle trappist beer. I am no beer drinker usually.
I was at a trappist nunnery not so long ago, where we sampled a range of trappist beers.
It was alright, I was just not a fan, so most of the beers were wasted on me. This one however,
by Westmalle, took me by surprise. I liked it, I loved the pairing with the chocolate, something
I have not seen done before (but perhaps I should cross the border to Belgium
more often) and I don’t think it was a light beer even. But with this dish, it was a perfect match.
I have only words of praise for TRB and Lecleir and his team. Charles (Sow), an expert with wines, was
a wonderful host. The food was beyond anything I had expected to find in the middle of the hutongs.
The dishes were executed perfectly. This is fine dining at its best. Beijing certainly has a lot to
offer food-wise, but there are only a handful of restaurants trying to break barriers in the very
traditional cuisines served at Beijing restaurants. I haven’t been in Beijing long enough to know all
it has to offer, but I do see TRB as a restaurant that is changing the food landscape in the capital.
I will be back in Beijing soon and I am already anxious to see what the chefs will serve then!