When I visited Beijing a couple of years back, one of my highlights was visiting TRB – a restaurant where I enjoyed a marvelous culinary experience. It’s odd to have such a big contrast between the traditional side of Beijing and such innovative food. One look at the dishes and you’ll think you’ve somehow been transported back to Europe!
This visit was another exceptional experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Since my previous visit, the restaurant has opened a second branch – the Forbidden City restaurant, located right on the doorstep of the Forbidden City (while the other restaurant, Temple, is located near Jingshan Park in a former temple building).
After a series of TRB’s mouthwatering amuse bouche bites (marshmallow with parmesan flakes, a blini with anchovy mousse and a fresh tomato jelly bursting with flavor), we start with the apple foie gras with white chocolate. Foie gras is a delicate ingredient, one that is being overused by restaurants nowadays. What you want to have as a foodie, is the enjoyment of the creaminess and something to cut through the fatty flavor. That was the apple in this dish – beautifully balanced!
And how amazing is this to look at? Reminds me of Richard van Oostenbrugge’s Apple dessert, only in savory form.
We continue with the stunning smoked mackerel dish with scales of radish, yuzu and ponzu. I love dishes that are presented in a minimal look. I find that the art of plating is just as important as the flavors presented. It’s the art of highlighting your ingredients. The dish itself is light and flavorful.
The next dish was a beautiful crab ravioli with coriander, caviar, pomelo puree and marjoram. I loved the lightness of this dish. It’s a perfect summer dish with a lovely balance of seafood and fresh flavors.
It was too dark for me to shoot by the time the mains came in, but they were a beef fillet with crispy beef carpaccio, the chocolate feuillantine with kumquat confit and tonka ice cream and the crispy meringue with yogurt mousse and caramelized pineapple.
TRB Forbidden City is a pearl among restaurants that foodies have to discover in Asia. Ignace Leceir (founder and owner of the TRB Hospitality Group) has a strong vision for his restaurants and you can feel it.
To me, TRB is a restaurant that brings a refined elegance to an otherwise rather traditional city. I love traditional Chinese food – don’t get me wrong, I live for it! But this is a restaurant that brings excitement to the city, something new, something innovative. This was my second visit and I thoroughly enjoyed every course.
Don’t come to TRB expecting just to taste a couple of courses – there’s so many amuses in between and after. The restaurant breathes a culinary fire and passion and that’s what foodies and regulars go back for!
We ended the night with tea and a lovely treat of sweets and a batch of their iconic mini Madeleines. I have tasted lots of dishes and various pastries over the three years I’ve been blogging here – but I have yet to taste a crispier Madeleine!