Went to visit an old friend with the family, and we all went out for a family gathering at Wutong Banquet in Shunyi, Beijing. Shunyi? Yes, that’s the nearest town to the Beijing International Airport.
The Michelin Connection
Previously, they were called In Love 湘爱, a higher-end restaurant brand under the same Wutong restaurant group. Because of the location, they have rebranded to Wutong and changed the menu likewise to the price level. While this is a competent restaurant, their sister restaurant Wutong Wish in town was given the Michelin Beijing 2020 guide Plates recognition. And another associated restaurant In Love 湘爱 was given the 1 Star. While location is not a criteria for Michelin, I still believe that the Wutong Group would rather focus on their in-town restaurants to get the accolade first.
The cuisine is innovative. On the menu, an eclectic mix of Shandong, Sichuan and Cantonese dishes are given a creative makeover.
石锅牛仔骨 beef ribs in stone pot
Disappointing start, hopefully the rest of the dinner will pick up.
丝瓜上汤丸子 loofah with meatballs
Simple yet tasty.
鹅肝酱茄子 eggplant with foie gras
I love eggplant and I love foie gras, but when both were combined, it became too rich to be liked.
麻辣鸭头 spicy duck head
Served with compressed watermelon cubes, the spicy duck head was one of my favourite appetisers that I have came to be acquainted in China.
剁椒鱼头 chopped chilli fish head
This is a signature dish, usually done with two types of chilli. Because we have kids in the dinner party, we opted for the less spicy and sweeter green jalapeño only. The giant carp fish head is similar to our Song fish head in Singapore and this is a good alternative to our 食为先 fermented black bean and garlic sauce.
The highlight was in the sauce. Noodles came with the fish head for you to dunk in the wonderful sauce when you have finished the fish.
淮山木耳甜豆 mountain yam wood fungus snow peas
Simple vegetable dish.
Another main – Shanghainese wantons cooked in a simple stock and seaweed broth – perfect for the cold winter evening in Beijing.
生煎包 fried Shanghai buns
It was very tasty, so tasty that I did not have the opportunity to take a proper picture, the kids have already eaten four of them.
梧桐四味烤鸭 signature Peking duck
The Peking duck came with four different sauces – 传统甜面酱 traditional sweet sauce, 蒜蓉甜面酱 an innovative garlic sauce, 奇异果芥末酱 kiwi mustard sauce and 辣味梅子酱 spicy plum sauce. And instead of the usual flour skin, it came with pita-style pockets to stuff the cucumber, melon and onion strips.
While the duck skin was crispy and well made, the pita pockets were cold when served. And further disappointment was the timing of this dish – it was served right before dessert and we were already full by then.
Desserts are not the forte of most Chinese restaurants. But it’s different in Wutong which is popular among the female clientele because of their innovative and Instagrammable desserts.
We ordered three different innovative desserts to share – the Internet-favourite 榴莲沙晶冰棍 durian ice pop, the new and very cute 小熊蛋糕 cake in a box and a simple but tasty 梧桐鸡蛋卷 Swiss roll. While the durian ice popsicle has a strong durian flavour, my favourite was the Swiss toll. The cream was light and fluffy, the cake moist and yet firm enough to hold the cream.
The pace of the dinner was haphazard. The courses were served without any logical sequence. The service was competent, but the food was inconsistent. Overall, it was still one of the better choice given the neighbourhood was really far from town.
Wutong Banquet 梧桐家宴
Tel : 010-68606066
Date Visited : Dec 2019