Gong De Lin Review

November 14th, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

Beijing's Forbidden City and Gong De Lin's InteriorGong De Lin
2, Qianmen Gong Daije, Chongwen District
功德林素菜馆
北京市崇文区前门东大街2号

$60 for two, with tea

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Exploring new cities in search of great vegan restaurants is a true passion of mine, but as temperatures drop and I drag my partner along windy snow-swept streets, her heeled feet clacking in the snow, I feel a sense of doom closing in with the long shadows of the setting sun. We’re looking for one of the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurants, GongDeLin, and I’d ask for directions, but we’re on one of those strange streets you seem to find only in capital cities—multi-lane roads cut through government office after government office, each one squat and monolothic. Finally, just as the street opens onto a ring road, we see a lone cycle rickshaw creaking towards us.

The driver pulls down his scarf, revealing a curious face. You can tell he wonders what the hell we’re doing in the middle of nowhere.

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Pure Lotus Review

November 9th, 2011 § 8 comments § permalink

Beijing Header ImagePure Lotus
Holiday Inn Lido Beijing, 3rd Floor (Jichang Rd & Jiag Tai Rd)

净心莲 [ 朝阳首都机场蒋台路丽都假日饭店三层 ]

$100 for two, with silver-tip jasmine tea

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m in the lobby of a Holiday Inn, but it’s like no other Holiday Inn I have been to before. Opulent. Marble floors and panelled white walls, deep upholstery, a business centre that’s actually doing business, and all around me an expatriate complex rises up into the sky. A red faced man in a linen suit with a Harvard pin is shouting horrible Mandarin into a cellphone the size of a thimble, and I’m sliding my bank card into a bank machine after waiting in a line that curled up the hall.

Could I be anywhere in the world? Perhaps. But as the machine spits out Yuan from my Canadian bank account, this is all so distinctly one of the new Beijings—a business district built at the city’s edge to facilitate western business moving into China, a glossy new version of a hotel chain that might be mediocre anywhere else in the world, and a palpable buzz in the air that makes one feel as though they are truly near the centre of the Earth.

I’ve travelled here a rather large distance by train and taxi to eat at Pure Lotus, which is perhaps the most (literally) spectacular restaurant in China. I feel a sense of anticipation and apprehension, for although I can’t deny the authenticity of this monied milieu-it’s not one I associate with great food. Thankfully, I’m in for a huge surprise…

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Il Margutta Resto Arte Review

October 20th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

Il Margutta
118. Via Margutta Roma

€120 for two, with wine

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Our excitement builds as we walk down Via Margutta—echoing the footsteps of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn—on our very own Roman Holiday. We’ve been eating our way through the best Vegetarian Restaurants in Europe, from Saf and Black Vanilla in London, to Cookies Cream in Berlin. And we wonder anxiously: What will Rome have in store?

The narrow cobble-stoned street hits our sweet-tooth exactly, antique shops and fine furniture, tiny galleries and a few coffee shops. All perfumed with the scents of a Roman evening, orange trees, coffee, petrol and wine. It’s the perfect aperitif for an evening of fine dining, and we take one last long inhalation before stepping into Il Margutta.

Unfortunately, that breath will be the highlight of our evening. From worn out, but still garish decor, to poor service and barely alright food, Il Margutta disappoints. Continue reading “Il Margutta Resto Arte Review” »

Millennium Restaurant Review

October 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Millennium Restaurant
580 Geary Street  San Francisco

$150 for two, with drinks.

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦

The first voice we hear as we enter the restaurant, is not the welcome of our hostess, but the shrill exhortation of a fellow tourist—

“C’mon Honey. This is where the celebrities eat! We’re like, eating the same food as Jennifer Anniston!

It’s not the most auspicious beginning, and our server flushes, even as the corners of her mouth turn up in a smile.

We’re at the podium of Millennium, and the room in front of us has such effortless LA chic that it looks and feels like a place that celebrities might hang out—at least those with good taste and an appetite. Continue reading “Millennium Restaurant Review” »

Fairmont Lifestyles Menu Mini-Review

October 7th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Whistler

Fairmont’s new Lifestyles Menu makes it easier for vegans across North America to eat at Fairmont Hotels—and the food isn’t bad either.

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