Max Levy opened Okra earlier this year, and between launching the restaurant’s omakase-only bar upstairs and cooking at the late night dining hot spot in Sai Ying Pun, the chef also finds time to spend in Beijing. Here are some of his favourites that guarantee return visits whenever he lands in China’s bustling capital city.
This northern Italian owned by a husband and wife team makes all of its pasta in house and puts me right back in Bologna. They also have a short but super wine list.
Fiume, 39 Maizidian Xijie (on the river at the back of FX Hotel), Chaoyang district; +86 (10) 6501 9878
Traitor Zhous NonKosher Delicatessen
My day in Beijing is not complete without my nori bagel and ume cream cheese. I opened this deli three years ago, which specialises in its own house-cured meats, biodynamic vegetables from its own farm and bagels and doughnuts made every morning. I really miss this in Hong Kong!
Traitor Zhou’s NonKosher Delicatessen, 1949-The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100027.
I cannot leave the original Okra out of this list. Much more of a fine dining atmosphere than Okra Hong Kong, I can honestly say I love eating here every time I go back. The direct connection with Little Willow farms, provides new and fresh vegetables and flowers every day that are unavailable anywhere else. I also love its exclusive location in the secluded 1949 courtyard surrounded by trees.
Okra 1949, 1949 – The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100027; +86 (10) 6593 5087
Hai Di Lao
My go-to spot for late night down and dirty hotpot. With their free manicures and massages while you wait, it is impossible to top the ratings they get for customer service. And I can't leave without getting my pig brain and duck embryo!
Hai Di Lao, Eight Floor, Tianyingtai Department Store, 88 Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng district; 5762-0153
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