Newly opened in the Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido, Craft is refreshingly unlike other hotel restaurants. With an eye to a casual-yet-discerning crowd, the major concept here is self service. Order and pay at the counter, then go back to pick it up yourself when it's ready. Even the wines are self service, with wines by the glass coming out of an enomatic machine. Hardly a completely new concept it's true, but unusual for a restaurant in a high-end hotel.

The food menu at Craft changes depending on the time of day. So, from 7-11am you have breakfast, the time to grab a healthy granola or pastry. 11am-2.30pm becomes lunch, with a changing range of salads and sandwiches (most around RMB 40-50) available to eat in or take away. The afternoon (and I will admit right now that this is my favorite thing about Craft) brings "Crumble Time" from 2.30-5.30pm, when you can enjoy free-flow crumble with different varieties seasonal fruit. After 5.30pm, the focus is on well-priced cold cut platters (all of which are made in in-house), which you can make into "combos" with bottles of beer or wine. For example, a large cold cut platter with four bottles of craft beer or one bottle of the daily special wine costs RMB 368.

A lot of forethought and attention to detail has clearly gone into both the food and the space here and we expect Craft will become a firm Lido favorite.

Read more about Craft in next month's issue of the Beijinger.

1/F, Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido, Bldg A, 6 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District (6437 3388)

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Photos: Robynne Tindall

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