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No restaurant can be all things to all people, but it can certainly try to cover as many bases as possible. This seems to be the strategy at Craft, the new casual all-day dining restaurant in Lido’s Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel. Go in the morning and you can kick-start your day with a coffee and croissant to go. Go at lunch and grab a reasonably-priced sandwich or salad (most around RMB 40-50). Go after sundown and enjoy a range of tapas platters complemented by wine and beer packages. Refreshingly for a hotel restaurant, you won’t find a sneaky service charge appended to your bill, but then again, that’s because the service has been pared down to the bare minimum – you order and pay at the counter, then return to pick up your food. Even wines by the glass are self-service, by virtue of a pre-paid charge card inserted into an enomatic machine.

So far, so trendy, but what of the food? Thankfully, the name “Craft” is reflected in the quality of ingredients on the menu. All of the charcuterie and cold cuts, from mortadella to salami Milanese, are made in-house by executive chef Daniel Brooker. The substantial sandwiches, with fillings like smoked salmon and cream cheese or tasty white bean hummus, make us wish Craft was just that little bit closer to our office. For evening visitors, the beer selection, while not particularly groundbreaking, also makes a nod to craft, with bottles from local brewers like Slow Boat.

My personal favorite part of Craft is the afternoon “Crumble Time.” In lieu of afternoon tea,between 2.30-5pm you can help yourself to unlimited servings of a range of crumbles made with fresh seasonal fruits. If all-you-can-eat dessert isn’t a way to endear people to your restaurant, even if it is in Lido, then I really don’t know what is.

Daily 7am-midnight. 1/F, Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido, 6 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District (6437 3388)
3.3km northeast of Sanyuanqiao Station (Line 10)

More stories by this author here.

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Photos: Uni

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