In yet another incredible example of how Beijing is just the perfect melting pot for culture and cuisine, Spanish restaurant Niajo is hosting a collaboration event titled 'the World of Rice', bringing together three different chefs, their cultures, and their cooking. We were honored to be invited to sample some of the dishes that are going to be part of their six-course rice menu with Spanish wine pairings on September 24.

Executive Chef Alejandro Sanchez, also the owner of Niajo, Chef Omar Maseroli from Italian restaurant Mercante, and Chef Taka Yamamoto from Japanese restaurant Sake Manzo all draw on their experience and own cuisine to create wonderful dishes using rice in a plethora of different ways.

We won't spill the beans on the entire evening, but we can give you a glimpse into some of the treats. 

Chef Taka's sushi balls were adorable and full of flavor. They were infused with a citrus vinegar as opposed to generally-used plain sushi vinegar, and beautifully presented. Also in keeping with the Japanese spirit, were spring rolls made of rice cakes and wrapped with fish roe as well as tofu covered with fermented rice with a delicate taste.

On the Italian front, the rice cakes made by Chef Omar were wrapped in speck and used a traditional Italian recipe, proving to be unbelievable comfort food, but with a luxurious edge. As for the hosting restaurant's offerings, expect gorgeous paella full of fresh flavors native to the sea. Ours was infused with squid ink and was the star of the show. 

Dishes will be paired with wines carefully selected by Spanish chef Alejandro, hailing from throughout the country. The six-course dinner on September 24 costs RMB 498 per person. To book, call 5208 6052 or email at [email protected]

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Photos: courtesy of organizers and Margaux Schreurs

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