Opening on September 1, Char Dining Room & Lounge is located on the third floor of the shiny, new InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun Hotel. The same spot as their creative Top Tapas restaurant, this contemporary bar and grill is similarly full of innovative and delectable dishes.

Having over 18 years of experience at luxury hotels in his home France, as well as Dubai, America, and Egypt, Executive Chef Frédéric Le Gac is always looking for finest and freshest local ingredients to integrate local preferences and trends into his cooking style.

The kitchen prides itself on top quality meat: David Blackmore’s award-winning 600 days wagyu beef from Australia, as well as other various classic cuts, such as Stockyard tomahawk and Cape Grim grass-fed, and five types of freshly imported oysters.

We tried some of the signature dishes: caramelized foie gras and chopped fig; the duck liver melted in our mouths immediately, while a semi-scoop of frozen fig balanced delicately on the side of the bowl sweetened the palate. The appetizer of fried and juicy Hokkaido scallops with green apple and walnut crumbs, was well-balanced by a herb emulsion, a creamy jalapeño sauce providing a final spicy kick.

The lobster bisque was full of umami flavor, with some sweet undertones and savory hints of mussels, scallop, and lime. Chopped squid and tomatoes, with a dash of sea salt, sat atop the two razor clam shells on the side.

Next up, the Australian wagyu was as tender as to be expected, with a deep marble texture and succulent taste, complementing the rich gratin dauphinois (potatoes and cream) perfectly for heavy one-two punch. The mushroom sauce added a splash of savory to balance the mix.

The meal finished with a dessert of pineapple ravioli. The ravioli was stuffed with a refreshing lime-coconut mousse, topped with vanilla ice cream, sunflower seed granola, and the thin slice of dried pineapple gave an extra dose of tropical flavor.

Char's atmosphere is both modern and laidback; set against the background of Taikooli's sparkling lights, the view streams through floor-to-ceiling windows, while the open kitchen allows guests to watch the chefs prepare their delicacies. An outdoor terrace connects the restaurant with the hotel's Top Bar, allowing meals to be paired nicely with a drink from the great selection of single malt whiskeys and cocktails. 

Char Dining Room & Lounge
Kitchen: 5.30pm-10.30pm, Bar: 5.30pm-2am. 3/F, InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun, 1 Nan Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6530 8888)

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Photos: InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun, Tracy Wang

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