I was at Home Plate Bar-B-Que for a friend’s private Burns Supper this weekend (possibly with the world’s first barbecued haggis?) and noticed they have a couple new things on the menu, namely in the dessert section, an addition with which I have no arguments with. We ordered the only way in which I know how to order anymore โ€“ that is, one of everything. Our table found two of the new sweet arrivals particularly exciting. The cheesecake was excellent and adorned with a small pig (extra plus!) and the banana cake also garnered much praise. It’s a dense variety, closer to banana bread than cake and while I’d prefer mine a bit lighter, the giant slice was nonetheless quickly devoured. Keep your eyes out for the red velvet cake which the kitchen says is forthcoming.

There’s a new burger and sandwich place on Jiaodaokou Nandajie called Katchup which looks great from the few social media shots I’ve seen of it. I’m headed there this afternoon, so more on that shortly.

I’ve heard murmurs of a raw vegan cafe by juice cleanse company Vcleanse that may be opening in Central Park. We’ll let you know when this is confirmed, but with all the recent craze and excitement about juicing in the past few months, it seems worthy of an initial heads-up.

I went by the newest champagne brunch in town located at Kerry’s Kitchen in the Kerry Hotel Beijing. It launched in December and runs on Sundays with everything you would hope for, including a seafood station, sushi and sashimi, eggs-to-order, a salad and cold cuts bar, mala tang, dim sum and other Chinese options, plus a stacked dessert selection. What they really have going for them is the newly opened Adventure Zone on the third floor of the Kerry Centre. Kids who brunch get entrance to the Zone, so parents can kick back a bit without them โ€“ or join along if you’re so inclined. More details and the full story on this Sunday brunch coming up soon.

I had the unfortunate pleasure of spending 24 hours in Beijing United Family Hospital last week on an unexpected trip with a friend. However, there were some nice culinary surprises to the experience. I can’t speak much to the medical care with a professional opinion (we were all satisfied, though!), but I will weigh in on the post-op meal as that is more my bailiwick, and the whole wheat toast got some major props from our (only somewhat drugged) patient. BJU also has a couple Comptoirs de France outlets in their facilities โ€“ both a small counter in the original building and a larger cafe in the newer wing. It’s always nice to get a coffee and a fruit tart in the throes of dealing with a loved one’s troubles. I hope that none of you have to experience that, though.

And on that Comptoirs de France tip, they’ve announced a new Fidelity card program with rewards for daily purchases. Swing by any of the branches for more details and get a voucher for RMB 300 when you participate.

Photos: Cat Nelson

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