So, after reading mixed reviews and the Beijing media darling’s interview full of hot air, my foodie friend and I held back all judgement to experience Room BMK and all its wonderful promises for ourselves. Firstly, there is no real Michelin starred chef in Beijing doing their own thing here, so the article of “Michelin nonsense” largely misleads people and sets unrealistic expectations for the local dining scene.
As a former advertising creative, I’m thrilled by great concepts and creative ideas, granted that no idea is really original these days because everything is really a copy of something else tweaked and adopted to suit the product, brand and purpose. And Room is really just a copy of lots of things to suit lots of other things, I felt that a core centre was lacking and everything was anything and it lacked some form of unity, from the menu to the dishes. Granted, chef Brian did thorough research that appealed to the Chinese audience, sharing portions divided into Small (RMB50), Medium (RMB80) and Large (RMB100), but we found that the dishes lacked soul, personality and unity. It could have been teething problems or simply because the wonderful and vast creative ideas were not streamlined to fulfill the purpose and potential of space.
Pork buns with hoisin sauce that was good, but it sorely lacked the “umph” factor. My mother who grew up cooking Fujian dishes makes a mean “kong ba pau” would have cried seeing how the pork belly was thinly sliced.
Nicely cooked halibut in Egyptian spices (whatever Egyptian spices typically are)
The highlight of our evening was a spicy shrimp risotto cooked in coconut milk (that appealed deeply to my Southeast Asian diet) served with tempura and a side of avocado ice cream, which was delish but nothing really new as it was a cheaper and toned down version of the wonderful blu lobster creation with crab as opposed to shrimps.
The tiramisu was a little depressing chunk of cream and coarse sponge. 10 points for presentation but 2 points for satisfaction.
The cocktails though, are nice and everyone should have a go.
301-302, 3/F, PARK LIFE,
Beijing Yintai Center,
2 Jianguomenwai Street,