You are here: Home > Places > China > Beijing > Maison Boulud French Restaurant - Beijing, China | Restaurant Review

Maison Boulud French Restaurant - Beijing, China | Restaurant Review

Bombastic Experience at this Beijing Treasure.


Restaurant Category : French

Maison Boulud – Beijing, China: Nestled in the old United States Embassy near Tiananmen Square, Maison Boulud is an elegant, old manor-house style restaurant that serves French cuisine (expertly created using local ingredients) in a well-appointed setting replete with a stylish décor, professional looking staff and smartly dressed, well-heeled patrons. Maison Boulud is one of the many fine dining restaurants by famed chef Daniel Boulud.

From the moment we walked in the door, we were swayed by the beauty and grandeur of the entrance and the quick professional service. However, once we were seated, we quickly realized that the atmosphere with its extra lofty ceilings and minimalist décor lacked the elegance of the entrance and the bar area (that we later visited). Though the entire look is majestic and stately in keeping with the posture of the diplomatic premises, the indoor dining area is far less imposing and impressive than the sophisticated entrance. The furnishings and architectural details used in the restaurant are largely French and there are several seating options including a lounge, a grand dining room and a bunch of private dining salons.

Share this review on Facebook.

As far as service was concerned, we ran into the same issue that we encountered throughout our trip to China, a serious lack of good English speaking employees and employees who are well-trained and have a firm understanding of genuine, high-end service.

After a few rounds of pointless struggling with the assistant sommelier and our server, we asked for assistance from the sommelier (and who we later found out was the General Manager), Ignace, a Belgian, who had an excellent background and knowledge of not only wine, but of the entire menu and what superior service really meant.

Masion Boulud had a Prix Fixe menu for 486 Yuan (around $68) but we opted to go a la carte’.

The extensive menu was choc-o-bloc with appetizers ranging from creamy mushroom soup and foie gras to king crab and sardines. The main menu was just as vast with lobster, black cod, salmon, suckling pig, lamb, beef and veal. At the risk of resorting to a worn-out description, this was truly one menu that had something for everyone.

We started our meal with a potato leek soup with garlic, croutons and Gruyere cheese; it was flavorsome, luscious, rich and elegant. We were off to a great start.

For appetizers we dug into some fine ravioli ricotta stuffed pyramids, asparagus variation, young shrimp and lemon emulsion. The preparation was small on the portioning but big on flavor. We also sampled a beautiful lamb dish made with chilled lamb shoulder tagine, smoked eggplant marmalade and sheep’s milk yogurt. Although it seemed perfectly prepared, it just wasn’t to my taste. I am not a big fan of eggplant, so it was my mistake to have picked up the dish in the first place.

For our main course, we devoured a lamb preparation, New Zealand loin with Meyer lemon fregola crust and eggplant moussaka; my dining partner loved it (he loves eggplant, as I mentioned earlier, I am not as big a fan). It was tender, moist, and juicy; it seemed like the flavor was enhancing with every bite.

Another main was a beef dish; red wine braised short ribs, polenta with fennel-prepared medium rare. The beef was extremely tender and succulent. This main dish I was crazy about

For our wine, we sipped on a beautiful 2006 Torbreck “Woodcutters” Shiraz Barossa Valley. It was crisp, bracing and succulent and it complemented our meal perfectly.

For dessert we gorged on their special dish, Café Noir-Coupe de Glace - marshmallows, meringue, chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce. If you are a chocolate lover, this is definitely the dessert for you! For me, it was just too much chocolate but then again I am not the biggest chocolate fan in the world. Since the recommendation came from Ignace, I am happy we tried it as the presentation itself was a sheer visual treat.

Barring the challenging service that we received in the beginning, our overall experience at Maison Boulud was bombastic. I don’t know if we could give Maison Boulud as high a score if we had to deal solely with the local staff (the language barrier was maddening), but based on our actual experience Maison Boulud gets a rating of Bombastic.

What I liked: The striking décor at the entrance, the inspiring food and wine and the service from Ignace.

What I didn’t like: The less than impressive interiors in the main dining area and the fact that we had to struggle to communicate with the staff initially.

Rating: Bombastic
Join us on Facebook!

5 Star and Luxury Hotel, Resort,
Restaurant, Airline and Travel Reviews,
Advice and Information - Independent and Unbiased

Share this article:

reddit Delicious Digg Mr. Wong Webnews Facebook StumbleUpon


Be the first to post a comment!