Black Sesame Kitchen Beijing
The first restaurant on my to-do list when I was planning my trip to China was Black Sesame Kitchen in Beijing. My mom has raved about it since the first time she went - a twelve seat communal eating experience where they cook each course right in front of you! If you are traveling alone or with a small group this is a great way to meet other travelers. They have a few seatings each night but you’ll want to make sure to call and make a reservation. They also offer cooking classes that I will definitely check out next time I visit!
They are also able to accommodate a few dietary restrictions including vegetarian and pescatarian - which is not easy to find in China! This was truly one of the best eating experiences I’ve ever had and I HIGHLY recommend it if you are in Beijing. However, the lighting is not the best so please excuse some weird coloring in the photos below :)
They have a mirror angled over the cooking area so that you can see them cooking while sitting at the table, but you are also welcome to go up to the cooking station and watch/ask any questions.
The menu is written on a chalkboard so you know what is coming your way.
Pan Fried Dumplings
I captured some action shots of the chefs making these above. When I say these smelled HEAVENLY I mean it. My stomach was growling the entire time they were cooking them. They had a perfect crunch on the outside and there were pork & vegetarian options!
Fried Shiitake Mushrooms
I LOVE mushrooms so I was super excited to see this on the menu. Paired with the crisp fresh veggies this was an amazing dish.
Beef with Spicy Peppers
This dish used a few types of peppers in it and while it was spicy, it wasn’t burn your mouth, can’t eat anymore spicy. More of a flavorful spice that I really enjoyed.
Five Flavored Eggplant
Now I don’t want to be dramatic but the was the BEST EGGPLANT I’VE EVER HAD. Holy moly I wish I had asked them for this recipe in hindsight. The eggplant was perfectly cooked, not mushy at all, and the flavors they used perfectly complimented each other. I would eat this every day for dinner if I could.
Sweet & Sour Shrimp & Walnuts
This was another standout dish for me. While everything was delicious, I really enjoyed this crispy shrimp and walnuts tossed in a sweet & sour sauce.
Homemade Black Sesame Ice Cream with Candied Apples
This is the specialty dessert served at the end of the meal and it was DELICIOUS. I had seconds and thirds. They make the ice cream in a small ice cream maker and served it with candied apples. Once I get an ice cream maker I’ll definitely be attempting to make this at home.
There were a few courses I didn’t photograph but I promise you they were just as tasty as all the above. One thing is for sure, you won’t leave Black Sesame Kitchen hungry…or sober for that matter if you take advantage of the all you can drink beer and wine that’s included in the cost.
If you are planning a trip to Beijing, Black Sesame Kitchen absolutely has to be on your list.