The most luxurious dining experiences in Beijing

The best of the city's over-the-top ways to eat and drink

Luxury. The word tends to conjure up images of the expensive, the outrageous, the beautiful and the downright unnecessary. If that's how you wish to indulge, or you just want to gawp at the ways in which some people do, then the finer side of Beijing's got just what you need.
Dine with dignitaries at Diaoyutai state guesthouse

Dine with dignitaries at Diaoyutai state guesthouse

Expose yourself to a level of luxe formerly reserved for foreign and domestic dignitaries only; it’s only since 1980 that the restaurant of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse – the Foreign Ministry’s go-to venue for hosting visitors of such esteem – has been open to the public. Environs are suitably extravagant, while the extravagantly priced menu is a ‘who’s who’ of Chinese delicacies, including abalone, oyster, fish maw and shark fins aplenty. Expect to pay upwards of 1,500RMB per person; the pictured banquet hall is usually by-invite-only (unless you’re really willing to pay) though other private rooms are similarly ornate. Advance booking essential.
Fucheng Lu, Haidian district (5859 1588).

Have an exclusive, bespoke meal at Mio

Have an exclusive, bespoke meal at Mio

Nothing says luxury quite like exclusivity. Anyone can spunk stacks of cash on expensive ingredients, but it takes a certain flair to splash the cash on an eminently experiential evening of extravagance.

The project of Aniello Turco, chef de cuisine of Mio at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, Mio Lab is a private dining experience (starting at 988RMB per person, plus 15 percent) that serves up a bespoke tasting menu of loosely Italian creations, tailored to the patron in a private dining area where the chefs cook in conversation with the guests. Better yet, for no discernible reason other than mirth, each course is paired with an emoji on the menu. The private room itself is a spectacle to behold, decked out in Mio’s signature opulence, but seating only an intimate eight people, keeping diners well away from the riff-raff in one of the most luxurious establishments in all of Beijing.

Eat a steak from a chocolate-fed cow

Eat a steak from a chocolate-fed cow

This year in innovations that were surely long overdue: dropping thousands of kuai on the most extravagant cut of beef in Beijing – China Grill’s chocolate-fed steak (1,058-3,782RMB plus 15 percent). The beef comes from a farm in Australia that specialises in Cadbury Cattle – depending on the sweetness of your tooth, these cows are either blessed or cursed with the duty of eating 2kg of milk chocolate a day, resulting in a creamily marbled steak that can be enjoyed from the 66th floor restaurant alongside panoramic views, including the whole stretch of Chang’an. This is luxury at its most wanton: silly, expensive and brilliant.

Go on a truffle tour de Pékin

Go on a truffle tour de Pékin

Fine dining in Beijing means fine ingredients, which often means truffles. Along with foie gras and caviar, this not-so-humble knobbly tree wart is a stalwart of many luxury Beijing dining experiences.

Justin’s tasting menu (from 388RMB) is a paean to the fabulous fungus. Four of the seven courses feature truffles, most notably the truffle and foie gras xiaolongbao, which may irk traditional dumpling devotees but is good news for hardened truffle fiends.

Elsewhere, Opera Bombana has just relaunched its annual white truffle winter menu, featuring whipped eggs (788RMB), homemade tagliolini (808RMB) and an Italian acquerello risotto (808RMB), all topped with fresh white truffle from Alba in Italy.

Over at Sureno, guests can celebrate truffle season by ordering it shaved over any dish of their choosing (25RMB per gram).

If the temptation to truffle your tipple strikes, though, head to Botany, which offers a truffle martini (120RMB) made with Yunnan black truffle-infused rum and citrus.

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