The Rug

Chaoyang Gongyuan Nan Lu,
The Rug

Time Out says... 3 5Users say 2/5 Rate it

First published on 6 Sep 2012. Updated on 7 May 2014.
Inside the Lishui Garden complex, across from the south gate of Chaoyang Park, is The Rug Café, one of the first restaurants to work directly with local Beijing farmers, such as De Run Wu or Da He, who are organic by their own standards but without official certification.
A small trek across The Rug Café's patio brings you to a large plank of natural wood that, when you start to wonder where the door is, magically slides open. Inside is the leftover remnants of a holiday tree with donation boxes filled to the brim for those in need. And that’s the tone in this eatery, despite its bizarre name. The Rug Café's owners are mostly Taiwanese, with a little American and a lot of foresight to see the exigency in making a restaurant with a spirit of sustainability towards its environment wherever possible.
Almost a misfit in this residential area, The Rug Café has a large communal table for the laptop set, a small private room and an area full of distracting toys for kids. Initially, organic bagels were the big talk, with a debatable declaration that they were a health food. Coming in varieties like cinnamon-raisin or chocolate (12-19RMB), you can order a smear of cream cheese (10RMB) among other classic toppings, or try them as main-course options like egg, bacon and onion, with a side of organic potatoes and coffee or tea (58RMB). It’s everything you want, until you take a bite and realise this is a bagel made in China, with local flours that aren’t quite the way you expect them. And so you concede.
Breakfast is the main deal here. There’s an all-day menu with a full-page spread of pancakes (58RMB) or the big brunch (118RMB) that come with lots of things – including a bagel. The side menu has typical wine nibbles, but the unsung hero is a build-your-own hash brown, with a base (18RMB) that can be combined with imaginative things like avocado (15RMB) or thick sausage (16RMB). Fresh orange (32RMB) or other juices come in a jug grand enough to share.
The Rug signature salad (58RMB) wears a scatter of crunchy croutons and tatters of bacon, crowned with a poached egg that shows off a bright, papaya-coloured yolk when poked. It’s slightly heavy on the dressing, so ask for it on the side. With a bowl of creamy pumpkin soup (38RMB) that’s light on seasoning, it’s a perfect healthy lunch, with assurances that the produce is (probably) not grown with pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
But if you want a more substantial meal, the pastas, such as a spaghetti with a gratifying pile of clams and shrimp (98RMB), are cooked well. You can choose to have a garlicky chilli or pesto sauce, although be warned: there is such a thing as too much pesto. A broader expanse of main dishes to draw you in at night makes The Rug an all-day kind of place, in case you’d like something more than breakfast. It seems there are options for everyone, including families, thanks to a menu for little ones; plus there’s a kids room, too.
And save room for dessert, with a memorable cheesecake (38RMB) that boasts a five-hour slow bake. There’s a lot to like here and not only in terms of food – The Rug Café's owners have a commendable mindset with a commitment to not only making good food but also doing the right thing. Let’s hope it catches on. Lillian Chou


7.30am-10.30pm daily (9.30pm last order)

Telephone 8550 2722

English address First Floor, Building 4, Chaoyang Gongyuan Nan Lu, Lishuijiayuan Xiaoqu (opposite Chaoyang Park south gate), Chaoyang district

Chinese address 朝阳区朝阳公园南路丽水嘉园小区4号楼1层(朝阳公园南门对面)


Posted by : ElviraC on 23/06/2015 19:30:32
Way overrated. I had brunch there and it's pricier than a decent brunch in NYC or Boston. And considering the quality of the food, even pricier than any mediocre brunch in London. It has a half-baked American brunch / lunch menu and mediocre food at best. The decor was good but that's the only good thing I can think of. The salad had too much dressing and the pieces of cold scotch eggs were not very appetising. The sunny side up egg was overcooked and the hash brown was tasteless on the inside and very uninspiring. There are way better places to eat in Beijing. It's sad to see that on a Chinese restaurant rating website, the Rug got rave reviews by the Chinese. Only if they've had some thing slightly more decent... well...
Posted by : Tiff on 18/03/2015 13:17:55
Food are very fresh, all made to order. They made the best hollandaise sauce in town, out beat a lot of 5 star hotels. Service needs to have more smile ! I will make myself one of the regulars.
Posted by : Mate on 28/12/2014 10:52:24
Horrible staff, very impolite, food doe snot worth the cost. Microwave stuff I can do at home. Is just a place for not well-informed Chinese, who want to live the "west" experience. I would add a ZERO star if possible.
Posted by : Jacques Meoff on 18/10/2014 10:57:26
I was so looking forward to going to this well rated and award winning cafe for a casual Saturday morning brunch. The place is well fitted out and very appealing. I know that Chinese restaurants are not renowned for their impeccable smiling and helpful wait staff, however when a venue is trying to emulate a western style cafe, they should at least make an attempt to train their staff. The eggs benedict was smothered in a supermarket sauce of an unknown description, the Mocha, whilst delicious, was barely lukewarm and the sausage and egg meal was padded out with a ludicrous amount of lettuce. (The sausage was awesome though) This experience was further degraded by a 15 minute difference in our two meals arriving and a final bill which exceeded what would be expected in New York or Sydney.
Posted by : Stefan on 25/05/2014 12:50:44
Food is OK, service is terrible

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