Origine Steak and Wine

  • Restaurants
  • European
  • French
32 Jianchang Hutong
Origine is a bistro-cum-steakhouse on Wudaoying Hutong. Initially we were thrilled by the prospect of having a quality restaurant in the centre of first-date territory, but the reality is crushingly disappointing.

The Quiche Lorraine (58RMB) is an affront; a pale yellow wedge fringed with something brown, devoid of ham or cheese and served room temperature with a frosty interior betraying its recent liberation from the chill chest. The Croque Monsieur (58RMB) is coated in airy béchamel with layers of sliced white bread and luncheon ham between. This is where we start to lose patience – something is deeply wrong here.

The steaks, an entrecôte (258RMB) and a fillet mignon (198RMB) go over better, but both suffer from a lack of seasoning or any manner of ageing. The fillet, a typically subtle cut, is tender and cooked to order, yet it somehow falls flat despite a hearty dose of sauce béarnaise (12RMB), which smacks more of kewpie mayonnaise than lemon and rich egg yolk. The entrecôte benefits from more fat and connective tissue but it’s too little too late and again lacking in seasoning; even the curious, unpeeled cloves of roasted garlic lazily cast around the plate are not up to the task. A limp side salad and order of French fries and barbecue sauce arrive, quickly vanishing to fill the void where the decent cuisine we had hoped for was meant to reside.

The food is an utter let down. The service is overbearing and incredulous at the need for wine glasses for a bottle of red. The silver lining is the comfortable interior and rather stunning wine list, although there are few value bottles. It’s clear Origine is in need of a serious overhaul. With some work it could be a nice spot for a good steak in the hutongs. For now, steer clear.

By Nick Gollner

Venue name: Origine Steak and Wine
Contact:
Opening hours: 5-11pm Mon-Fri; 11am-2pm, 5-11pm Sat-Sun
English address: Origine 32 Jianchang Hutong, Dongcheng district
Chinese address: 东城区箭厂胡同32号