Michelin stars for restaurant's Taizhou cuisine focus
In the Michelin Guide’s first edition for Beijing, Xin Rong Ji was the only restaurant to be awarded three stars — and you can see why.
Since the restaurant’s inception, it has proved to be a shining light on the Taizhou cuisine it proudly serves, time after time.
I visited a Xin Rong Ji branch on Nanjing Road W. recently and it is undoubtedly one of the best Chinese dining experiences in town.
Firstly, its success lies in its elegant ambience, complete with traditional Chinese touches without looking heavy and old-fashioned. And the lighting was elaborately designed in its open dining area, which helps set the mood and charm.
Taizhou cuisine isn’t as well-known compared to China’s eight great types, such as Cantonese and Sichuan.
It is characterized mostly by its very nuanced, delicate but flavorful fish and seafood preparations.
The restaurant displays its wide selection of fresh seafood, flown in daily from Taizhou, Zhejiang Province. People in the know and big spenders come for its famous wild yellow croaker fished from the East China Sea.
Xin Rong Ji ensures some of the highest quality seafood dishes, such as braised yellow croaker, braised sea cucumber, sea anemone, baby octopus and yoshihama abalone, and you can choose your preferred cooking style.
Every dish I tasted revealed attention to detail. There were no gratuitous extras to the dishes, neither in their creation nor the careful presentation.
I started off with crispy cutlassfish (belt fish). The pan-frying technique generated a crispy skin in golden yellow color and the fish meat was rightly tender and tasty.
It’s not easy to avoid greasy fried fish but the excellence of the raw materials shines through even more when they’re dressed down.
Braised sea anemone with sweet potato noodle is another star dish, which makes many diners return to the restaurant time and time again. The dark color derives from a Taizhou local ingredient, sea anemone, and the powerfully concentrated flavor composed of sweet, salty and sour elements was truly memorable.
The braised farm tofu in casserole, country style was another perfectly balanced, flavorful dish that shows the essence of Taizhou home cooking. Flavor rules, with a focus on texture.
The restaurant is famous for its fish and seafood plates, but the crispy squab and pan-fried chicken were equally well executed.
The food menu is well balanced from the pricey delicacies to Taizhou home-style recipes, noodle and rice. This is truly a spot where the dining experience should not be missed.
Opening hours: 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-9pm
Address: L2, 688 Nanjing Rd W.
Average price: 550 yuan