Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eat Here, It's Delicious

Shunyites suddenly have something to talk about – and a place to go to, to do so.

Exciting things are happening in Shunyi – new restaurant openings!  Yes, this is so very thrilling because how boring is it to go to, and order from, the same restaurants over and over again?  Nowadays you can find everything in downtown Beijing; from fancy eateries with an eye on a Michelin star to everyday hangouts to some great family friendly places with dishes from around the world.  But suddenly it is happening out here; so quickly in fact that we haven’t even had time to try them all!

One place we have been to, and back again because we liked it so much, is  Eatalicious, a small, cleanly decorated bistro in the Pinnacle Plaza area, just opposite Baskin Robbins. Maybe 15 tables are strewn around the area that also features a glass case filled with desserts and baked goods and a glass-enclosed open kitchen. We love the ability to see our food being prepared; not only to make sure that it, and the chefs, are clean but also to see what and how they are creating.  It is not a big kitchen but seems very organized; on one of the occasion we visited, there were no less than 4 chefs in there at the same time!

Eatalicious serves Italian fare made with high quality products, the menu has something for everybody and not always the obvious Italian standards.  It’s Italian with a twist and we love it!

On a family visit for a late Sunday lunch, we tried the pizzas - it was one of those Sundays… It has a super thin crust, Italian style, the right amount of slightly sweet tomato sauce and a good amount of melted mozzarella.  The kids announced that this was now their favorite pizza place after having devoured the Margherita (tiny leaves of fresh basil carefully picked off with an eeowww sound) and the Prosciutto was really good as well; nice big slices of salty and sweet prosciutto crudo di Parma and leaves of peppery rucola on top of cheesy goodness.  The wine list is not very big but sufficient – again, there is something for everyone. There are also a few choices of wine served by the glass, all reasonably priced. The soft drinks, however, are way over priced and we will save our soda fix for another time.

At another visit we tried the sea bass ravioli, which turned out to be surprisingly delicious.  Ravioli is always difficult; many times they come out dry and tasteless but these fluffy clouds could easily be eaten on their own, without the sauce. The pasta came with a large handful of clams, steamed to perfection with a hint of of basil – simply delish and not fishy at all. We also tried the Roberto curry chicken but were sadly disappointed. The curry tasted generic and besides chicken and curry sauce there was nothing. A few vegetables thrown in would have been nice.

Spectacular Sea Bass Ravioli

We have been working our way through the menu (what else is there to do here anyway?) and have also tried the Sea Burger; a dense patty filled with sea bass, cuttlefish and shrimp – glued together by potatoes.  The bun was a bit too large for our liking and the coleslaw could have been omitted completely but the dish was something we will definitely have again. The same goes for the grilled chicken salad; a yummy blend of chicken, roman lettuce, parma ham, parmesan cheese, roasted tomatoes and yummy balsamic onions, a good serving of salad enough for two if eaten as a side dish.

Fresh Grilled Chicken Salad - love the balsamic onions!

On one occasion also tried the baked stuffed paccheri pasta (like penne on steroids) with Bolognese sauce and porcini mushrooms.  A very manly dish, which was indeed appreciated by the man who ordered it.  The female dish (if there are such) was the pumpkin-gorgonzola soup, which we thought had a good flavor but was a bit thin for our taste. That is a culinary cultural opinion though; while Americans usually like their pumpkin soups quite thick and a little bit on the sweet side, soups in Italy are generally lighter in the texture.

Baked Stuffed Pacceri Pasta

There are many happy faces around us today as we are sitting in the restaurant trying the white pizza with mozzarella, roasted potato, fresh sausages and rosemary. We decided that the best spot to have a working lunch while writing a review is to be on location. We began our long working lunch by sharing the soft boiled egg on toast with sautéed spinach, grilled bacon, parmesan cheese, roasted tomatoes and basil pesto. The dish was comfort on a plate. Rashes of bacon broiled to perfection, a nice slice of garlic scented bread covered with sautéed spinach and a perfectly soft boiled egg with a yolk that oozed out when pierced. Like eggs benedict without the hollandaise, only better. We will come back for this one for sure – the perfect Sunday brunch dish, a great cure for an….aummm….tired head…

Comfort food on a plate - Soft Boiled Eggs on Toast

The potato pizza arrived (the service at Eatalicious is good, fast and friendly, efficient and professional) and while it was exactly as advertised, it will not be our favorite but again – a matter of taste.

Rosemary Pizza

To sum it all up – we are (as you can tell) very excited about this new eatery on the Shunyi scene, an alternative to the tried and tested places that we frequent over and over again. We wish for success and hope that the restaurant will continue to offer the same good service and quality products as it becomes more popular. And, of course, that there will always be a table for us when we need some comfort food in the shape of eggs on toast or just want to sip a glass of wine and share a pizza.

Note:  Eatalicious delivers!  Call 131 4674 8656 or 131 4674 8756 for delivery.  Visit their website at www.lofteatalicious for more information and the main telephone number is 8046 1565.  They also have a location in Wangjing :).

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