Sunday Brunch at Opus Lounge - Four Seasons Hotel, Beijing.

I recently visited Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing to try their Sunday Brunch. With brunches really growing in popularity in the city, I was intrigued to see how Four Seasons interpreted theirs. After my experience, a few thoughts surfaced. 


Venue

Set in the Opus Lounge, it is a very bold and adventurous venue, I must say. It is quite uncommon for a  brunch to be held in a hotel lounge, but I must say, while I was sceptical initially, I think it works quite well. The high ceiling lends a certain opulence to the afternoon and not to mention spaciousness. It  also means that the buffet is spread out nicely. Finally, the outdoor area makes it possible for a BBQ station, something that works brilliantly in the cooler months. 







 No substitute for a quality champagne

I like Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve Champagne. It is not among my top 10, but when  I think of what I have seen around the city, it is up there. It may not have the caché of Veuve Clicquot and Moet Chandon - the world's most commercial champagnes - but I feel it possesses a complexity that these two lack. It is a champagne that may not catch the eye very obviously, but I appreciated it. Great choice that meets hotel needs as far as budget and also a choice that says something about the Four Seasons brand. Nice. 




Food stations

The station that caught my eye was definitely the Seafood station, marked by tremendous variety. While the local cranb on offer was disappointing - hard work for very little meat - the King crab legs were superb. In fairness, I requested a seafood pick, which made the experience all the better. I do recommend the Boston lobster too. While not very large, they were delicious, with that typical mild sweetness one expects; exturally, firm but moist. Lastly, it was great seeing scallops served cold. It was a welcome departure from the usually seared scallops I enjoy at a brunch. Sadly missing though were oysters, something I understand will be remedied soon. 


Next, the BBQ station was fantastic. Grilled vegetables, a selection of seafood, lamb and beef were just some of the items I saw on offer. My requested dish, Australian beef, hit the right note. It was done medium rare with the right level of pink. The vegetables served on the side did not disappoint either and the chef managed to keep them crunchy.




Finally, make sure you have the foie gras. The latter does not need much to make it exciting. Simple get the temperature right and do not overwhelm it with a sweet compote. This is exactly how it was done on the day. The citrus fruit served on the side brought a sourness to bear on the dish. Texture of course was provided by  a perfectly toasted brioche. 

Drinks service

This is where I see room for a decent selection of drinks to become even better. Supplementing the champagne were two Portuguese wines, red and white. For those on the soft package there was a choice of mocktails. As was the case when I attended a brunch last week, I felt the absence of cocktails keenly. Cost wise, cocktails make more sense as extra an option for the top tier champagne package; a good selection of cocktails, no more than three actually, would be great. The same can be said of the wine - add another red and white. Choice is a good thing right? 





Finally...I loved the fact there was a dedicated area for children. It is painful expecting kids to sit through three hours of a brunch while their parents are happily chatting, having drinks. The Kids area ensures that both parties are happy. On another note, well done to the Head Chef for including salmon as one of four main dishes that is in the kids area. Some kids have a mature palate. 


Verdict

A classy brunch with most of the boxes ticked for a brunch in a hotel like this. I think, though, that I would like to see a bit more interaction by waiting staff. Brunches are so much more than ingredients. We remember brunches because of the people we meet and their manner of service. Also, I am always encouraged seeing chefs walk around the floor, again connecting with guests. This is the best way to get the feel of the guests at a  brunch. On  another note, I appreciated the fact the hotel's Assistant F&B Director, Opus Lounge Operations Manager and Senior Assistant Lounge Manager moved around the brunch. It instills confidence in guests when there is a strong presence of senior staff on the floor. 

I look forward to returning to Four Seasons for another classy brunch experience.


Essentials

Four Seasons Hotel
48 Liangmaqiao Road,
SanYuan Qiao,
Chaoyang Qu, Beijing
+86 10 5695 888
12pm-3pm Sundays

 Packages
Soft drinks 468 RMB +15%
Wine 508 RMB +15%
Champagne 568 RMB +15%


Brandon Stoltenkamp
https://instagram.com/bmstoltenkamp/




















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