Sunday Brunch at Aroma - The Ritz Carlton-Beijing, Beijing

My Sunday Brunch exploration of Beijing continued, with The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing. In my Sunday best, I made my way there by subway, a really easy and cheap way to get there. It is the Ritz after all. An extra dash of cologne is never out of place. Brunch, done on both Saturday and Sunday, is held in Aroma, the hotels' all-day dining restaurant. Low ceilings lend a certain warmth and intimacy to the brunch experience, notwithstanding the capacity that can reach 140. Then, windows with views of the garden. After my brunch afternoon, a few thoughts dawned on me:


Always a great way to start...

Champagne and oysters. You can never go wrong with this combination. Made to order, the freshness was undeniable. I had ten oysters, with only one having traces of sediment. It is so reassuring when a chef knows how to shuck the Australian oysters served here. Incidentally, I was seated at a table with a view of the garden; the greenery, oysters and champagne took me beyond the Beijing boundaries. Really quite hypnotic. It is worth, even if the champagne is Moet Chandon NV, paying a little extra to get the bubbly flowing freely. Tremendous value. 



If you have only three dishes, make sure you have ...


The brunch offers standard fare that you would get at a quality brunch in the city. However, three elements worth mentioning as they really stood out. First, make sure to try the Japanese station. It boasts one of the most impressive sashimi selections I have had at almost 250 brunches over the last 6 years. Most brunches will offer tuna, salmon and usually one other choice. The Ritz offers about 7! Kudos to Chef who, despite mutual limitations with language, did his best to try and answer my questions. Appreciated. 



Next, oh the Grilled lobster. As I write this, I can still taste the moist lobster given a spicy twist. The thing is I usually have only lemon on my lobster, but because of the Sichuan promotion during the brunch, I asked Chef to add a bit of zing to mine. It is not the flavour of the spice that overwhelmed me - spices are often used to mask a poorly cooked protein. No, it was the texture. Grilled lobster is over done, more than not, but on this day, it was perfect. This was the best Grilled lobster I have ever had. The real test, though, was when I ordered another serving. But again, done as beautifully as the first. 



Finally, it was a thrill seeing Indian dishes as part of the brunch. Of course the dishes were modified to the local palate - O tried the Rogan josh and vegetable curry and could feel; the lack of spice, but I could understand why. Still,I am encouraged to see that I can find high end Indian cusine at a brunch. As a treat, Chef obliged my request for some naan. Nice!



Sichuan icinography 

Foie gras


 

Australian lamb

The verdict


It is a good brunch, albeit safely played. Don't expect major surprises as they have pretty much nailed teh brunch formula. However, the Sichuan promotion really spiced things up, no pun intended. This is the kind of thing that makes guests return. Keep things fresh and as is the case with the Indian station, offer that which sets you apart from the competition. As far as drinks go, I think more can be done on the drinks front. I believe that brunch and cocktails go hand in hand; something worth exploring. A couple cocktails would complement the wine and bubbles rather nicely. On the service side, Bobby Zhang, the Assistant Restaurant Manager,  was on duty when I was there. He took care of a couple concerns I had on the and did all he could to ensure that guests got their requests timely done. Overall, worth adding to your Sunday brunch round up. 





 The verdict


It is a good brunch, albeit safely played. Don't expect major surprises as they have pretty much nailed the brunch formula.However, the Sichuan promotion really spiced things up, no pun intended. This is the kind of thing that makes guests return. Keep things fresh and as is the case with the Indian station, offer that which sets you apart from the competition. I think more can be done on the drinks front. I am a huge believer that brunch and cocktails go hand in hand; something worth exploring. On the service side, waitresses were sharp but lacked natural engagement skills. Asking a guest how his brunch is going is is a simple way to initiate engagement. On the other hand,  Bobby Zhang, the Assistant Restaurant Manager,  was on duty when I was there. He took care of a couple concerns I had on the day and did all he could to ensure that guests got their requests timely done. Overall, definitely worth adding to your weekend brunch routine. 


The Essentials

The Ritz-Carlton Beijing,
China Central Place,
83A Jian Guo Road,
Chaoyang,
Beijing
+86 10 5988888
Closest subway - Dawanglu - 5 minute walk

Packages

Wine 618 RMB net
Champagne 688 RMB net
Saturday and Sunday 11.30am - 3.00pm


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

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