Dance to the rhythm of cooking
Sing to the wonder of life

Dance to the rhythm of cooking Sing to the wonder of life

Dance to the rhythm of cooking
Sing to the wonder of life

Culinary trend of Beijing 2014-2015

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The Beijinger magazine’s 2015 Restaurant awards results are out this month! And in this month’s Food Issue of the Beijinger, my foodie expert friends and I are featured in the main article ‘Beyond the Awards’! find out the new culinary trend of Beijing + news of Slow Food Beijing

这一次‘北京儿’杂志邀请我和四位美食专家来一起讨论这几年北京美食的趋势而且跟大家分享我们老去的一些秘密餐厅的名单。作为一个住在北京的韩国美食专家,我跟他们分享了我的top 7韩国餐厅的名单,这个名单我下周跟音乐厨师的读者分享! :) beijinger cover Every year, the diner editor of the Beijinger magazine invites a group of food experts for a luncheon to talk about the Beijing food scene. This year I was lucky and felt honored to be chosen as one of the dining experts to take part. For April’s Food Issue of ‘the Beijinger’ magazine, I was invited to join 4 other Beijing’s dining experts to discuss the current culinary trends and share the hidden gem and underappreciated restaurants that each of us love in Beijing. I wrote a summery below but you can read the whole article written by talented dining editor Robynne – Beyond Awards (pg 12-15) restaurant award First of all, big congratulations to all my friends who won awards at the Beijinger Restaurant Award!

Ernest of Nonya Kitchen (best Malay), Alan and Kristen of Hatsune (Hall of Fame, best Japanese), Michael + Krystjan of L.A. Palms Kitchen (best Korean, best new) click here to see the whole list of winners – Beijinger Restaurant Award 2015 Winners beijinger lunch

Beijinger Food Expert Luncheon at Transit Thanks Robynne (dining editor for the Beijinger) for inviting us for a wonderful luncheon at Transit!

Who are the other 4 food experts?

beijinger feature 1 Emily – Dining editor for Chinese language website
Vincent– top Beijing/Taiwanese food blogger with more than 150k followers are on his weibo (蛋蛋IN北京)
Irwin – runs travel website and WeChat account Go Beijing that recommends the best dining deals and news
Kristen – Chinese American food blogger + PR for Hatsune empire + also one of my best food blogger friends in Beijing! her blog is (check it out to get the inside scoop of hottest dining deals in Beijing) She also organizes monthly BJ Foodie nights, to get onto the mailing list, email her at
bjfoodienight caravan

Last month’s BJ Foodie Night at a new Moroccan restaurant Caravan

What did we learn from the discussion

Beijing I love you Just like other big metropolitan cities, Beijing is also a city of trends especially when it comes to food. Something will catch on, proliferate then get replaced by something new and more exciting. In the last 5 years, I’ve seen the popularity of macaroons, cupcakes, juice detox rise and fall, the awareness and demand for healthy organic food rising and recently with the new government’s anti-graft campaign, many high-end restaurant brands coming up with cheaper, more accessible brands (eg – Dadong 小大董, Huige hotpot (小辉哥), Najia Xiaoguan (小吊梨汤)..etc

Additionally,we saw the increased demand for over-priced (often costing 1000+RMB) gaudy looking fondant cakes (逼格蛋糕) decorated with not-so-edible sugar art that often taste very dry and bland. To my disappointment, it seems people in Beijing still prefer these sculpted mass produced artificial cakes over artisan quality pastry that use real quality ingredients. Hopefully that will change soon when people care less about 面子 and care more about the quality and taste.

gaudy cakes

sometimes you can’t judge book just by its cover *photo from Google search

Right now, Beijing is crazy about pizzas (100+ brands), locally brewed beer pubs (my favorite one is Slow Boat brewery) and private home kitchens that use WeChat booking system.

You can see the list of best pizza joints in Beijinger’s Pizza Cup 2014
tree pizza

pizza at the Tree is one of my favorite late night guilty pleasures! unpretentious pepperoni pizza + imported beer yum!!

What happened to Slow Food movement in Beijing?

Beijing Slow Food logo As an active member of Slow Food Beijing Chaoyang convivium for the past three years, I have mixed emotions about Slow Food in China being officially being recognized at a government level this past January. On one hand, I’m happy that Slow Food is now officially registered entity in China but on the other hand, due to the government involvement and many restrictions imposed, Slow Food Beijing Chaoyang convivium I was part of no longer exists.

All the core board members including myself, thought the government involvement took away the original free spirit of Slow Food and made it almost impossible for us to continue and decided to resign from our posts (we were all volunteers) and pass the member list back to Slow Food Italy HQ. Well, although we are no longer officially part of Slow Food Beijing, many of us still spread and share the value of Slow Food on our own. I will continue to spread joy of cooking and share food diverse food cultures with local friends and Musichef blog readers 🙂

thanksgiving potluck-11 On a brighter note! More and more people are becoming more health conscious and preferring to cook at home instead of dinging out. Many green restaurants are also partnering with local farmers to bring you farm-to-table meals. Check out my friend Andrew and chef Colin’s new take-out shop Napa (near chunxiulu) that specialize in CA farm-to-table meal with ingredients all sourced from local organic farms. napa1

Also check out my previous blog posts on where to get organic produce/weekly farmer’s market , tips on healthy living in Beijing .

Next time, I will share with you Top 7 Korean restaurants in Beijing loved by the Koreans!

I’m on Instagram – @Musichef_TJ and facebook . come check out Musichef TJ’s daily happenings 🙂

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