Sunday was a day of exploring again. As Beijing hosted the main event of the year “One Belt One Road” Forum with many Heads of States, Ministers and other governmental officials, the central part of Beijing was a disaster for normal people. Even as a pedestrian it was a challenge of moving around. Therefore, we have decided it was about time to visit 798 Art district of Beijing.
Already as a tradition, we need to start our day with a nice breakfast. It has been a while since I really wanted to bid a visit to Crepanini in Sanlitun, which used to be our favourite place in Beijing. However, when we get to Sanlitun, we always end up going to a different place.
So that was about the time, we finally visit it. Guess what? This time, outside sitting was closed. So we decided to hit the healthy eating spot – Element Fresh with its terrace.
When you visit Element Fresh, make sure you try their Classic Cobb as it is the best pick in this place. Their breakfasts are also pretty nice. However, as we lately had a few egg breakfasts, we skipped it and went for a sandwich – Tuna Sandwich is not their signature but it is pretty good to try.
Coffee, though, I would not suggest to take here. We have had a cappuccino and a latte and actually wished we went to a coffee shop. It took them 15 minutes to serve it with an overkill of thick foam in a strange cup.
Overall, I think it a very nice place to have a “healthy” lunch with a nice talk, enjoy the blue skies of Beijing.
798 Art District.
I have to say that the 798 Art District is a little out-of-the-way, however, it worth a visit. We took a taxi as there is no convenient metro station. We came at around 3pm – the heat of the day, so we went for a drink in a cafe next to Flatwhite, with an open roof terrace.
Iced tea, Iced Americano, Mango Lassi – the drinks are all average, but the place itself is gorgeous!
At around 5pm we have decided that it was time for a walk and exploring.
Graffiti, weird monuments and exhibitions certainly makes it unusual.
As dinner time was approaching fast, we decided to move to Nanluguoxiang – the prettiest walking area of Beijing for me. We walked the streets and watched local shops, renovated hutongs and attractive eateries.
Finally, we have reached the final destination of the day – Mercante – Italian food paradise hidden in tiny hutong streets of Beijing.
I have visited this restaurant for the first time 4 years ago. Ever since it almost did not change. As small, as pretty, as nice as it used to be, it is still there.
Having only 2 people working in the restaurant hall (very small), they gave us as much privacy as we needed but at the same time attended to all our requests.
Mozzarella, parma ham and parmesan tasted just as if we were in a cute tiny local restaurant, lost in an Italian village.
Followed by perfectly cooked beef with caramelized onions and mashed potato.
The dessert sampler plate is also amazing. The presentation will not impress you for sure, but the taste of the softest panna cotta with raspberries, tender tiramisu and the chocolate cake will surely leave an unforgettable mark in your heart.
The restaurant is a little pricey, but the food worth it. Make sure you do reserve a table in advance and mention where you want to sit.
Take time and visit the place, you will not regret it. It is surely, one of the best Italian places not just in Beijing, but in China.
Weekends are very sweet and short. Sometimes, I don’t believe how slow my day in the office can go and how it flies by when I am enjoying the day outside. Last weekend after visiting Antique market, visiting the 798 Art District this week, I am so looking forward to the next Saturday and Sunday with the Burger Cup and exploring cycling routes of Beijing.