ADD: Guanghua Road, CBD, south Gate of Ritan Park
Signature dishes: Cantonese, Japanese, "French-style barbecue", Imperial courses
Long-term residents may have fond memories of the old Ritan Restaurant in Beijing, a foreigner-friendly, Sichuan home-style joint snuggled into the southwestern corner of Ritan Park. Now, after more than a year's renovation at a cost of 10 million yuan, the restaurant has been reborn as the Beijing Ritan Inn House, a high-class and eclectic eatery whose new owners hope will occupy a unique place in the CBD dining scene.
Four specialties are on offer: Cantonese, Japanese, "French-style barbecue" and guanfu cai, a style derived from the kitchens of those high officials of Imperial China who set great store by dining and entertaining.
Externally, the Inn House is a grand Qing courtyard, with a broad outdoor space for drinking or dining. Indoors are a range of traditionally appointed, Chinese style settings, four Japanese tatami rooms, and two rooms dedicated to the "French-style barbecue," where only a giant hotplate separates the chef from diners. The chef is from Taiwan, the actual home of the "French-style barbecue," where it was conceived as a fusion of French influence and Japanese barbecue.
The Chinese rooms are expensively and expansively designed and furnished. The largest can accommodate up to 30 people, while most seat 8 to 10. The Inn House's location and standards make it an ideal venue for business dining or entertaining.