Urban Chic

The Opposite House's Mediterranean restaurant combines beautiful design with excellent service and solid food

Sureno, in the basement of one of Beijing’s best hotels, offers Mediterranean cuisine with influences ranging from Spain to Northern Africa. The food here is refreshingly simple and straightforward.

The Opposite House is a place, characterised by fantastic, unconventional design and very good service. The same goes for Sureno. Located in the basement, it is spacious, relatively industrial and luxurious at the same time. The concrete walls are in line with the minimalist d├ęcor of the entire hotel, whilst the stemware for instance is some of the finest available.

One thing that is always a treat at the Opposite House’s restaurants and bar is the wine list. Not only can you drink well by the glass here, but the prices are remarkably reasonable for Beijing standards. This is one of the few places in town that has offered a genuinely interesting selection of wines at correct prices; kudos to that.

Food-wise, things at Sureno are relatively simple and straightforward. Whether you want a pizza or a number of antipasti, you will find it all here. Steaks, pasta and a selection of Italian classics complement these.

The pizzae here are perhaps not as good as those at Mio, but their light, fluffy base and high quality toppings make them some of the best in town. Similarly, the iberico ham served with the classic tomato bread displays the rich, nutty flavours that make it such a prized product.

Meat-wise, the steaks here are well worth a try. An Australian piece of wagyu comes perfectly cooked – juicy, meaty and meltingly tender. It has a beautiful balance between fat and meat, which means that it is less rich than the real deal, and a little less overpowering. Whilst the grilled foods here are perfectly prepared, side dishes such as spinach with parmesan nearly steal the show. Beautifully cooked, tender spinach is served with a butter emulsion and parmesan, adding a touch of richness to the vegetal character of the leaves. Such careful treatment of vegetables is impressive.

Dessert-wise, the tiramisu is probably the one to go for. Sureno’s tiramisu is fairly classical, with a beautiful balance of bitters, sweetness and the creamy mascarpone mix. For those looking for a traditional tiramisu that hasn’t been messed around with, this is not the worst place to have it.

Sureno is a restaurant that is remarkably vivid for a hotel restaurant. The atmosphere in the dining room is a joy, whilst the food never tries to be fancy or complex. It simply does what Mediterranean food ought to be – straightforward and with lots of flavour.


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