We had a lovely last night in Beiijng at Cafe Sambal.
It is hard to find in the dark as the restaurant sign is small. When you find the correct Hutong street it is almost immediately on your left of the alleyway. Inside has a basic but lovely cozy candlelit atmosphere. But it actually has a lot of infrastructure: the Malaysian owner (who also has the boutique 3+1 hotel nearby plus Bed Bar) has staff who know what to do with wine and cocktails and seem to have hospitality training.
After a week of mostly local beer, we were keen to have some wine. We had a bottle of Aussie house white with a skimpy appetizer of 1 single but tasty prawn cold roll, a chicken curry with rice for 2 and a sambal prawn aubergine dish and shared a piece of cheese cake. All of the food was very good although we dont care for the extra prawn paste in the sambal dish. We had an after dinner drink at the bar.
Our bill for the 2 of us was 557 CNY = USD 88. For what it is I think this is a little too much. But Beijing is not a cheap Asian holiday so I would still recommend Cafe Sambal to you. The restaurant was packed with people waiting in the bar or eating in the cooler exterior area (on a chilly March night) so it is obviously popular. I would go again.
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