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“One of my most memorable restaurant experiences” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen
No.3 Heizhima Hutong, Dongcheng District | Nanluoguxiang测试, Beijing 903, China (Houhai)
13691474408
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Ranked #3 of 9,532 Restaurants in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Neighborhood: Houhai
Copenhagen, Denmark
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“One of my most memorable restaurant experiences”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

Do not expect a ‘michelin restaurant’ but an atmosphere of dining in someones living room with great friends, being served a selection of the best Chinese dishes from different regions. Visit with an open mind and prepare your taste buds for something good.

Can be a little tricky to find, but read the directions provided by the restaurant carefully and you should do fine.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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375 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    302
    49
    15
    6
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
233 helpful votes 233 helpful votes
“Market visit + cooking class + dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

My teenage daughter and I jointed Michelle on the market trip and then went to the restaurant for a shanxi noodle making class. We also went to dinner at BSK two times; once we sat in the lounge and the other time in the main dining/kitchen area.

There are so many things to love about BSK.

Market trip
A small group of us went to the largest Chinese market in Beijing. Michelle lead us through the various stalls and taught us about different foods. We saw stalls devoted to a variety of pickled vegetables, meat market, sesame paste being made, tea sellers, spice sellers, fish being scaled...to name just a few. MIchelle is a native English speaker fluent in Mandarin. She is a wonderful teacher. Great excursion for taking photos!

Noodle Class
In a class of about 10 people, we made noodle dough, pressed it out, cut it into long strips. Chef Zhang cooked the noodles and Michelle explained the process. We assisted in making two sauces; tomato and egg, and eggplant and pork. It was a delicious lunch. We left with recipes and an understanding of Chinese cooking and cooking products. The cooking class was a highlight of our 4 weeks in China.

Dinner
Each dish of the 10-course meal was delicious. Our favorites were the pan-fried pork dumplings and the candied bananas with black sesame ice cream. We preferred sitting in the lounge because the seats are more comfortable than the high stools in the kitchen room. On both evenings, the diners were from all over the world. A BSK dinner is a unique experience combining great food and conversation in an authentic and intimate Chinese hutong setting.

Need to know
Give yourself at least an extra 45 minutes beyond what you think it will take to get to BSK. Beijing traffic is bad.Taxis can be hard to get; cab drivers are reluctant to pick up non Mandarin speakers and at rush hour, it is hard to find a cab at all. If you get to the BSK hutong area early, you can people watch or shop. Go hungry because you will eat a lot. Bring cash, no credit cards accepted. Make reservations as far in advance as possible.

If I could change anything about BSK
A few more nonalcoholic drink choices would be nice. Spiff up the bathroom. Add a fan or another A/C unit because it was too hot inside during July.

Michelle...
If you read this, thank you for taking such good care of us. You are wonderful!!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackSesameKitchen, General Manager at Black Sesame Kitchen, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Hello Pricklypoppy!

Thank you for the wonderful review and photos!

Spot on for suggestions for guests hoping to visit us in the near future. It was great having you and Daisy visit and experience the whole Black Sesame Kitchen package! We hope to see you both back soon.

Many thanks,
Michelle and the rest of the BSK team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A very interesting place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We were there end August. It was very easy to get a reservation but even the map they emailed was not enough to find the way. We found the street, passing through many many small fastfood restaurants and a lively street, but as there were no signs we could not find the entrance. The cook, obviously looking for late arrival guests, was on the street and waived us, so we were there. A very small place in a dark alley, but a very great surprise. Just like you are invited to a friend's house and eating with people you just met. Cosy conversation, good food, small plates coming one after the other. And a superb banana / ice cream desert. The kitchen is in front of you and you see the cooking process.
On our way back it was so dark in the courtyard the charming waitress escorted us to the street with a torchlight.
A must-do experience.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooloolaba
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Black Sesame Kitchen is a winner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

Just like Paul S we were nearly half an hour late you really do need to leave an hour before your seating time taxis did not want to pick up foreigners during the busy time. We had our hotel send the concierge out into the street to get a ride back to our pick up point should have seen his face when he jumped out and we jumped in. By the time we arrived there I was grumpy even grumpier because we couldn't find the black hole in the wall and a real nice local walked his motor bike up the alley and into salvation. Oh so you must be Paul and Helen beamed Michelle you need a beer [less grumpy] sit down we have been waiting for you [starting to smile] happy birthday Helen would you like a wine [definately getting happier] on with the feast more wine cries Michelle. Guys now I'm in love with this place. The food wonderful all 10 courses loved the lot no holding back on beverages and a table made up from six different nations not all of us understanding each other's language but do understand when you find a treat like Black Sesame it breakes down all barriers.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Very small private kitchen place with excellent service in the top Hutong area”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012 via mobile

Go here for a very private experience. This is actually a cooking school, but at some nights they cook for the guests a fixed menu of 10 dishes. Reserve early. And take time to get there as you have to walk into the Hutong. A scary dark door without any sign, then you are right. Great atmosphere, delicious dishes. Not a star cook, but very authentic food. We had a great night.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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