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“Nice dinner”

Agua Spanish Restaurant
Ranked #231 of 12,697 Restaurants in Beijing
Price range: $20 - $55
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Beijing Workers' Sports Complex
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
73 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Nice dinner”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Nice setting on third floor. Fez bar upstairs. Good tapas, nice main courses and good service! Located in Sanlitun with plenty of shops and bars!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ThenTryThis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    39
    25
    9
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“it has the potential but this time failed to meet my expectations”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

This is an interesting place and I would really like to give it 5 stars but unfortunately my dining experience was not so great. Here is why:
1. First of all it is not good value-for-money for the Beijing standards. If you are in Beijing and you can spend more than 50 USD/person, there are hundreds of places where you can eat like a king. Here we had a nice dinner but it was overpriced.
2. I would expect from the staff of an upscale Spanish restaurant in Beijing to be able to speak basic English. When I tried to order, the waitress started talking to me in Chinese. Fortunately there was one person in our party that could speak Chinese.
3. We ordered the grand meat platter plus several smaller plates and asked the waitress if this was a good quantity of food for our party. She gave us the feeling that it was OK but it turned out to be way too much. Half of the meat platter was wasted. Perhaps this is also the reason that it was not a good value-for-money.
4. One of our smaller dishes was forgotten. This turned out to be a good thing and we didn't mention anything because the food was already too much and we couldn't finish it.
5. For drinks, we ordered sangria (which is served with ice) and we also had water which was served warm and with no ice. I really don't understand why they serve warm water with no ice in the middle of a hot summer.

On the positive side, the environment was great and some of the smaller dishes we ordered were very tasty.

I believe this place has the potential to be a very good restaurant in Beijing but unfortunately this time I cannot rate it with more than 3 stars. Perhaps it was a bad night.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank citizen_kane_2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Superb tapas in China”
Reviewed April 12, 2013

I was amazed to find such good tapas in China; as good as I had in Seville. We had Garlic Shrimp - right amount of spice and excellent texture; pepper stuffed seafood - roasted pepper sauce with just a tad of cream; roasted potatoes - the best I've ever eaten, very tender; blood sausages; calamari in tomato sauce. My only suggestion is a touch less salt throughout.

Bread is seved right out of the oven.

On service, Agua needs to train its great staff and kitchen to bring out the food slower -- let the guest savor one dish fully before bringing out the next. This is a common problem in China. But that aside, attitude is perfect.

Definitely a find

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Reasonableness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The Return of Agua; again.”
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I will write a more comprehensive review below, but in brief: Agua has updated its menu, added to its already excellent wine list, and is making efforts on presentation not seen from Jordi's kitchen before. There is still a slight bias to salt in the recipes, but after a period of limited innovation I am delighted to have made a return to one of Beijing's best Western restaurants and will be back for more.

--

When Agua first re-opened (in 2010 it moved from its snazzy Ch'ienMen / Legation Quarter premises to the fourth floor of a small shopping mall in Sanlitun) it quickly became one of my favourite Western restaurants in Beijing. The food was good (high quality Tapas, interesting main courses, particularly the suckling pig) and they had the best selection of high-end Tempranillo grape Spanish wines of any restaurant in the Capital. Agua also has one of the two best Maitre'D's in Beijing, Richard Pirsch, who welcomes you back as if you were an an old friend, and always has a new wine he wants you to try. So I went frequently, for lunches with colleagues and dinner with friends.

After a while, though, we noticed that nothing was changing. They were so comfortable with their formula that they felt no need to innovate. So I gradually found other places to dine.

Last night we were leaving a function, where the food on offer had been less than appetising, and we needed a decent table somewhere, on a busy Friday night, without a reservation. So I rang Richard and he kindly found us a table for two, ready in 20 minutes. The restaurant was the same inside (comfortable low light decor and attentive but not cloying service) but the menu was different. There were new Tapas choices and different main courses on offer. And the wine selection, always good, had new Crianzas that looked tempting. Richard made recommendations from the new menu and we had the Mushroom Carpaccio and Pork Belly Tapas as entrees and two servings of the Cod for the main. All were good; the Mushroom Carpaccio was wonderful: light, delicate and surprising. And of course the "contemporary Tempranillo" Spanish wine selection topped off the evening nicely.

Innovation is important in good restaurants. Especially when prices start to rival that of the top-end hotels (a tendency for all ambitious restaurants in Beijing as they cater to new money). And innovation is especially important in a city like Beijing where there is no shortage of places to dine. I am happy to report that Agua is back in the game and worth a return visit if you haven't been in a while. And I am always happy to support a restaurant where every option for wine by the glass is actually worth drinking.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TeaSpray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best set lunch in Beijing”
Reviewed March 28, 2013

I tried its set lunch a weekday and it was amazing. The quality and quantity of food for this price is great. You are able to choose two dishes for 88 or three for 99. I chose three, not only all of them were very tasty, but the dessert was the best. Really good spanish food for a reasonable price if you go in a workday. I strongly recommend to try it!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tomherrero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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