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“Overrated let down”

Black Sesame Kitchen
Ranked #2 of 12,627 Restaurants in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Cash Only, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Neighborhood: Houhai
Description: We are a reservations-only dining experience offering a set menu of ten courses and two wine pairings in an open kitchen where you'll learn the secrets of Chinese cuisine.
Beijing, China
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Overrated let down”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

All in our party of 4 got sick within an hour and a half after finishing the meal. The service was good but the food was generally token Chinese food with no real innovative qualities for too much money. The new world wine from NZ and Australia was fine but the overall experience is just for Tourists. The AC did not work well since it was not a fully renovated Hutong. It was a sauna! Keep in mind the Hutongs were originally designed for one family each, when the revolution happened they became multi-family and ruined the original design intent. Of course non of the Hutong's unless renovated properly are sustainable meaning the AC or heat just quickly leaves from them instantly making them very bad for energy savings. I just don't trust the sanitation within Hutong kitchens especially during the Summer months when higher temperatures can effect the bacteria within ingredients. Never going back.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank Timothy A
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, July 8, 2013
Dear Timothy A -

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We strive to make every customer experience as fulfilling as possible and apologize that we did not meet your expectations.

Thank you for bringing to our attention the air conditioning situation. Despite presently having two air conditioners and additional fans in the main kitchen, with the open kitchen cooking over a gas flame, you can understand it can at times be very warm! We’re presently trying to rectify the situation.

Part of our concept at Black Sesame Kitchen is to give guests an opportunity to come and enjoy a typical home style meal in a traditional courtyard home. Our hope and intention is for the guest to walk away with a better understanding of the ingredients, highlighting cooking techniques involved in preparing these traditional home style dishes. So in that regard, it may seem there is little innovation in traditional dishes.

I shared your review with the team and everyone at Black Sesame Kitchen is dismayed to hear your party were sick upon leaving the kitchen. We can assure you all our ingredients are fresh and bought daily for all our events, and we observe the highest level of cleanliness in our kitchen.

If you would like a refund because you feel you were unfairly charged for the experience, please send an email to us, letting us know the name on your reservation, when you dined with us, and how many were in your party.

We would also appreciate that you include additional advice on how we could have made your experience a more positive one.

Thank you and happy dining and cooking.

Michelle Tang
General Manager, Black Sesame Kitchen
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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628 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“The 'hard to find' but 'worth the adventure' kitchen”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

Had a great night here with friends and we made a few more while we ate at the high table; brilliantly hosted with beaming smiles, and we spent a while arguing afterwards about which course had been the best. (Eggplant!). Believe the reviews and also believe its almost invisible so be early - we went, sussed it, then went off for a beer on a roof top bar close by until it was dining time.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank lovethejetfuel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
111 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2013

We visited Black Sesame Kitchen on our first trip to Beijing in May this year. It was a little difficult to find (luckily we had a tour guide to help us) but well worth the visit!

It was a unique dining experience and provided a great opportunity to talk to other travellers from around the world. The food was excellent and we learnt quickly how to use chopsticks - if you're planning to go definitely practise beforehand!

Most amazing was the banana fritters with sesame ice cream - they were the best! Definitely visit Black Sesame Kitchen if you have the chance!

Janelle & Grant

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
3 Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great experience at the Black Sesame Kitchen”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2013

Just back from China and I booked Black Sesame Kitchen for the first night we were in Beijing, having read the reviews on TA. It was a fantastic night, sitting around the kitchen table and sampling dish after delicious dish, chatting with people from all over the world and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the kitchen staff. The food was just wonderful - 11 courses in total, and each one a delight to try. The wine flowed as did the conversation - such a wonderful atmosphere, and you could watch the next course being cooked as you ate the one on the table. Definitely very good food, excellent value and a good all round experience. I would go back if I return to Beijing.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank king_alfie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“As good as all the review”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

Ten courses of Beijing home cooking and continual pours of wine and beer at a communal table with new friends from around the world and all for $50. It simply does not get any better. Black Sesame Kitchen offers a nice combination of traditional cooking like your Chinese grandma would make as well as some modern twists. The food was amazing...when I was there we had green beans, mushrooms, beef, chicken, pork belly, broccoli, lotus root, eggplant, pumpkin dumplings, and black sesame ice cream with candied bananas.

At the table were travelers from New Zealand, England, and the United States, which precipitated wide ranging conversation about home, travel, great meals, career, and much more. Black Sesame Kitchen is a truly unique experience. If I am lucky enough to return to Beijing, I will certainly find my way back, maybe even taking one of the cooking classes too.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jason R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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