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“Don't miss this experience!”

Black Sesame Kitchen
Ranked #3 of 12,668 Restaurants in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Don't miss this experience!”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

We were lucky enough to sneak in to Black Sesame when another guest cancelled. What luck! Black Sesame is the complete dining experience. Some people may be intimidated in trying to find it. It's in a houtong, down a warren of little alleys. We google mapped it, printed the map, got directions from the restaurant itself, and still needed to ask for directions from a kind woman on the street. This is part of the experience. Just go with the flow. You end up walking through a secluded houtong shopping, and eating area. It's totally cool and worth coming to even without the restaurant. But don't miss the restaurant.
Black Sesame seats about 20 people at two communal tables. One table is right in front of the open kitchen. We'd originally planned to sit there so we could watch the chefs but discovered that this table had stools, while the other had chairs with backs, so we opted for the latter. We were delighted with our choice. Our dinner companions were ex-pats from assorted countries all living in Beijing. The conversation was lively, diverse and lots f fun. The $50 set meal (there's no ordering) includes limitless wine or beer. The ten course meal starts with dumplings and moves from one delicious course to the next until you finally arrive at the black sesame ice cream, which you should save room for. The staff speaks excellent English. Dinner runs from 7PM - 10PM. You're kindly asked to wrap it up at 10 since its a residential houtong. All in all a really wonderful and memorable evening. Make a reservation a couple months in advance, and don't miss Black Sesame!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Liz L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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641 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    523
    79
    27
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
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
Queretaro City, Mexico
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Totally worths the experience”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

This small, tiny spot has earned a great reputation and today we learned why.
It took us several weeks to find a date for a booking, so we had really high expectations. And no disappointment after all.
Great service (thanks Michelle and Coco), great food (live cooking "show"), fabulous place (that you wouldn't pay a penny from the outside), and perfect location to have a flavor of Beijing.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sergio P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Fabulous hutong dining experience”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I have been twice to this restaurant and both times had a fun evening and a unique dining experience. The hostess Michelle was fabulous explaining the menu and making everyone welcome. Drinks and food was plentiful and the black sesame Icecream at the end well worth saving room for.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank LuckyShepherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
40 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Lovely service and atmosphere. However not worthwhile if you are already familiar with Chinese cuisine”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

The staff was great and the shared table concept is always nice. I think the restaurant is a fantastic introduction to Chinese cuisine for those who are not familiar it. But if you have spent some time in China already and/or have Chinese heritage, then this place will likely not impress. The dishes are mostly standard Chinese family dishes eg. red braised pork and eggs fried with tomato, more authentic versions of which are readily available elsewhere for a fraction of the price.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank sarahlee86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
330 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Lives up to the hype!”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Amazing meal. One of the best meals I had in China. The chefs cooked with smiles on their faces, you could tell they truly loved what they did. We had an amazing menu and Michelle and the staff couldn't be nicer! Our 10 courses consisted of: Dumplings, fried shitake mushrooms (I don't eat fungus and I LOVED them), Beef and black beans, five flavored eggplant, red braised pork belly (THE BEST, MELT in the your mouth), fried string beans, lettuce stem and Chinese bacon, sweet and sour lotus root, chong quing spicy chicken, and the finale-- Candied banana and back sesame ice cream. It is a bit warm at the first two seats by the stove, there is a room off to the side where dinner is more the focus, as you can't see the cooking. I enjoyed watching the meal being cooked. The wine (especially the white) was delicious. If you have an opportunity to do the wine and dine (Wed/Fri, 7pm), then you should!!!

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

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