Caixin

Beijing Cooks Up a Fine-Dining Revolution

By Malcolm Surer
Ignace Lecleir, owner and founder of Beijing's TRB restaurants, opened his second restaurant east of the Forbidden City. Lecleir began working in some of the world’s finest restaurants when he was 16 before providing his insight and talent to Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics. Nine years later, he is still making a meal a special experience in the capital. Photo: Malcolm Surer/Caixin
Ignace Lecleir, owner and founder of Beijing's TRB restaurants, opened his second restaurant east of the Forbidden City. Lecleir began working in some of the world’s finest restaurants when he was 16 before providing his insight and talent to Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics. Nine years later, he is still making a meal a special experience in the capital. Photo: Malcolm Surer/Caixin

Is Beijing’s fine-dining scene on a par in terms of quality with its Chinese counterparts Shanghai and Hong Kong? Shanghai, the country’s biggest city and a bustling financial hub, is home to 36 Michelin-starred restaurants, the gold standard in fine dining. Hong Kong has over 60. But Beijing has arguably not garnered the accreditation it needs.

“Beijing, to me, is a combination of Los Angeles and Washington, very big avenues and very spread out. … This might explain why some things aren’t moving forward (in the restaurant industry) as fast as in other cities,” said Ignace Lecleir, the founder and owner of one of the top Western fine-dining restaurants in Beijing: Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB), now known as TRB Hutong.

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