Located in Beijing’s popular Worker’s Stadium area, Xu Xian Lou offers elegant Hangzhou cuisine in a contemporary Chinese environment surrounded by natural beauty. In the modern courtyard, a statue of Xuxian himself stands in the jade pool. The interior is modern as well, with celadon porcelain, fish pond, and natural light. The menu has an list of Hangzhou specialties, but thrown into the mix are non-sequiturs like baked seafood with pastis cream, “musli,” and a puzzling hefty block of white bread served with ice cream. West Lake smoked fish was tough, chewy and lacking smokiness. Much more pleasing was the sticky rice cakes with sweet red-braised pork ribs served in meaty but dainty segments. It also serves as a lounge, with a long list of sweets and beverages that don’t quite deliver. Strawberry sorbeto and Prosecco floats turned out to be a chunk of ice cream floating in sparkling water.
Since first coming to Beijing in 2013, Julia Lobyntseva has developed a career in the arts as a community engagement and management professional. Beginning her stint working in the 798 Art District, Julia then served as the events and marketing manager for The Bookworm, increasing the profile of weekly events as well as the annual International Literary Festival. Julia now works with Crossboundaries architectural firm, promoting its impact-based programming and highlighting its contributions to the design community. Julia is originally from Volgograd, Russia, and enjoys making the trip home to see her family throughout the year!