I have to confess, I love Chinese food, but I cannot eat Chinese breakfast because I need my toast, butter and jam with a cup of real coffee in the morning. In Beijing, you get tired of Chinese food, and start looking for European cuisine as an alternative.
There are not many French restaurants in Beijing. My Chinese friends and I joke that Chinese people are scared of having too many sets of knives and forks on the tables…
Not that long ago a friend invited me to a cozy French restaurant with a courtyard just in front of Alliance Francaise. She told me that it also had an excellent wine list.
The restaurant is Paradox, named after the „French wine paradox“ which refers to the French having a low rate of coronary heart disease despite a diet rich in cholesterol, believed to be due to their high red wine consumption.
When you enter the courtyard you can feel the French atmosphere. The day‘s menu is in French, written on a chalkboard. The bread is served with real butter and olive oil. What a relief!
We had our lunch in the courtyard, as it was a clear sunny day. The waiter spoke some English and really tried her best to provide good service. The restaurant has delicious starters, including snails, foie grass and other famous French delicacies. You can order a plate of salads. My friend‘s favourite dish at this restaurant is its famous Roasted Half Spring Chicken and French fries (108 RMB). The portion is more than generous. I ordered Beef Fillet with Pepper Sauce and French fries (188 RMB). They made it to my liking. The menu also included salmon, lamb chops, steak tartare, and meat or seafood platters to share.
And of course, I could not resist the crème brûlée. My friend savored the Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream.
The wine selection is decent, and includes not only a good variety of French, but also Italian, New Zealand, Australian, Chilean and wines from other countries. Like everywhere in China, the prices are not cheap. You can also order a beer and strong alcohol drinks.
„Paradox“ is open from 11 a.m. until midnight every day. There are two Paradox restaurants in Shanghai and one in Suzhou.
The address: 7 Gong Ti Xi Li, Beijing, tel. 65518967