Previously rated as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world by Conde Naste magazine, The CourtYard has a heralded reputation in Beijing as a ... More
CourtYard Restaurant (The)
Previously rated as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world by Conde Naste magazine, The CourtYard has a heralded reputation in Beijing as a first-class dining establishment. It is certainly designed to impress, making it ideal for a romantic rendezvous or important business dinner. Coolly elegant, spacious and airy, the CourtYard has modern airs featuring candles, glass, white walls and contemporary Chinese artwork. The kitchen specializes in nouveau fusion cooking, combining pan-Asian and Western touches. The result is an innovative and varied menu. The wine list is impressive and there is also an exceptional selection of after-dinner drinks and desserts.
I used to work for a tour agency, and we would always recommend this place. But recently, the price has gotten really out of control. Even with one of the best ambiance in Beijing, The CourtYard is getting far too greedy for their own good.
Lunch was a very nice change to the local fare in the area. We ate 3 courses with beverages for under 200RMB. The gallery in the basement had water level views of the moat around the forbiddon city and was very relaxing to take the heat of the summer off of our back.
Food was delicious, not too high end and well seasoned.
Service was lacking over all. After having our late lunch we decided to stay and try the evening menu. Food was of the same quality but the service staff was very rough and unfriendly. Sometimes in China one accepts bad service if the food is good. But when the meal cost 6000RMB then I expect the best of both. Floor manager did not seem too active with the guest either.
I would recommended it if you have romantic plans or want a casual lunch.
I have visited Courtyard Restaurant several times while visiting Beijing. It has gotten worse every time. The location is fantastic, but the food is awful at best. This place is a complete ripoff. For the money, you can dine like a king in some of the best local places and will have plenty of money left. Stay away!
It was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. I got screwed badly! Me and my friend chose the "silver" menu. From the start I should have suspected this was a tourist trap when a very modest and totally overpriced Parallèle 45 was served at a totally wrong temperature for any decent red wine. I am just happy I didn't indulge in one of my favorite Chateauneuf-du-Pape! The shrimp cocktail was totally uninteresting and tasteless. The oysters were okay but I had better almost everywhere, even in cheap taverns. Actually, the ones I cook would make the Courtyard's chef look like a mediocre rookie without cooking skills. He would'nt find a job in any decent restaurant in Montreal, not even to clean the dishes! The Champagne sorbet was acceptable and the beef ribs would fare well in a very average Montreal restaurant. But all this was a million years away from gastronomy! At least, the desserts were pretty good... but still not to par with the greatest restaurants in the world. All this to say that, for the astronomical and, frankly, quite indecent sum of 4 393 Yuans (more than 700 dollars!), the "Courtyard" must be the biggest burglary in the world of restaurants! And I have been to many of the greatest ones, from New York, Lyon, Beijing, Paris, Hong Kong, Monaco and etc...I was expecting the price tag coming in, I just didn't expect to have cafeteria food in a glamourous environnement. I did mention my disappointment to the over mannered british Maitre D', who did thank me for my honesty before running out of sight. And, to top it all, when we where about to leave this pretentious and highly overpriced establishment, nobody could or would call a taxi for us, supposedly because it was raining. With such a price tag, excuses are unacceptable. I want a cab, you find me one now. Period. I have been to numerous restaurants over the last 15 years in China and it was the first and only time I was truly disappointed. I truly love China and China deserves better than The Courtyard! I was expecting another Felix (at the Hong Kong Peninsula), I ended up in a conceited TGIF with Felix's prices!!!
During a week's stay in China, which in food-terms had been impressive, "The Courtyard" was the only disppointment. Despite its high-end appeal as far as prices are concerned, food was mediocre at best, service somewhat automated and its atmosphere one of country-club pretence. Perhaps "The Courtyard" does offer a respite from the bustle of the big city (as some guides and reviews will say), but ... unfortunately little else. The white wine, in all fairness, was good, and if the meal had cost a quarter of what it actually did, it might have been easily forgotten. But as it is, look elsewhere if you like your foods.
We ate at the Courtyard on April 11, 2008. I've been in Beijing for about 8 months and have tried a variety of restaurants here and this was by far the most disappointing restaurant I've been to.
It's typical of Chinese restaurants to have mediocre service, but I expected something more from the Courtyard. We waited for about an hour in between the appetizer and the main dish. When we asked about our entree, the waiter said that she would go check, but when she returned she never gave us the status of our food. Also, it seemed that other customers had been waiting for their food for a long time. The chef had to come out and apologize to a table of men for not bringing their food out on time!
Wow, the food was just awful. We got the foie gras brulee as an appetizer and it was too heavy and sweet on the palate. For the main entree we got the Atlantic salmon and vegetarian lasagna and both dishes came about an hour after the appetizers and were cold. This was only after we had had asked the waiter why the food was taking so long. The salmon looked overcooked and just laid on top of a bed of boiled vegetables. All they did was sprinkle some sauce over the boiled components of the dish to make it look expensive, but it tasted like something I could make at home. The vegetable lasagna just had roasted vegetables layer on top with tofu skins with cheese broiled on top. It was tasty, but considering that it was 165RMB I expected something more creative.
They had a wide variety of wines, but this still does not make up for the poor service and wine.
It was nice that the restaurant was right next to the Forbidden City, but the view is just of the wall. Also, the windows were very small so it was a very limited view.
Overall, the food is not worth the money that you pay. It was such a disappointment.
My boyfriend took his parents here on a visit to Beijing (unfortunately upon my recommnedation) and before he even got in the front door was told my the snotty maitre d that there would be nothing on the menu he and his parents would like!!! Judging a person on an appearance is not a good human trait to have. I only recommended this restaurant as I could not find any others to suit my vegetarian friend. If I were visiting Beijing again I would definately steer past this place and head for a local restaurant where the food is much nicer, cheaper and everyone is welcome!!!!
You can find much better in Beijing! Food: you can easily find better, lots of unnecessary sauce. Service: you'll be watched, and charged 15%. Value: expect US prices. Ambiance: decent views and setting. Go if you want to be somewhere romantic, but don't expect great food or service.
An outstanding location & ambience but the food was average on the 3 occasions I've visited. The upstairs cigar room, though, is delightful with old, patched leather armchairs & a wonderful floodlit view of the Forbidden Palace moat. The cigars & liqueurs are excellent (and expensive!).
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