Crystal (晶台) at Hotel Kunlun has recently been turned into a Halal restaurant, with a cast of all-Muslim head chefs hailing from Egypt, Malaysia and China.
According to the executive chef, Malaysian Mustapha Awang, the offerings are 50 percent Arabic, 30 percent Chinese, 20 percent Southeast Asian - and, of course, 100 percent Halal.
The menu proffers a set list with a Middle Eastern Mezze platter; a soup; main dishes, including charcoal-grilled boneless chicken, Gosht chop Tandoori, and lentil and saffron flavored rice; and pistachio baklava for dessert.
The set menu costs 398 yuan, plus a 15-percent surcharge, and feeds one to four people.
The Arabic selections include plenty of lamb and chicken dishes, and typical regional eats, such as lamb soup and kebabs, humus and salads. Southeast Asian options center on scrumptious seafood and curry dishes.
Western food includes salmon, scallop and tuna dishes, and beef, lamb and chicken. Chinese offerings are mushroom soup, braised sea cucumber and double-boiled lamb in soup.
Chef Mustapha Awang said they hoped to later present a fusion of Arabic and Chinese dishes.
"We want to cater to both Chinese and European customers, as well as Arabic [ones]," he said. "The restaurant will be fine-dining style."
Indeed, Crystal's elegant interior dcor, high-quality service and strong chef team make it ideal for high-end clientele hungering for delicious Halal food in a quiet and comfortable environment.
The chef recommends the Mezze platter, lentil soup, pan-fried sole on banana leaf, stewed beef ribs in Chinese herbal soy sauce and pistachio baklava for dessert.
The restaurant offers an extensive beverage and wine selection. The average bill is 300 yuan, excluding drinks.
Lunch 11:30 am-3 pm, dinner 6-11 pm. There is afternoon tea, and midnight snacks are available until 1 am. 2/F Hotel Kunlun, 2 Xinyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang district. 6590-3388 ext 5503
(China Daily September 23, 2009)