We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A Total Delight in Beijing”

Black Sesame Kitchen
Ranked #3 of 12,642 Restaurants in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$50 - US$50
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Cash Only, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Neighbourhood: Houhai
Description: We are a reservations-only dining experience offering a set menu of ten courses and two wine pairings in an open kitchen where you'll learn the secrets of Chinese cuisine.
new york
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A Total Delight in Beijing”
Reviewed 21 December 2012

Black Sesame Kitchen always gets rated high by its customers, and for good reason. It's food is terrific and it is a terrific experience. It's located just off a well-traveled little sidestreet with plenty of cute shops. Once at BSK, it is like being in someone's home -- convival atmosphere, communal tables and an open kitchen. It's a foodies' delight. The set menu is more than ample and provides a great selection of Chinese food prepared to perfection. The wine keeps flowing, as does the conversation and the food. This is a unique and special place that deserves all the accolades it gets. Also, since it is located deep in a hutong, there's a bit of an adventure getting there. It gives the customer of feeling of Old Beijing.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank leslie212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

638 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    520
    79
    27
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Mind your expectations”
Reviewed 17 December 2012

I read every single review before going, and it is easy to get heady about getting a reservation for the #1 restaurant in Beijing. (We booked 2 months in advance.) My suggestions would be to go into this experience thinking that:
1) you will have a difficult time finding the place,
2) you should get there a bit early if not right at 7,
3) you may not get to sit in the room with the chefs and watch them cook in real time,
4) the decor is delightful and the chairs a tiny bit uncomfortable,
5) the food, while not the best Chinese food ever (except for perhaps the hot-cold-hard-soft-stringy-creamy black sesame dessert - truly sublime), will be delicious, authentically prepared, and a bit eclectic,
6) the wine, while not the best wine ever, complements the food well and is free-flowing,
7) the service will be generously down-to-earth and accessibly friendly,
8) you are paying as much for the experience of an intimate gathering, perhaps with people you didn't know but are eager for a good meal, as you are for the food, and
9) you will be full, maybe overfull, when you leave, at or before 10 pm, because that's when they have to close.

And if you are successful at managing those expectations, then I imagine you will join me in lauding the five-bullet rating.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 1kMileageRunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roma, Italia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A truly one of a kind experience”
Reviewed 14 December 2012

One of the most pleasant food experience I've ever had. This small private-house restaurant, well hidden in a narrow hutong street, is all about passion for food and hospitality. And you can really feel it.
The food is great, and perfectly cooked in front of you. You are free to wander around an ask the chef about preparation. This would be enough to recommend the visit. But the real added value is given by the overall atmpsphere, amd the warm welcome you'll get.
Dining in a unique table and socializing with other guests while you are experiencing some amazing food is simply priceless. You really fell like home. Wine (from australia) are good, but not stunning. Anyway, you must consider that China is not the best place in the world for wines, so they were ok after all. My suggestion: if you can reserve a seat, (we've been lucky enough to find room just one day in advance) don't miss the experience.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gab71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aalborg, Denmark
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Superb!”
Reviewed 14 December 2012

Great restaurant with really delicate understanding of chinese food. The ambience and atmosphere in the restaurant is one of a kind experience that you simply must have to try.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank elian e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great food, great night”
Reviewed 12 December 2012

Black Sesame Kitchen is a great experience. I was a solo visitor but the communal tables and the great hosts mean it's a lively sociable evening. The 10 course meal was excellent - fresh, lively flavours and a variety of interesting dishes with plenty of explanation about ingredients and techniques. Go if you possibly can (it's very busy).

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 72DMM72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Black Sesame Kitchen also viewed

 

Been to Black Sesame Kitchen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing