TRB’s Seasonal Picks

With their recent opening of Hulu that seems to be a smash hit, you would expect the people at TRB group to have their hands full. Yet, here they are demonstrating that they haven’t forgotten their origins with an overhaul of their menus at TRB Hutongand TRB Forbidden City. Word on the street is that the Michelin guide is coming to Beijing and Guangzhou this year, so here’s hoping we see a further blossoming of other Beijing restaurants hoping to earn a star.

One thing I have to give praise for up front is the quality of the service. TRB have really got this nailed down in a way that few other restaurants in Beijing can dream of. Staff were attentive without being overbearing and were clearly very well informed about the dishes and the wines. Not at all surprising that they were packed on the Saturday evening we went! Even with a reservation, we had to wait about 20 minutes at the bar which came with glasses of champagne to help us pass the wait time. Not that we were in a rush, but it was a thoughtful gesture that was appreciated.

TRB’s Chef Johnny has re-vamped their menu offerings to present 3 different seasonal 5-course menus priced at RMB 588 (The Classic), RMB 688 (The Fabulous) or RMB 1,288 per person (Indulgence Menu).  TRB also offers the option to customize your own set menu with 3 courses for RMB 398 per person or 4 courses for RMB 498 per person.

We went for “The Fabulous” 5-course set menu for RMB 688 per person + RMB 468 for the optional wine pairing per course. Each dish is beautifully presented as you’ll see in the photos below and there has clearly been a lot of thought put into the combinations of flavours and textures of each dish. For a fine dining experience where you feel spoiled from start to finish, this is great value and absolutely saving up for!
Bread Basket + Golden Tree of Warm Cheese PuffsStunning Starter Bites to Set the StageAmuse BoucheBoudeuse Oyster with Cucumber, Elderflower and Seaweed

First up was the oyster course with elderflower jelly and delicately wrapped pickled cucumber towers. The seaweed sprinkles were added using oyster shells, which were a nice touch of table service and presentation. In terms of flavor, the saltiness of the oysters is offset by the lovely little baubles of elderflower jelly. This combination is a great introduction to oysters for those normally not a fan of seafood and as oysters are not most visually pleasing, the presentation of hiding the gooey, grey lumps under the strips of crisp, green cucumber slices. Clever.Boston Lobster with Beetroot, Basil & Sabayon

Presented as a ring of plump lobster chunks with marinated beetroot slices, fresh basil and spoonful of thick bisque, this is a beautiful dish. While the combination of textures were complex with chewy, crunchy and creamy all covered, but the flavors were too light and lacking that spice or tang to give it that wow factor.Seabass with Kumquat, Broad Beans & Vegetable Sauce

Points again for pretty presentation, and while the combination of flavors is quite unique and different from any fish dish that I’ve had before, it still needs a little tweaking in my humble opinion. The fish was cooked beautifully – still moist and delicate – but the kumquat felt a little clumsy next to the other delicate flavours. While there is certainly potential, the flavors are not balanced.Duck with Daikon, Orange & Truffle

This roast duck course was a winner. A gorgeous mix of the umami truffle and the sweetness of the duck and tartness of the berry and blood orange citrus. Full marks to the chef!Chocolate, Passionfruit & Meringue

One for the chocaholics, the chocolate brownie is really dense & rich. Alone it would be too much, as would the tart passion fruit, but the sharp contrast together works well!

Contact Details for TRB: 

TRB Hutong: 

  • Address: #23, Shatan Beijie, , Dongcheng District. Beijing. 100009
  • 地址:北京市东城区沙滩北街23号
  • 路线:中国美术馆向西沿五四大街,过第一个红绿灯口后行驶200米右转入沙滩北街,向北沿胡同直行约300米到尽头的院子即是。
  • Tel: +86 10 8400 2232
  • Email:
  • OPENING HOURS – Lunch: Monday to Friday 11:30 – 14:30 /Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11:30 – 15:00 /Dinner: Monday to Sunday 17:30 – 22:00

TRB Forbidden City: 

  • Address:  No.95 Donghuamen, Dongcheng District, Beijing China 北京市东城区东华门大街95号
  • Tel: +8610 6401 6676
  • Email:
  • Opening Hours – Lunch: 11:30-14:30 (Mon-Fri)/ Brunch: 11:30-15:00 (Sat-Sun) /Dinner: 17:30-22:00 (Mon-Sun)

About Kristen
Kristen Lum has an accomplished background in PR, communications and events in China. Born and raised in California, Kristen has been based in Beijing since 2006 and is founder of the lifestyle blog called LumDimSum, covering mostly restaurant news and reviews alongside upcoming events around town that relate to Beijing’s muti-faceted, quickly-developing creative industries like art, music, film, health and fitness, fashion, nightlife, charity events, and travel tips.