Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Beijing Workers' Sports Complex
Description: (Open from 6pm; last order at 11pm)Dedicated to China’s burgeoning “red capitalists,” the Red Capital Club is hidden in an ancient hutong alleyway located in Dongsi Jiutiao near the courtyard homes of many of China’s past and present leaders. You will be certain that you have arrived at the restaurant upon seeing a vintage Red Flag limo parked outside the courtyard house, which was once reserved exclusively for China’s top communist leaders.This immaculately restored compound captures the mood of the 1950s when China was driven by idealism. The lounge cigar divan is like stepping into Mao’s private meeting room. The furnishings were originally used by the Chinese government in the 1950s. Two sofas in the lounge were actually used by Marshal Lin Biao (Mao’s fated successor who lost an attempted coup). A poem of Mao’s adorns one wall, while a photograph of Deng Xiaoping, given to the club, hangs nearby. The courtyard once belonged to a notorious female spy and Manchurian revivalist, who plied her trade using everything at her disposal. One feels this dimension upon entering the dining room where the centerpiece is a rare imperial dragon robe dating to the Qian Long period (18th Century) which once belonged to a prime minister court official. Other dragon robe embroideries are displayed, along with calligraphy for “Red Capital” by Zhou Nan, China’s famous representative to the UN and Xinhua boss in Hong Kong, who personally negotiated and supervised the 1997 Hong Kong handover. Red Capital Club dishes up “Zhongnanhai Cuisine:” the name of the secretive compound of China’s top leadership. Each meal is a state banquet adorned with figures delicately carved from vegetables, and presents favorite dishes of Mao, Deng, and even Zhu Rongji, together with some of the best in imperial dining reserved for emperors and empresses. An evening at Red Capital Club is to step back in time, a time to wrap yourself in the dream of the 1950s, sink into the velvet and imagine that you have the Chairman’s ear. Who knows, he may be listening...