Black Sesame Kitchen, Beijing

Less than a week before our Beijing trip in October 2011, I read about a foodie’s incredible experience at Black Sesame Kitchen.

It is a cooking school founded by Jen Lin-Liu, author of Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China.

When I went to their website I saw that they offer a 10-Course gourmet Chinese dinner prepared in front of you on Friday nights.

Black Sesame Kitchen


They only take 20 guests so we feared they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us with such short notice.

We emailed for a reservation and were fortunate to grab the last 2 available seats!

Black Sesame Kitchen is a small place tucked away in a residential courtyard just off of the popular alley Nan Luogu Xiang.

Black Sesame Kitchen

When we arrived, the chefs were already prepping some of the dishes.

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

I couldn’t wait to taste the delicious smells that were filling the kitchen.

The menu changes monthly and many of the locals return each month for the new courses.

Black Sesame Kitchen

We were seated with a group of four friends who made the night extra special for us.

Black Sesame Kitchen

They share our love of food and didn’t even mind letting me snap a few pictures of each course before we served them.

One of the first courses to arrive (and one of my favorites) was the Fried Shiitake Mushrooms:

Black Sesame Kitchen, Beijing.

My absolute favorite course was the Braised Pork Belly with Chestnuts.

Black Sesame Kitchen

The food, wine and beer flowed for three hours while the six of us shared stories and laughed like we had known each other for years.

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

The last course was Candied Sweet Potatoes with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Black Sesame Kitchen

Black Sesame Kitchen

When the warm sticky candy-coating hit the cold ice cream it immediately hardened and created a savory-sweet dessert unlike anything I’d ever tasted.

It was an amazing night of creative and delicious food with an added bonus of great company!

Thank you, Black Sesame Kitchen:

Black Sesame Kitchen

And to our new friends Cynthia, Brian, Marie and Bryant:

Black Sesame Kitchen

We feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have shared this culinary experience with you.

Let’s make a plan to do it again one day!

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