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Flamme > Sanlitun

3/F, S4-33 Taikoo Li South, 19 Sanlitun Lu
6417-8608
American
Overall
Editor
Editor Rating (Review): 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Address:
3/F, S4-33 Taikoo Li South, 19 Sanlitun Lu
Address in Chinese:
三里屯19号太古里南区S4-33
Cross Street in English:
Sanlitun Lu
Cross Street in Chinese:
三里屯太古里南区
Opening Hours:
M-F 9am-10pm, Sat 10am-11pm
Phone:
6417-8608
Price range:
¥200-299
Category:
Neighborhood:
Posted by:

Description

This venue is closed, September 2015.

This popular bistro marries quality comfort food with a twist to amazingly affordable prices. Succulent steaks and indulgent potatoes highlight a menu of familiar dishes done extremely well. Don't leave without trying one of the cocktails.

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Cross Street in English:

3/F, S4-33 Taikoo Li South, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Sanlitun Lu


Cross Street in Chinese:

三里屯19号太古里南区S4-33, 三里屯太古里南区


Phone:
6417-8608

Comments

Comments

aimin

Best Fondant au chocolat ever
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3
Average: 3 (1 vote)
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femmefauxpas's picture

femmefauxpas

The best happy hour if you want cocktails! Before 730pm you get half price beer, wine and cocktails (most cocktails are 70rmb) and seriously, those cocktails are good. I had the Chilli Raspberry vodka martini and it was heaven in a glass. Better still, you get a free side with every cocktail! This means you can get 3 cocktails and 3 sides for just over 100rmb. Deep fried eggplant fries are highly recommended. Great service too, i can't say enough good things about this. The oven baked potato chips were also awesome!
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youngster

I went for 'all you can eat drink' night and had a very nice experience. It's a great deal as cocktails are regularly priced around 70Y each (maybe too much?), so this promotion (99Y) allows you to indulge and experiment a bit. We only ordered two sides so I can't really speak for the food, but I did eat there once about a year ago and thought the food was pretty good. The beans and potatoes we had last time were also quite flavourful. I didn't go back for a while because steaks are not really my thing, but I'm happy I did for the cocktails. Overall, I think it's a pleasant restaurant and I am sorry to see so many negative reviews below! They don't fit in at all with the impression I had both times I visited.
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lovenut

I just joined this website for writing a review about this restaurant.. To "restaurant week", me and my partner decided to try this restaurant so went there tonight and ordered 2 special menu. We ordered medium rare steaks but it was totally rare so we had to return it to cook more properly. When it came out again, it taste a bit weird and texture was just like rubber. We spent around 400rmb there but didnt even finish half of our steaks. I don't know it's because we ordered "Special menu" or we didnt pay enough for getting a good steak but I think at least they had to serve decent food what people can eat!!! I WILL NEVER GO THERE AGAIN.
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peanutbutternightmare

Had the potato wedges, caesar salad and a steak. The steal was excellent and probably why you'd go to Flamme. The salad was not a caesar salad which was disappointing. The one minor grip I had with the place was how fast all the dishes came. I got my steak medium rare and my date got the same, but spacing the dishes out would have been nice. I guess if you're in a hurry this is the place to go.
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emf's picture

emf

This place is just OK, went there once and do not want to go there again.
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taylorjchang's picture

taylorjchang

Okay, so their happy hour might just be the best happy hour deal out there (50% all drinks) and the overall restaurant is really nice and VERY nicely air conditioned (definitely a plus especially during the summer). However, I have to say that their caesar salad WITH chicken is a really big disappointment. I'm not saying that their food is lacking because I only had the caesar salad with grilled chicken, but when the waitress came out with my order I had to call her back to ask her if the clumpy looking caesar dressing was my "chicken." When she told me that that was indeed my "chicken" (extra 10 kuai) I couldn't help myself but just laugh. Lets just say that I couldn't see or taste any chicken in my grilled chicken caesar salad. If they're going to have the "add rotisserie chicken for an extra 10 kuai," actually add some chicken!
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thezippy's picture

thezippy

This is my own "2nd Bite" review, as I previously wrote about Flamme in September of 2010, and have since dined there numerous times and always have a similar experience - the food is almost always decent if not downright good, and the service is almost always heinous. Last night was my last meal at Flamme, which is a shame. It started off great - we had cocktails at the bar, and the drinks were excellent. The one standout in this place is the bar staff, who have been well trained by Paul Matthews and know how to make a great drink. After a couple of cocktails and an appetizer we got a table to enjoy dinner. I had ribs (not bad, but stick with the steak) and my gf had a nice steak. And the side dish we ordered arrived with our meal, which has nearly always been a challenge in the past. ANYHOW, an altogether decent dining experience with better than usual service right up until the time the bill came. I'd recently won a Flamme voucher from one of the expat magazines and wanted to use that. The waitress informed us that we couldn't use it with the drinks we'd had during happy hour, so I said "no problem, please just take those off this bill, ring them up separately and I'll pay cash for the drinks and appetizer." No can do, she told me. So, I nicely asked if we could speak with the manager. Now, I should have known I wasn't in for a professional discussion when the manager came over dressed in a sweatsuit. I'd noticed her earlier hanging out by the door, sitting around reading a magazine and wondered who was just loitering near the doors like that - it never occured to me that it could be an employee... So, she came over and was instantly aggressive, saying there was no way she'd do what we asked and we'd have to pay full price for the drinks, on top of the voucher. I told her that we'd do that if necessary, but it was a very disappointing resolution, when she could simply ring that bar tab up separately and we'd pay cash, separate from the voucher and dinner. Again, she was aggressively insistent with a very rude and patronizing tone. I said I understood, we'd pay cash, but we'd be writing about the bad experience on The Beijinger, Dianping, and Weibo. This apparently hit a nerve, because she then got even MORE snarky, amping up her volume so everyone in the area became aware of the disagreement, & loudly informed me that HER NAME WAS HELEN AND I COULD TELL ANYONE I WANT ABOUT IT. She then told me I was cheap & should be greatful for their generosity in giving me the voucher to begin with. Wow. We weren't going to escalate it beyond that - Helen was embarrassing herself, and us too, so we left.But when we walked out that door, it was for the last time. I'll miss those steaks, & the martinis even more, but they're not worth dealing with abusive and unprofessional staff. I've lived in BJ a long time now, and am used to less-than-perfect service, and even live with it but I won't tolerate insults, arrogance, or outright rudeness.
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zachary_franklin's picture

zachary_franklin

Order a steak and every possible side on the menu. Get at least two bottles of the house wine, depending on the size of your party. Begin enjoyable evening.
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xiaochangyu's picture

xiaochangyu

Flamme has become our Tuesday night regular restaurant in the last month or two. The two for one steaks were mostly enjoyable when we got the good cut of meat, at the end of the day, it's good value for the money. Drinks are always great when Paul is working there. The only reason I didn't give them five stars is because (I guess that's who she is) the manager has never smiled or been friendly to us, she spilt my friend's drink without giving her a new one, she just put the passionfruit back into her cocktail, and she spilt water all over a customer the other day. Bad form! You don't want to be serviced by her.
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siennapc's picture

siennapc

This review is for the bar. I was unconvinced that Flamme had a great bar, but my friends kept trying to get me to go, and I gave in. Now I've been twice in one week. The list of cocktails is extensive and unique, and drinks arrive quickly. Bar seating is comfortable. It's super easy to get a fapiao. The passionate Englishman drink is DELICIOUS, and I don't even normally like gin.
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tamarack05

While the cocktails are delicious, the quality of food (and service) does not measure up to their prices. Union's food is much tastier and of better value.
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leemack

Had quite a decent repast there last night. Instead of opting for the steak slab we went more tapas style. The sliders were amazing, the buffalo wings (a new addition to the menu) were huge, the mushroom soup was delicious. The caramel parfait for dessert was likewise fantastic. some cups of the outstanding mulled wine finished it off. The only real miss was the pumpkin risotto which came out scaldingly hot and neither I nor my dining companion had more than a bite or two.
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lisa_gay

Two for one house steak on Tuesday is a great deal, problem is, it's obviously going to be very crowded and it takes forever to get food or drinks. The drinks are FANTASTIC, but it's just hard to served during Tuesday Happy Hour. All the cheapskates in town congregate, I guess (that's why I go then!)
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jpdm's picture

jpdm

Dropped in for dinner at the suggestion of my girlfriend. I guess they are known for their steaks, so my first mistake was probably not to order one. I just had a craving for burgers last night. It was ok but not up to par with Let's Burger or Blu Frog. I ordered a side dish of fries but the waiter never bothered to tell me that my burger already came with fries (although not the same kind). The side order was more like wedges. A bit of a waste. My girlfriend's chicken looked quite good. I ordered a bottle of the house red wine which was quite acceptable. I just wished they stopped serving red wine at room temperature in Beijing. Will i go back? Probably not. Too many better choices in Beijing and not enough time.
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selina_00

Excellent food at excellent value. The extended breakfast menu was a good touch. Nice fresh interior. I'll be paying this restaurant many more visits.
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janetmichel3009

Went there with some friends. I was not too impressed! Here just a few points: - prices are on the high side, considering everything else, I thought they were not justified! - menu had a typo: "Stuff Selection", I was assuming was supposed to be "Staff Selection" at least that was amusing! :) - drinks are amazing! The "pink cosmopolitan" and the "passionate englishman" were the favorites of the night! - service is clumsy, but very very friendly. They do try hard. A shame they don't seem to know what they are doing... - food: ah yeah. Well I ordered the tenderloin steak well done. Mine came bloody. As we had already waited a long time and I was hungry to begin with, I let it go. I wasn't about to wait any longer... The meat was very good though and I would have enjoyed it if it had been made according to my order! Shame is the lack of sides. I ended up ordering some spinach-y thing, which was good, but really I would have prefered to be able to get some decent side dishes WITH my steak, esp. at these prices. - what did impress me was that all the dishes came at the same time, so thumbs up for that I guess I would go back for the cocktails and outdoor seating only. If it wasn't for the drinks I would have rated it 2 stars....
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petri71's picture

petri71

I came there the other to enjoy some good meat and I was not disappointed. There is one problem though, I did not mention it the first time but it happened again. When one eats in China, several dishes are ordered and they come one by one at the table, this is normal and accepted by everyone since everyone is sharing each dish that comes to the table. In western culture, each guest has its own dish and is supposed to get it at the same time as the others. As it is considered not polite to eat in front of someone who is still waiting for his food, Chefs in western countries are making a special effort in coordinating the timing int he kitchen. So I went there with my wife, we both ordered one starter and one main dish with some sides. When I finally got my starter, my wife had finished hers...and I did not even finished my starter that my main course arrived. My wif'e's main course arrived 5 minutes later and my side came when I had almost finished my meat... The terrace was full but inside was empty, so no rush excuse..please. So what is wrong in this kitchen ? Did the chef never learned to time his tables and did the waiters never learn to order the main dish once the client has finished the starter ? Yes the food is good, but it is not enough to make me come back
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ljohnson's picture

ljohnson

The drinks are fantastic and extremely well-mixed, I tried the chili raspberry cocktail which tasted like the Willy Wonka magic bubble gum-- a meal in one drink. The side dishes are tasty and fresh, but if you order the house steak be prepared for a western steak with Chinese characteristics, it's not a taste for any western palate. The desserts, however, are another story and the sample platter is a steal at RMB58.
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tmccabe

Cocktails are well mixed and creative. Using fresh fruit and high end spirits makes the cocktails even better.
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okyjace

Dropped in for lunch today when Element Fresh was full. Thank goodness I trusted my instincts rather than listen to the waitress trying to convince me it would be a short wait. As Flamme was half-empty, service was good and attentive. I had the steak tower thingy off the brunch menu (Rmb88) which comes with coffee. Its basically slices of tenderloin sandwiched between chunky potato cakes. The dish was tasty, but it looked as though it had been pre-made earlier. Just nice portion for me, though enough if you're a big eater. For the location and price, its above average in my books. Definitely worth a look if you're in a mood for meat in this area. I'll probably be back at least once more to try their house steak to see if it's any good.
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beijingdaze

I shy away from reviewing western restaurants most of the time in Beijing because I rarely have good things to say about them. Over the the last few months, Flamme has proved to be one of the exceptions to the rule. - Service: That was a shaky point when i started going there but it has improved leaps and bounds. The staff knows their menu! they're quick, efficient and know how to get out of the customer's way which is something i highly value. - Food: Sure, the steaks get a lot of attention and rightfully so: Good quality cuts for reasonable prices and mostly well cooked. however, don't forget the rest of the menu: Their sides oughta be mains on their own right. The rosemary roasted chicken is a tender juicy delight. The desert plate should come with surgeon's general warning about indigestion hazard. - As if good food wasn't reason enough, the drinks are just amazing. Having one of the better mixologist/managers in Beijing might have something to do with it. Paul and his team are doing a great job being inventive and helpful. In this day and age of fusion cuisine and weird stuff on your plate, it just a refreshing sight to have a place come along and do basic things right. hats off.... easily the best new restaurant in Beijing this year.. ahead of the pack by a mile!
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m_t_stomachs

I've been to Flamme three times in the last two months, always on Tuesdays for the two-for-one house steaks. First off, the cloud potatoes are heaven in a side dish. My boyfriend and I have tried the polenta, the charro beans, and the thin-cut fries, all perfectly delicious, but really nothing comes close to the cloud potatoes. Others come for the steak; me, I come for the potatoes. Have heard raves from dining companions about the squash though, and will try that next time. As for the steak--lovely, tender, succulent. Those who ask for it rare are certainly obliged, but I prefer mine done medium at Flamme--the center is still red but I don't end up with a plate swimming in blood. The panna cotta is refreshing after a hearty steak dinner, but if you have the room, I recommend the chocolate peanut-butter lava cake. Astoundingly delicious and sinful--stick your spoon into it and the filling oozes out suggestively. We've tried both the cherry manhattan (at least that's what I think it was) and the Estrella Damm Inedit, the new Spanish beer from Ferran Adria and team. What a surprise to find it in Beijing, at Flamme no less--and what a delight to drink. Last night it was on special for 45 yuan a bottle. I've heard the reports from other diners that service here can get lackluster when the place reaches capacity. Suffice to say I've never encountered it. I have, however, seen Jeff (the chef) walking around and checking on the diners -- even while he himself was on crutches. Last night we did receive a lecture from one waitress when we asked for a separate check for two people out of a much larger group (before we even ordered). Not possible, see, what people normally do is figure it out themselves from whatever is on the bill and then we should just pay with everyone else, and on and on in that vein. Really, Sherlock? Was tempted to tell her to stuff it, but this is China, after all, so we took it with a grain of salt.
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pkos's picture

pkos

forgot my rating (4 stars for food minus 2 stars for service = 2 stars)
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pkos's picture

pkos

I am not so picky about service (I understand its China), When I eat at local restaurants I have no expectations - but when I pay western prices for western food, I would expect something close to western service. I ordered: an appetizer & the rib-eye with 2 sides. The rib eye came out at same time as the appetizer ... ok, I can deal with that - but no sides yet. I wait about 5 mins for the sides that must be on the way. I ask a waiter, he checks "few mins". Start my steak ... nearly finish with the steak & the "sides" show up (with no apology for the F'up). I call the guy over who seems like the manager & explain the concept of appetizer, main, and sides - I make sure to explain how sides should come with the main & sit on the "side" of the dish. I don't get apology instead, I am told "you ordered as the kitchen was closing" - I ordered at exactly 10pm. I checked as I came in & confirmed they close at 11pm. As he was telling me it was my fault for ordering too-late, the table next to me was placing their order at 11pm. Instead of apologizing and removing the sides from the bill, I got a BS excuse & he asked me if wanted the sides to-go. (I insisted I was not paying for them & he finally removed them). The steak & appetizer (which served as my side) were nice - but within a short radius, I can find many other steak options with great service. Maybe it was the main manager's night off (Jan 4)& maybe its usually better than this, but I am not sure I will bother with Flamme again
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petri71's picture

petri71

Appart from the location and decor which is not anything special, I had a perfect evening with good service, suggestions from the barman and the chef himself. The food was excellent and well presented. I will come back each time I'm in the mood for meat.
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svictoria's picture

svictoria

I dined here on their tuesday night specials - buy one get one free. We had the large house steak ... it was really lovely.. cooked as i asked and wasnt to much that i felt stuffed! I ordered the beetroot salad as well and really enjoyed that. The tuna appetizer is a great starter...it is very well prepared. I found the service very good despite that it was super busy. our waiter didnt even write down our order... which made me a little hesitant at first, given so many waiters in beijing get orders wrong even when they write it down.. lol ... but there were no problems. For dessert we had the chocolate lava cake... i am a chocolate addict...and i was very much satisfied with this... the only bad part was i had to share it! lol def going back.
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chrissy_ysy's picture

chrissy_ysy

There are gifted establishments, moderate ones and unfortunate ones. Flamme unfortunately falls into the last category. Serious need to up the quality of service AND FOOD. Quality of meat and sauce combination looked quite miserable. Their star dish of Rosemary Roast chicken was rather dry and plain boring after the 3rd bite. I had some fun watching em prepare the Caesar Salad "live" but that was it! Some basic tips for the waitress when serving wine: You first bring the bottle, show it to the customer, pour a bit, if the customer is OK with it, then you serve the full glass. You don't just pour it from the bar and dump the glasses on the table and walk away! So tragic! UGH!
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epay

Tried this place for the first time last night to fill a steak craving. I was very impressed. The 98 RMB house special cut and the 106 RMB tenderloin were both delicious. The roast squash with brown sugar side was simple and very well executed - just the right amount of sweet, savory, and toasty flavor. I think they've improved greatly on the service and speed of drink delivery, based on earlier reviews. Minimal confusion during ordering, no screw-ups or forgotten dishes, all our drinks arrived perfect in a reasonable amount of time. You can tell they're still working a few bugs out, it's not quite the well-oiled machine that is Element Fresh, but the steaks are SO GOOD and so affordable. Also, best dirty martini I've had in Beijing. Blue cheese-stuffed-olives didn't hurt.
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wakingthecity's picture

wakingthecity

"Amazingtly" I was give spring onion and mayonnaise when I told them I wanted "Yang Cong - Onion" and mayonnaise after I reminded them three times. This place needs to improve the service and train the staffs well!
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sclear

Went for Tuesday night 2-4-1 steaks. Great night. Arrived about 6.30 and by 7.15 all tables were full. Bar service had no complaints (seated at the bar though, only drinking wine), steak was good and service eager. The manager double checked our order which was nice. Definitely recommend.
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duncanshaunsmith's picture

duncanshaunsmith

Having been here a few times now I can certainly agree with some of the comments here. I think the steak is first class. The house cut, oyster blade (or false fillet) is really good and comes out perfectly cooked. The sauces tend to detract from the taste of the meat and are not needed. The cocktail and wines selection is very good and each cocktail does come out perfectly. The problem is that you can die of thirst waiting for your cocktail. Service is generally very friendly and efficient but can fall down badly when they get busy. All in all I think this is very welcome addition to the Beijing restaurant scene.
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olli's picture

olli

Was definitely surprised and happy to find this place. Great food considering the reasonable prices , especially when dining thurs-sun with 2-for-1 drinks (including wine). Only comment from our table was to not order the corn - everything else got demolished! Will be back on tuesday for 2-for-1 house steak night!
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guilty_b's picture

guilty_b

Fantastic new addition to Sanlitun Village, had a great experience there last weekend! We ordered the lemon roasted chicken, beef salad, and asparagus and mashed potato sides... all so delicious, and only came to RMB 220 including two glasses of amazing NZ sauv!! They have great deals - two for one drinks from Thurs-Sun, two for 1 set lunches (RMB68) on Wed, and two for 1 steaks on Tues! Simple, pleasing decor, friendly and efficient service, and LOVE the cucumber water and Yorkshire Pudding type bread they serve at the start of meals... Will definitely be back!
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traminer's picture

traminer

Here for lunch on a rainy Friday. The sets here range from 45rmb to 88rmb for 3 courses. Started the weekend early when drinks are 1 for 1 after 2pm from Thurs to Sun. The steak burger was excellent especially with a little extra "secret sauce" on the side. My colleague enjoyed his steak sandwich as well. We'll be back to try their new weekend brunch menu and their 2 for 1 steaks on Tues! Tip: Ask for a second helping of that lovely cheese bread and home-made butter.
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siennapc's picture

siennapc

I'd give Flamme 3.5 stars. First off, the service was very friendly, and our waitress spoke very, very good English. The decor is alright, but nothing special, and I found the bathrooms to be a little weird and reminiscent in both set-up and smell to those on an airplane. The food was on the whole good, but not as cheap as others have made it out to be. Our bill was close to RMB300 without drinks, and we (two girls) left satisfied, but certainly not stuffed. The steak salad is definitely lacking something in the vegetable department, although the steak is very good. The RMB98 house steak is good value, but we didn't like the Korean BBQ sauce at all. The steak was much better with no sauce at all. The famous rosemary lemon chicken was okay, but it didn't blow me away in the way I had expected it to, especially given my love affair with the peri-peri chicken at Meat & Wine Co., the restaurant where many of Flamme's staff come from. But I did like how the chicken came with a huge watercress (so unfortunately rare on Beijing menus!) salad. Mashed potatoes were good. The panna cotta had nice berries, but the panna cotta itself was a little gelatinous and doesn't come close to places like Mosto, SALT, TERRA etc. Cocktails were very good, and sell for average Sanlitun cocktail bar prices (RMB50-60). In general, very decent, but nothing to rave about.
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thezippy's picture

thezippy

I struggle with how to review Flamme. I've now eaten there 4 or 5 times and have had a variety of experiences. First off, when Flamma is good... its quite good. But when its struggling... it can be the pits. The steaks are very good. ¥98 for the house steak is, in my opinion, a fantastic deal. On Tuesdays they have 2:1, making this same steak ¥49. One of the best deals in town. Its a very good steak - tender, lean, quality cut. The sides are also quite good - the matchstick fries are great, in particular. Dishes that are "eh" - the hummus sampler appetizer, the veggie lasagna (one of a very limited non-red-meat options). The beet salad is okay, but nothing great. The biggest issue I have is the struggling service. I know others have praised it, and when its good, its good. But... I've never been to this restaurant and waited LESS than 15 minutes for a cocktail from the bar. In fact, if with a friend, ordering two cocktails they'll come one at a time... with at least a 5-10 minute wait between each one. I recently went with a table of 8, and 8 cocktails, all ordered at the same time, came out in a 1-at-a-time rotation, with the aforementioned wait between each one. By the time person #8 got their drink, the first 3 were ready for another, leading to an infinite loop in drink service/waits. The bartender is clearly working hard on making drinks, but seems to struggle with the balance of volume/multi-tasking. (Comically, this even happens if you have several of the same drink. Dude... Just double the recipe - you don't have to make two identical drinks one at a time). Food for thought... instead of having 5 guys running around making table-side salads (for no reason other than kitsch), invest in another bloody bartender. Similarly, on pretty much every occasion, the staff has completely screwed up the bill. They either add something extra, or forget something, or overcharge for something. I've had comped food billed (it's embarrassing to have to argue with a waiter to have something removed that you freaking gave to me out of courtesy to begin with). I've also had them bring food I didn't order several times. No big deal ("Not mine, take it back"), but another sign of confusion or lack of training or something in the back. Net net, the staff in the kitchen are kicking butt, but the staff in the front room need some serious help. And the final thing is a total nitpick, but the atmosphere here is generally nice and upscale, and then they have those knockoff Yankee Candle company vanilla candles on every table, complete with the big sticker on the side. Its just a weird low-rent touch to an otherwise classy vibe.
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helarno

Excellent food, great drinks and great service. I've eaten there twice and really enjoyed the experience. Steaks are surprisingly tender. The food usually has a twist to it - whether it's the wasabi/mustard in the prawn cocktail sauce, to the non-traditional steak sauces, to the north african style cucumbers - food here is a unique yet tasty experience. Drinks include the usual variety but their cocktails should definitely be experienced. They often have new takes on traditional, winning formulas. They also have a great taster options on their wine by the glass - RMB100 allows you to try four different (small) glasses of wine, RMB150 for six. Great way to try a lot of different flavors at once. Service was also really good. It's true that it's in the early days of business but the staff are already operating at very service high levels. I expect to come back regularly.
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