China's food scene may still be in its infancy, but two restaurant openings provide a glimpse into its future. Beijing Housed in a slender, two-story space near the Forbidden City, RBL (53 Dong An Men; 86-10/6522-1389; www.rbl-china.com; dinner for two $125) has a wave-shaped bamboo ceiling and soldier-neat rows of white Scandinavian chairs, courtesy of Handel Lee (the man behind Three on the Bund). Whether he's improvising artful plates of sashimi or dishing up seasonal main courses like grilled moonfish with Sichuan peppercorns, sliced truffles, and Chinese broccoli, chef Max Levy employs local products, sourced from Dalian to Hainan. Shanghai Farther south, master designer Adam D. Tihany has created Jade on 36 (33 Fucheng Lu, Pudong Shangri-La; 86-21/6882-8888; dinner for two $220), a rooftop French boîte with a gold ceiling, mahogany walls, and whimsical touches like glowing six-foot-tall snuff bottles. With views of the Bund to inspire him, chef Paul Pairet offers up a wink-wink approach to his cooking: a giant french fry is paired with a ketchup sorbet; foie gras comes wrapped like a lollipop in tamarind accompanied by shots of hot green tea and cold champagne foam.
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