A Creative Take on Fiery Sichuan in North Sanlitun
Transit 渡金湖 is a long time (for Beijing) favorite and a revisit was long overdue. First started in 2002, the original location in Gongti is no more, but the spacious new digs in Sanlitun North Village may look cold as ice, but the fiery Sichuan fare keeps this respected establishment a destination for spice lovers.
Transit’s Sleek Entrance on the 3rd floor of Sanlitun North Village
Located on the 3rd floor of TaiKooLi North, Transit is the sister restaurant to Cicada Ultra-lounge and serves up gorgeous contemporary Sichuan food that will challenge your prior conceptions of spicy Chinese food.
More than just drenching everything in chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns, Transit’s menu is very well-balanced inclusive of classic Sichuan dishes like Kungpao Chicken and Mapo Tofu, but it’s also got a whole lot of innovative dishes that you’d never imagine that you’d see at a Sichuan restaurant like Sichuan Style Red Wine Infused Orange Beef Bourguignon and Spiced King Prawns with Dark Chocolate.
Choose from an Extensive Wine List to Pair with Sichuan Dishes
Expect numbing spice combined with non-traditional ingredients, a great drinks selection and luxurious decor. The staff are smart, polite and attentive, and the atmosphere isn’t overbearing.
The best part about all of this is that transit won’t burn a ridiculous hole in your wallet either. Around RMB 200-300 per head for a meal without drinks puts it on the more affordable end of the spectrum considering what you’re getting.
My only advice is to go for the RMB 1,988 Tasting Menu if you go with a group of 6 as it’s a much better deal than ordering a la carte. We didn’t get as much food and our bill was well over the RMB 2,200 mark but I suppose that also included a lovely bottle of red.
LDS Snapshots of Transit Sichuan Restaurant:
An Elegant, Contemporary Dining Hall
House Special Pickles (RMB 38)
Summer Roll with Spiced Crab Rolled in Vermicelli Sheets (RMB 68)
‘Ma La’ Spicy Chicken (RMB 98)
Wok Fried Dragon Beans with Sichuan Smoked Ham (RMB 70)
Wok Fried Chicken in Fresh Mint Leaves (RMB 75)
Spicy Ribs in Herbed Sticky Rice (RMB 78 for 4 or 108 for 6 pieces)
Chicken in Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Avocado (RMB 125)
Steamed Sea Bass with Sichuan Ham and Bamboo Rolls Infused with Litsea Oil and Lime Jus (RMB 108)
Signature Aubergine with Minced Pork (RMB 75)
Angus Tenderloin Toasted in Sichuan Chilies (RMB 108)
Wok Fried Organic Chinese Kale (RMB 75)
Sichuan Style Smoked Bamboo Shoots Beef Stew (RMB 168)
Spicy Wontons (RMB 35)
A Fiery Dinner for 6 at Transit
Every time we come back to Transit, we continue to be delighted by its culinary creativity.
Our top menu favorite is their succulent Steamed Sea Bass, which always steals the show with its gorgeous presentation and bursting flavors. The strong Litsea oil really comes through and compliments the dish exceptionally well. Other menu highlights include their Ma La Spicy Chicken 口水鸡 and their Signature Aubergine dish that infuses a hint of lemongrass to give a lovely piquant flavor. Though the Chicken in Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Avocado sounded promising, the result was a bit underwhelming as was the Stir-fried Chicken with Fresh Mint Leaves. Next time, I’ll stick to the classic Kung Pao Chicken. We also tried to order the King Prawns with Dark Chocolate, but they were out of this dish and a couple other crafty ones that caught our eye.
Offering both traditional and creative new dishes, it is a great place to take visiting friends or family members and if you can get away with expensing it, hold business meetings. Even if you struggle with spice, there are plenty of options that will more than satisfy you.
Transit Restaurant Contact Details:
Address: N4-36, On the 3rd Floor of Taikoo Li North, Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang district
Tel: +86 10 6417 9090
Opening Hours: Open Daily from 6-10:30PM