From the people who brought you possibly my favourite lesser known restaurant in Beijing Vin Vie 萬火, comes a new opening: Vin Vino 萬久. For those of you who have been to Vin Vie, you will know that it is an izakaya style restaurant that also happens to offer a bunch of wine. Vin Vino extends this concept further. It is based around “Japanese Tapas” and wine.
It must be said that this makes the restaurant a pretty odd place to eat in. None of the Japanese influence is visible in the decoration as it looks more like a pseudo-Mediterranean bistro. At the same time, one glance at the menu and you will notice a lot of shiso leaf, soy sauce, tofu and other classic Japanese staples coexisting with ratatouille and risotto.
Furthermore, you’ll eat to the sounds of a soundtrack that seems to have been assembled by someone with multiple personality disorder. We counted atmospheric orchestral songs, Swedish pop, hardcore hip hop and more all in one evening. Yeah it’s a strange beast but don’t let that put you off. If anything, this should spark your curiosity.
LDS Snapshots of Vin Vino:
Vin Vino’s Exterior next to Schindler’s Food Center in Maizidian
Worry-Free Wine & Tapas Bar
Long Bar Counter and both Booth & Table Seating
Pre-Opening Wine & Food Menu
We started with some apéritifs - the Galician G & T, Viva Vin Vino and the misnamed Champagne cocktail (which is made with Prosecco, not champagne).
All of these were good enough that we’d order them again. Not too sweet, the Viva Vin Vino especially had a really nice combo of flavors – the potent passionfruit really makes a splash in the mix of flavors in this drink.
LDS Snapshots of Vin Vino’s Wine Cocktails + Wines:
Galician G&T with Nordes Albarino (RMB 60) & Viva Vinvino with Aperol, Passion Fruit, Rosemary Syrup and Prosecco Superiore (RMB 70)
Champagne Cocktail with Borgoluce Prosecco Superiore, Cubed Sugar, dashes of Bitters (RMB 65)
After that, we ordered basically everything that we could (we would have ordered every dish on the menu, but they were out of a few dishes which is understandable as it was during National Week). If you scan through below, you’ll get to see pretty much 90% of their pre-opening food menu!
LDS Snapshots of Vin Vino’s Pre-Opening Food Menu:
House-Marinated Olives (RMB 25)
House Made Pickles (RMB 25)
Spiced Red Wine Figs (RMB 28)
French Style Carrot Salad (RMB 30)
House-made Creamy Tofu with Shiso Pesto (RMB 30)
Fresh Mushroom Salad with Garlic & Anchovy Dressing (RMB 38)
Black Sesame Potato Salad (RMB 30)
Japanese Scallop Carpaccio (RMB 68)
Herb-Infused Fried Chicken (RMB 38)
House-Made Poached Sardines with Tomato Sauce (RMB 43)
Japanese Teriyaki Wings (RMB 38)
Deep-Fried Breaded Aji Horse Mackerel with Shiso Pesto Mayo (RMB 48)
Fried Pork and Beef Meatballs with Japanese Semi-Glace Sauce (RMB 48)
Galician Style Fried Octopus & Potato (RMB 58)
Miso Ratatouille (Missing Soft Boiled Egg & Prosciutto Ham) (RMB 48)
Sicilian Octopus Carpaccio (RMB 58)
Baked Daikon Radish Risotto (RMB 58)
Shiso Pesto on Toast (RMB 28)
French Fries with Garlic, Anchovies & Rosemary (RMB 33)
Vanilla Ice Cream with House-made Fig Jam & Balsamic Honey (RMB 30)
Favorites included the fresh mushroom salad with an addictive garlic and anchovy dressing, the house-made creamy tofu with shiso pesto which was really silky and refreshing, the ratatouille (even though they were out of the poached egg and Prosciutto ham that goes on top of the dish), the French Fries with and the teriyaki chicken wings which we ate like candy.
Not every dish hit the mark quite so nicely and there were a few that were underwhelming – the sardines, the black sesame mashed potato and the shiso pesto on toast especially. But readers should note that Vin Vino is still in pre-opening, so I would give them another month or two as they nail down their operations and hit their stride, and hopefully trim the fat.
There is great potential (knowing that this is the same team behind Vin Vie), but if they want to keep up their flawless reputation, then this new rendition can’t have quite so many misses in the long run.
Vin Vino’s 萬久 Contact Details:
Address: Ichiban Street, ZaoYingBeiLi 15, North NongZhanGuan Road, Chaoyang District