This new Danish design hub in the heart of Beijing’s Sanlitun district boasts a shop, a café, a restaurant, a bar and a bakery.
There’s no denying the fact that to step into the Royal Smushi House is to enter a different world. Perched at the crossroads of Dongzhimenwai and Sanlitun’s chaotic bar street, a sense of calm pervades its various outlets and there’s something reassuring about its neat Danish design and coolly exquisite interior.
Transplanted from Copenhagen (with a few additions in the form of a bakery, a Georg Jensen boutique and a Monocle Shop), The Royal Smushi House is a recreation of that city’s popular café, which purports to sell sushi, Danish style. In practice, that means sushi-sized, delicately prepared culinary creations deriving their ingredients from the Scandinavian smørrebrød (open faced sandwich). Typically Nordic flavours such as dill and salmon and red cabbage feature heavily, and each ‘smushi’ takes several minutes to prepare. Perhaps given this café’s pedigree, it goes without saying that all are delicious, and often more of a mouthful than they first appear.
Our tip? Pop by one morning to grab some freshly baked bread and pastries from the Bakery or enjoy afternoon tea in the Café, and then go and explore the rest of the venue. From the Monocle Shop with its carefully designed lifestyle products to the fabulous upstairs restaurant, The Royal Smushi House may be peddling a pricier experience than most, but in a city more accustomed to fast paced cooking and low quality products, it makes a delightful change. And no one minds paying for that.
The Royal Smushi House: 12 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Chaoyang district, Beijing (tel: 6416 9664).