A week of being trapped amidst Beijing’s high-rise buildings can feel suffocating. But Blue Lake Restaurant, the design project of Chen Yi and Zhang Muchen of Much Art and Design, offers a shaded, much-needed natural retreat.

Located within Lido Garden, Blue Lake was Chen and Zhang’s first interior and exterior design project. For those eager enjoy nature and slow down the clock, the restaurant is a peaceful and attractive place.

Although the project was renovated based on the original building, Chen and Zhang preserved many of the original trees to retain the original spiritual temperament of the location. The new building was designed to integrate with the surrounding environment and the area’s historical memory, but also to fully utilize the garden landscape.

Signature dishes include salmon head. While not a strictly special ingredient, the heads are treated and cooked in a way that leaves them tasting clean and free of any fishy or astringent smell. The fish’s delicate and succulent original flavor is hidden below a crispy, lightly charred exterior.

Garlic steak is also highly recommended. The cuts of ridge beef are sizzled in an iron pan until medium-done. The meat tastes tender and leaves a faint fragrance in the mouth.

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