American Express One To Watch Award 2024

American Express One To Watch Award 2024



The restaurant pioneering thoughtful, plant-driven eating in China’s capital

To step through the gates into the tranquil surrounds of Lamdre is to take a deep breath of fresh air, separate to and hidden from the bustle of Beijing. Inside –under the pitched, vaulted roof that’s been specially designed to flood the dining space with natural light – you’ll find an inner sanctum of calm presided over by a culinary team characterised by its devotion to exalting vegetables in their purest form. 

Lamdre is owned by Zhao Jia, whose reverence for the natural world and deep respect for the bounty it offers has established the restaurant as a true pioneer in the promotion of sustainable practices, positioning plant-based cuisine at the forefront of modern dining. It’s not just about eating at Lamdre, Zhao Jia wants every diner to feel and experience the beauty of plants, as well as tasting them.

The menu of seasonally driven flora and fauna is conjured into existence by head chef Dai Jun, who has worked in the culinary sector for more than 30 years, with stints at three-Michelin-star King’s Joy and one-Michelin-star Vege Wonder under his belt. Dai has been dedicated to vegetarian cooking since 2011, building on the foundations of classic Chinese cuisine and borrowing flavours and textures from beyond the confines of his native Beijing. He has developed a style of vegetable-centric cooking that eloquently blends traditional style with modern technique to create plates that are as exciting and inventive as they are beautiful.

Every course on Lamdre’s set menu is described with a simplicity that belies the complex preparation, craft and cooking that creates it, with a proliferation of lesser-seen ingredients placed centre stage, such as arrowhead roots, chayote squash and gingko nuts. Every display is a work of art, from the opening course of sea sedge, corn and feathery, rich morels that appears on the table like a delicate fan of concentric, sunshine-yellow discs set in the shape of a flower to the delicate cloud concoction of sweet potato with vanilla ice cream and caramel to finish.

Lamdre, which shares a name with a meditative system in Tibetan Buddhism meaning ‘the path’, is on the way to paving its own path to a new dawn of plant-based, sustainability-conscious fine dining, making it very much one to watch.

Now read the interview with Zhao Jia and chef Dai Jun and watch the video:


Room 04, 1F, Block 14, Courtyard 4, Gongti North Road, Chaoyang, Beijing, China Mainland

+86-010-85978888 Visit Lamdre on Instagram