Situated in Saifi Village II of Downtown Beirut, CHENBAO – the Chinese word for castle – is a modern and fine dining Chinese restaurant. It is supposed to provide an exceptional dining experience with an exquisite cuisine, serving the best of what Chinese food has to offer...
CHENBAO is a restaurant with a unique twist of fusion Asian presentation, Chinese cuisine and a refined architecture. The extensive menu selections are prepared with only the freshest ingredients.
The menu offers many fashionable specials as well as a variety of other healthy alternatives to suit your lifestyle.
The decoration is sleek and chic with a subtle Asian feel. The atmosphere is pleasant and welcoming. The stylish and intimate setting will definitely provide you with a memorable experience. CHENBAO is a first class restaurant that offers a blend of Asian tastes and a Far Eastern ambiance. The beautifully prepared and presented dishes are designed to surprise and delight.
What I loved about it:
- The classy cloth covering the chopsticks.
- The leather menu with engraved flowers and a nice and simple choice printed on thick paper.
- The electric seat especially available for elderly guests and disabled, taking to the WC.
- Welcoming smiley hostesses and Filipino waiters wearing black and golden apparel.
- The nice interior; Granite flooring, stone walls with a nice wooden finish.
- Upholstery relaxing chairs with handles.
The unacceptable mistakes for this supposedly fine dining Chinese:
- Service is very slow and annoying, we waited 35 minutes to be served, and more than 10 minutes every time to have our waiter pass by the table.
- Waiters should be responsible for a designated section in the restaurant, and stay on the lookout for the customers demands. It's not the case here. The waiters randomly serve different tables...They run like they aim at winning a game.
- Portions are very small -I don't know how they propose to share them since each finishes in a bite.
- The unpleasant smoking smell.
- The sections: Appetizers, soups, seafood, meat, poultry, vegetables, rice&noodles, desserts.
- We ordered: Crispy duck meat roll, Chenbao steamed dim sum platter (prawn, salmon, chicken, beef), golden silver wanton soup, fried u don noodles with beef, fried rice with seafood, traditional roast Peking duck, sweet and sour chicken.
- The duck meat roll is very special an tasty. Seafood fried rice is the dish I enjoyed the most tonight. Duck is too oily and fatty served with extremely thin tortillas that broke into pieces before even being rolled into a sandwich
- Sweet and sour chicken is a success.
- Beef salad is colorful and tasty.
The perfect headache recipe: A smoking restaurant with bad filtering, a background lounge music with continuous irritating beat, loud noise of chitchatting and a continuous echo sound in the background. If you are pregnant, old, claustrophobic or noise-sensitive, avoid Chenbao.
The very positive thing I appreciated: The manager sensed our discomfort towards the service, portions and ambiance and didn't accept that we leave without offering us a taste of their dessert. Nice gesture.
On the menu you can read the story of the name: Chenbao Shen (1848-1935) was the grand gardien and imperial tutor of Peyi the last emperor of China. He composed a Chinese calligraphy engraved onto a pair of pillars in the Shuanglin temple in Singapur (1904-19050) and compared the founding to the construction of the first monastery in India. Those well composed couplets reflected the context, symbol and function of a building creating a unique ambiance for the temple. To have an imperial tutor's specially composed couplet, reflected the importance of the Shuanglin temple to the Chinese society in Singapore as well as cultural and political links between Chinese in colonial Singapore and Imperial China itself. The two pillars with Chenbao Shen couplets continue to stand today in the Shuanglin temple and have become valuable material culture for us to understand the history and social aspiration of that period.
About Chef Eddie Chua: Born in 1963 in Malaysia, Chef Eddie Chua started his career as Assistant Chef in a prestigious restaurant in Malaysia. Since then, his career took a turning point as opportunities opened doors for him in the best hotels of the world such as Hilton, Sheraton, Kempinski and Shangri-La. Chef Eddie Chua is a real polyglot who speaks 9 languages fluently a s a result of his experience in various countries; Vietnam, India, Philippines, Korea, and Hong Kong. In 2006, Chef Eddie Chua relocated to an Asian Cuisine restaurant “GO Bar” in Russia, through the invitation of Arkady Novikov, one of Moscow’s founding members of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers. In 2010, he was promoted to the position of Chef of China Club. Recently, Chef Eddie Chua’s career has landed in the heart of Downtown, Beirut to entertain his clientele with distinguished Asian Cuisine only at Chenbao.