Last time we went to Sketch Restaurant was 4 years ago. It is located near the Fajing Temple, and the unique geographical environment is perfect to go with a couple of friends to enjoy some good food and Longjing tea, while watching the sunset.
The restaurant was opened by a few artists. It’s stocked with books, antique lights brought back from France, art designed by themselves, pottery made by Japanese artists, and more. On one of the walls, hangs all kinds of awards and certificates from the 1950’s and 60’s, and, of course, just like the name, there are pencil sketches and paintings hanging on the everywhere as well.
The reason I want to write about it again is last month a friend invited me for a dinner there. The menu has completely changed, and the food really surprised me. To be honest, 4 years ago, I wasn’t so impressed. Everything was just average and only simply edible.
We planned the date, and the four of us went there again a few days ago. In my mind, an unforgettable dish the first time I went there was the Beef Cubes (牛肉粒 59RMB). It was fried with chili and Sichuan pepper, and you could tell the beef was marinated because it was very flavourable. Of course this time we had it again, and it was very yummy.
We hesitated before deciding whether or not to have the Roasted Chicken with Durian (榴莲烤鸡 79RMB). After all, half of us weren't big fans of durian, but we decided to give it a try. It surprised us one more time. When you cut the chicken open, yes, you could smell the durian, but it didn’t have the usual strong flavor. In fact, it might have added a tiny touch of sweetness into the chicken meat, and was so tender and juicy. You can even dip it in the salt and pepper before you suck it down.
The Lemon Egg Yolk Crayfish (柠檬蛋黄小龙虾 79RMB) was definitely another highlight. You can find crayfish in 80% of restaurants during the crayfish season, and most of them are cooked with thirteen spices, or garlic, or lots chili peppers, or fried with salt and pepper, but to cook them with lemon and egg yolk was something that we had never had before. The crayfish first was deep-fried, so they were very crispy. They were almost like eating chips, and the duck egg yolk was amazing. Mixed well with crispy rice crackers and deep fried basil, we loved this dish.
The Lotus Pocket (藕夹 29RMB) was like a lotus pork sandwich wrapped in flour and fried, and was pretty good. We also liked the Cheese Baked Potatoes (芝士焗土豆29RMB), and the Soy Sauce Fried Rice (酱油炒饭29RMB) went really well with Stir-Fried Cabbage with Cracklings (油渣包心菜有点油 29RMB). That cabbage absorbed the oil from the cracklings, so I couldn’t help eating an extra bowl of rice.
The dessert was Baked Pumpkins with Honey (蜂蜜烤南瓜 39RMB), and if we have to pick a dish that wasn’t that great, it would be it. It wasn't bad, but just nothing special. Throughout the meal, we washed down everything with a pitcher of fresh and ice cold Honey Grapefruit Tea (蜂蜜柚子茶 39RMB).
The menu can be accessed and ordered from by using your WeChat. Chinese menu only, with pictures. Parking is available opposite the restaurant, and ask for a parking fee waiver when you leave. It's valid as long as you stay for less than two hours.