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Former Beijing temple named world’s best restaurant

It’s located in a centuries-old former temple with contemporary sculpture in the central courtyard, and serves European dishes made with local ingredients alongside a 950-strong wine list.

And now Beijing’s TRB Hutong has got the seal of approval of TripAdvisor users, whose positive ratings have won it the title of best fine dining restaurant in the world from the reviews aggregator.

The Beijing restaurant, which charges from 688RMB ($97) for a five-course menu, has come top of the website’s annual Travelers’ Choice rankings, which are based on the millions of reviews and ratings left by TripAdvisor users over the past year.

Owner Ignace Lecleir told CNN Travel that he was “thrilled” by the news and “incredibly proud” of the team, to whom he has dedicated the award.

The restaurant opened in 2012, and last year made the TripAdvisor list at number 7.

“The idea was to find a place that would really represent the Chinese culture,” Lecleir told CNN in 2018.

The previous year, CNN ranked its sister restaurant, TRB Forbidden City, as one of the best restaurants in the capital of China.

“Charismatic GM and former sommelier Ignace Lecleir takes pains to make every guest feel like a VIP, and the regular arrivals of complimentary amuse bouche ensures nobody leaves unsatisfied,” was the verdict.

Best of the rest

Epicure — a three-Michelin star restaurant in Paris’ Le Bristol hotel, which was ranked the world’s best hotel restaurant by The Daily Meal in 2014, was judged the second best fine dining restaurant in the world. Ristorante Villa Crespi, a two-Michelin star restaurant in a five-star hotel on Lake Orta, 80 minutes northwest of Milan, was third.

Restaurante Benazuza in Cancun, and The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium, filled out the top five.

For those not on a Michelin-sturdy budget, TripAdvisor has also compiled rankings by country for “everyday dining.”

Pane e Vino, an Italian restaurant on Miami Beach, was the top-ranked US restaurant, while Edinburgh’s The Dome, which serves Scottish dishes in a grand neo-classical building, was ranked top in the UK.

The Black Swan — a 16th-century pub in Yorkshire, UK, which was ranked world’s best restaurant by TripAdvisor users in 2017 — has dropped to second in the UK fine dining restaurants, and ninth in Europe.

It has been pipped to the post by Adam’s, run by Adam and Natasha Stokes in Birmingham, England, which was judged the UK’s best fine dining restaurant, and Europe’s sixth.

The TripAdvisor rankings are markedly different from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants listings, which were announced in June. According to the awards — dubbed the Oscars of the restaurant world — Mirazur in the South of France is the world’s best restaurant.

The world’s best fine dining restaurants, according to TripAdvisor

1. TRB Hutong, Beijing, China

2. Epicure, Paris, France

3. Ristorante Villa Crespi, Orta San Giulio, Italy

4. Restaurante Benazuza, Cancun, Mexico

5. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium

6. Le Brouillarta, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France

7. David’s Kitchen, Chiang Mai, Thailand

8. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

9. Aramburu, Buenos Aires, Argentina

10. Adam’s, Birmingham, United Kingdom

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