Among the restaurants in Hangzhou, Carbon has always had a special cachet about it gleaned from its blessed location on Beishan Road. Whether it’s from the second floor terrace where you can get an overview of the Broken Bridge or through the panoramic windows on the first floor that let you gaze upon the lotus flowers of West Lake, the location and views at Carbon are hard to beat.
Lately, Carbon has been undergoing a kind of rebirth with a new executive chef from Shanghai restaurant Mercato breathing life into the menu. They have rolled out a brunch menu with dishes that provide light nourishment for before or after a stroll around the lake.
Of the 4 dishes we tried, the 2 salmon dishes were the most memorable. For the Grilled Salmon, Roasted Pumpkin and Mascarpone (158RMB), the salmon was perfectly executed, being crisply seared and well-seasoned on the outside and blushing pink rare on the inside. The salmon was accompanied with roasted pumpkin and dollops of rich mascarpone.
Salmon Tartare with Avocado Horseradish and Toasted Garlic Bread (98RMB) sees diced raw salmon dressed in an appetizing horseradish sauce with avocado and laid on thin crispy toasts.
Snails Burgundy Style, Mashed Potatoes and Parmesan (78RMB) uses locally harvested snails and they are truly the largest snails we’ve ever eaten. The massive snails are bathed in a fragrant garlic, parsley and butter sauce and arranged over mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes are a cheesy delight, each forkful bringing up stringy strands of parmesan.
Finally, Grilled Iberian Pork Ribs in Barbeque Black Pepper Sauce (158RMB) comes in a tangy BBQ sauce with roasted vegetables on the side.
The brunch is available everyday from 11am – 4pm, guests who order from the brunch menu will get 50% off any house red/white/sparkling wine (by glass), and one cup of free Americano or black tea.
Carbon’s second floor is also being transformed and will be the venue for private parties and events. A tea room in the back is being planned as well for leisurely tea appreciation sessions. The second floor renovations will be completed in time for the October National Holiday week, a good time to come over to check out the new changes.