Mianku (aka The Loft) mini Review
Went to Mianku (面酷) or The Loft today for lunch on Xidawang Lu south of Dawang Qiao. This is the place that has the big open kitchen in the center of the main dining room where a group of chefs flick, stretch, shave, and otherwise dump noodle dough into teeming cauldrons. The food is pretty tasty, the show is incomparable and in general it's a good place, but we did have one unacceptable experience: my dining companion chose to have a simple glass of cold water to drink with his meal (I had hot water). It was served in a regular glass, no fancy imported bottles were opened, and in all ways it was exactly like the free water one can have pretty much anywhere (other than Dadong Duck, where oddly there is no water at all). However when we got the bill there was a Y5 charge for the cold water! When asked, the waitress explained that it was because of the cost of chilling the water and the ice. The fact that just putting it outside for a few minutes in Beijing's current low temperatures would achieve the same result for free was lost on her. There appeared no way around it, so we paid for a glass of tap water what we would have paid elsewhere for bottled. Live and learn.