Editor's note: this restaurant has now closed.
In Sanlitun Bei Jie, near Capital Mansions, it is a lovely Vietnamese restaurant, situated on a shopping street, but from the inside it is decked out in the style of an old French colonial mansion. Try and find a taxi who knows where this is, as our driver got utterly lost (though to be fair, he asked around and eventually delivered us). The tables are generous in size and widely spread, and there were plenty of tropical plants. We had excellent Vietnamese spring rolls, light and crispy but they avoided the hardness of the pastry which so often afflicts this dish. Prawns were delicate and carefully cooked, while a Vietnamese fish special was well cooked and had vibrant spicing. Excellent and cheap. Service was pleasant and friendly, and the dishes arrived at an almost scary pace, so perhaps not the place for a relaxed evening.