[Photo provided to China Daily]

Cocottine features a decor scheme that brings to mind the sparkling sea and sky of the Cote d’Azur in France. Its interior design captures the atmosphere of a French bistro.

The new restaurant, which opened in July in Parkview Green mall in Beijing, has a distinctly southern French soul.

It’s a melting pot of diverse cultural influences. Cocottine’s cuisine not only includes southern French-style food but also incorporates flavors from Spain, Italy, North Africa and further afield.

Cocottine is a new sub-brand of Groupe Flo. According to its managing director, Jimmu Loh, the new concept aims to transport diners to a bistro in the south of France through a dining experience that engages all five senses.

According to Loh, the inspiration for the restaurant’s name comes from the French word cocotte, which is a type of cooking pot that is a central part of French cuisine. The pots are popular with everyone from home cooks to world-renowned chefs.

A cocotte is typically made of enameled cast iron, which generates even, gentle heat that creates succulent and flavorful dishes without the need to add liquid or extra fat.

Usually dishes cooked en cocotte-the French term for this method of cooking-use larger cuts of meat, making them perfect for sharing.

Aiming to capture this sense of conviviality, Cocottine serves many dishes in cocottes for diners to share.

The restaurant’s signature showstopper is spicy tomato crayfish from Cote d’Azur, which is served in a cocotte. It is a unique French interpretation of a Chinese dish-inspired by a visiting Michelin-starred chef, who enjoyed eating spicy crayfish when visiting Beijing but felt the sauce they served had too much oil.