I was on my trip to visit parents and spent a few day in Shanghai. I decided to book this restaurant almost 3 months before my trip, the reservation process was not very straightforward. Anyway I managed to get a seat. The restaurant is in a lovely mainly residential area. I was the first customer that night. The inside is a open kitchen with a large team around 20 cooks and 10 service staff. The chef is surprisingly looks young and, I have to say, very handsome (sorry, I just cannot stop looking at him).
Ok, it is time to discover the menu. In my opinion, it is very “Michelin”, especially, compared to those similar restaurants in Europe. Honestly, I am not sure it is a good or bad thing, because it is a three-star place and I want something reflecting the local culture. In fact I cannot remember most dishes once I step out of the front door, apart from the Sea Urchin and the final watermelon based dessert. Nevertheless, let me go through some of them. I like a very beginning Chilled Jasmine Tea. In fact it was between a soup and a tea. I enjoyed the very Chinese flavour, the flower mixing with bitterness, though the very charactered Chinese tone stopped here. The next dish I like is Sea Urchin. Because of the very fresh ingredient, it was served with a simple break and a slice of apple. It was a creamy and smooth taste, and occasionally the apple taste kicked in. Everything was just melted in my mouth. The only think I will improve is the portion: it is slightly difficult to bite at once and no cutlery was provided, if I remember. After a few dishes, I got Foie Gras, decorated with plums, some nuts and curry. Since many Chinese do not enjoy uncooked dishes, I think the Foie Gras was grilled slightly more than those presented in Europe. To balance the fatty flavour, I enjoyed the sour and sweat plums and light curry. Though was it a big surprise, I will probably say No. The main dish, three types of porks, was a bit disappointed to me. They are all a bit dry to me. Amongst the three, I prefer the pork cube, because it reminds me a transitional Chinese way to cook pork belly: cutting them to cube, and fry then stew them in soy sauce, rice wine and other herbs and species. However, sadly, it is just shape but the seasoning is very western and light. The pork wrap is just a wrap and the tenderloin was a bit dry and no taste. After the disappointing main, the dessert matched better of my taste: Watermelon and Olive Oil Gelato. The main reason I liked it is that the dessert was very refreshing and not sweet at all. This dessert “localises” very well, as many Chinese dislike sweat desserts. In fact many traditional Chinese dessert focuses on washing up your mouth rather than sweeten it.
I have to say, in term of the commercial and marketing research, this restaurant did very well. It advertises all the fancy ingredient and adapted French cuisine in Shanghai; many Chinese relate them to posh. However, it is a safe move and even a bit disappointing, in my opinion.