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Winter Indulgence

By Peter Lee 2018-12-27 15:05:39

Go ahead, indulge yourself with these four spectacular Shanghai restaurants

Loong Mien Koon

Hailing from Hong Kong where it’s known by its more anglicized name: Dragon Noodle Academy (DNA), Loong Mien Koon opened up in Shanghai about three months ago. Although the chef, Steven Yau, describes the food as Cantonese, it’s certainly not the traditional style you might be more familiar with. But given the abundance of traditional Cantonese restaurants in Shanghai, that’s not a bad thing.

The Crispy Lobster Puff arrived looking like a far more expensive dish than its 78 RMB price tag - it’s a flaky pastry filled with lobster meat, baked in the shape of a lobster. The generously portioned sous-vide beef cheeks (cooked for 12 hours) were deliciously tender and subtly seasoned with black pepper, and at 168 RMB, was the most expensive dish we tried. We also liked the kale stir fry (78 RMB) with morsels of crispy pork. Probably the prettiest dish we had was the Baby Cabbage Florets (78 RMB) that came in a clear soup and looked like Daisies floating in a pond. And finally, the Lobster Tail In Soup Noodles was actually a whole Boston lobster (just under half a kilo in weight) in a large bowl of hand pulled noodles and lobster broth. At just 138 RMB this was without doubt the best value dish on the menu.

Details:

Address: 5F, Unit 541, Grand Gateway Mall, Xujiahui

Reservations: (021) 5456 2177

Price: Mid-ranged

Good for: Crustacean lovers

Jean Georges

This is of course a high-end establishment, but if you come during the day, they have brunch / lunch sets that can make a visit a lot more wallet-friendly. Their three-course lunch set costs just 298 RMB, which is very reasonable for this quality of cooking and the prestigious location on the Bund. We started with the egg caviar (188 RMB supplement) and tuna tartare with ginger marinade. Both dishes also feature at the New York flagship location. For mains, we tried the Roasted organic chicken with artichoke, Shitakes and Parmesan Jus which was simple and succulent and came in a generous portion size. We also had the Peppercorn Encrusted Wagyu Beef Tenderloin (198 RMB supplement) which was a small but impeccable cut of meat, cooked wonderfully pink with potato gnocchi and Brussels sprouts. For dessert, our pick was the Raspberry Almond Tartlette with strawberry sorbet and white chocolate crunch. It was an Instagramer’s dream.

Details:

Address: 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, Three On The Bund, 4/F, near Guangdong Road

Reservations: (021) 6321 7733

Price: Decent value for lunch or brunch

Good for: A luxurious treat

Ruihua Villa

Ruihua Villa is hidden away inside an apartment complex near Zhongshan Park. The building itself was painstakingly renovated and restored over an eight-year period before opening two years ago. The renovation incredibly included moving the entire building 95 meters and rotating it 35 degrees. All of the interior fixtures and furniture were custom made, including many intricate hand-carved wood sculptures. There’s a fully stocked bar, a small stage area for live entertainment and numerous small dining rooms and also outdoor seating for the warmer months. Cantonese dim sum is served till 4pm and in the evening, a more substantial menu is available as well as a limited selection of dim sum. As our visit was for lunch, we focused mainly on the extensive dim sum options including shrimp dumplings (48 RMB), steamed chicken feet (38 RMB), angus beef rice roll (38 RMB), fried white radish cake with XO sauce (38 RMB), steam bbq pork buns (36 RMB), fried dumplings (38 RMB), creamy egg yolk custard buns (38 RMB) and a plate of blanched Chinese kale (58 RMB). All of the dim sum were competently prepared - we particularly liked the fried xiaolongbao dumplings which were fused with triangular-shaped Vietnamese ‘net spring roll wrappers’ on the bottom - a beautifully creative touch.

Details:

Address: Lane 1555, 66 Kaixuan North Road near Guangfu West Road

Reservations: (021) 6217 7777

Price: Middle to high-end

Good for: Serene, relaxing lunch or tea

Yongfoo Elite

Since opening to the public 14 years ago, Yongfoo Elite has won many accolades including the coveted nod from the Michelin Guide, winning not one but two stars in the 2017 edition. As you’d expect, prices here are set higher than your average local restaurant. But of course, this is no ordinary restaurant. You’ll find many dishes that are available at more modest establishments, but there’s a big difference in the quality of the ingredients. There are also subtle twists to staple dishes – the braised pork belly for example (420 RMB), is cooked with Pu Er tea leaves to counter the fattiness. It’s also worth mentioning that they do not add MSG to any of their dishes. Similarly, their bean curd slices (180 RMB), a common Shanghai dish, is cooked in a clam broth rather than the more typical chicken stock. It was wonderfully delicate, light and simple, complementing the stronger flavors of the more robust pork belly.

Details:

Address: 200 Yongfu Road, near Hunan Road

Reservations: (021) 5466 2727

Price: High end

Good for: Impressing guests