Michelin-star chef’s signature dishes delight at Fifty 8° Grill
By Han Jing
From the perspective of a gourmet, Shanghai is one big dining adventure after another.
Look no further than a Michelin two-star chef for that next great meal.
Acclaimed Michelin-star chef Richard Ekkebus has showcased an eight-course dinner of his signature dishes at Fifty 8° Grill in Mandarin Oriental Pudong at the end of November. His wine dinners in Shanghai have been well received among local gourmets. The acclaimed chef of Amber restaurant in Hong Kong is a consulting chef at Fifty 8° Grill.
The sensual epicurean French wine dinner featured eight courses paired with specially selected wines. The eight courses, which are Amber’s most lauded dishes, are much like a beautiful symphony with tender movements to start, an inspiring climax and a delightfully sweet ending.
Each course surprises by creating layers of flavors such as the liver starter with crispy ginger cookie and rich creamy yoghurt with refreshing cucumber. These seemingly irrelevant ingredients mix and match well.
The wagyu beef comes with a hollow circle made by minced pumpkin around the beef. It turned into a “full moon” as a waiter filled it with black pepper sauce. The eyes were delighted before the mouth and stomach joined the party.
When you reflect on the main courses, two desserts arrive for some additional culinary pleasure. The first, pear soaked in Shiraz, is sweet yet sour with the aroma of a good wine. The second, two chocolate spheres with salted caramel ice cream integrated bitter, salty and sweetness into each bite.
Chupa chup with seasonal berry & beetroot glaze topped with crispy gingerbread
Royal cabanon oyster
Served over pickled kyuri cucumber jell-O, Greek ‘hung’ yogurt, fresh green apple sorbet
Hokkaido sea urchin
In a langoustine jell-O with cauliflower, caviar
Crispy seaweed waffles
Confit & smoked, with smoked potaoes, Mentaiko, pencil leeks &horseradish
Black pepper & vinegar seasoned tomato compote
Braised then crisped oxtail & its jus
Blackmore wagyu beef
Tenderloin ms-A5 ‘a la royale’
Caramelized apple & kabocha mousseline
Poached in fragrant spiced Shiraz red wine
Black currant sorbet & extra virgin olive oil caviar
Sphere coated in manjari 64% chocolate with caramel honey comb & salted caramel ice-cream
Amber Signature Dish: Hokkaido Sea Urchin
The signature course served in Shanghai was composed of two different types of sea urchins – one from Dalian in Liaoning Province and another airlifted from Canada. Chef Richard Ekkebus put the first layer of sea urchin at the bottom of a bowl which is made by sea urchin shell and covered them with langoustine jell-o with cauliflower. When mixing the jelly juice anticlockwise, Ekkebus made fun of himself that he is much like a DJ playing discs.
Then the chef put the second layer of sea urchin over it and topped the dish with caviar shaped by two spoons and edible gold foil to achieve a pleasing and delicate visual effect. Crispy seaweed waffles were served alongside to combine with the soft sea urchins, a stark contrast in taste.
About Richard Ekkebus
Chef Ekkebus began his illustrious career as an apprentice to Michelin-starred chefs Hans Snijders and Robert Kranenborg in Holland. He won the prestigious Golden Chef’s Hat for ‘Young Chef of the Year’ in 1992, an honor that gave him the opportunity to refine his skills under French masters Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Passard and Guy Savoy. Ekkebus specializes in preparing top ingredients in time-honored dishes with a modern twist.
Mandarin Oriental appointed Chef Ekkebus to open Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong in 2005. Amber has been awarded two Michelin stars by the Michelin Guide for Hong Kong and Macau for consecutive seven years. Amber was recently voted Best Restaurant in China in the inaugural ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list.
Ekkebus will work closely with talented Chef de Cuisine Jason Oakley from the USA at Fifty 8° Grill at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai.
Fifty 8° Grill
Fifty 8° Grill, a modern French restaurant, is named after the perfect core temperature of a medium rare steak roasted over an open wood fire, and the temperature used to cook other cuts of meat using modern technology.
Fifty 8° Grill is located on the ground floor, with direct street access and alfresco garden tables. The art deco-styled interior features a working French artisan’s kitchen serving hand-carved charcuteries, wood-fired dry-aged meats and fresh-baked sourdough breads, complemented by French bistro favorites and a 300-label wine list.