Five Shanghai restaurants were last month ranked among “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015” by William Reed Business Media, in one of the biggest awards events in the fine dining scene. The awards were based on the votes of more than 900 international restaurant industry experts. Newcomer the Michelin-starred Hakkasan in Shanghai has achieved a place on the prestigious list in its first year, joining chef Paul Pairet’s Ultraviolet and Mr & Mrs Bund and chef Tony Lu’s Fu 1015 and Fu He Hui in the top 50 rankings. Here iDEALShanghai takes a look at the five city restaurants feted as among the continent’s best.
Opened by celebrity chef Paul Pairet, known for his use of molecular cuisine, it is pricey but has one of the longest waiting lists in Asia.
It costs 4,000 yuan (US$645) per person and places need to be reserved at least three months in advance since only 10 guests are served each night.
Diners are not even told where the restaurant is, they meet at the Bund and are transported to an old recording studio near Suzhou Creek, where lights, projections, sounds, music, air flow and different scents create a unique dining experience.
It is an East-meets-West restaurant in an art deco-style house that boasts a 1,000-square-meter garden and a 400-square-meter terrace. With its stained glass doors, elegant sofas, sparkling chandeliers and opulent hallways, the restaurant is the ideal venue for a date, family dinner and business reception. Owner Fu Yafen says meticulous attention is paid to the quality of food served here. The menu features traditional Shanghai cuisine and Western dishes, with ingredients including goose liver and abalone.
Located on the border of Changning and Jing’an districts, it is an upscale vegetarian restaurant that serves delicious dishes featuring a wide range of veggies, mushrooms, tofu and other tasty ingredients. The restaurant has an open dining space on the first floor and small private rooms on the second floor.
Mr & Mrs Bund says it is French in the manner of Chef Paul Pairet — born there but well-traveled and globally stamped. It aims to be contemporary, relaxed and chic. French favorites are on offer, though seen through Pairet’s unique culinary looking glass. Service is family-style, recast for a modern table, and the wine list includes 32 wines by the glass. The restaurant is undergoing renovations and is due to reopen during spring.
London-based Hakkasan opened its China flagship at Shanghai’s historic Bund18 last year, and can look back on its first anniversary with satisfaction, having already won a number of awards. iDEADEADEALShanghai brings you a behind-the-scenes look at Hakkasan to try to discover the secret behind this multi-sensory dining experience.
The restaurant says it aims to offer a beautiful amalgamation of traditional Chinese cooking and culinary art. And to mark its first birthday, Michelin-starred Hakkasan executive chef Tong Chee Hwee has produced an exclusive anniversary menu.
Dishes showcase regional cooking techniques from all around China in the 10-course menu.
“The primary reason for Hakkasan’s success in Shanghai is the freshness of our ingredients, the delicious taste of our dishes, and the multi-sensory dining experience at our special restaurant,” said Tong.
Tong’s limited period anniversary menu has attracted flocks of city foodies, eager to embark on the exclusive dining journey creatively combining flavors of 10 styles of cuisine from eight provinces in China.
Delicacies include marinated pork knuckles from neighboring Jiangsu Province, Beijing classic cherry wood roasted Peking duck, Cantonese dim sum, Hunan Province style spicy pan-grilled Chilean seabass and nutritious and dainty dish monk jumps over the wall — which consists of numerous precious ingredients, including abalone.