The humble toast gets a new meaning at this bistro
The concept for Spread bar a tartine was inspired by tartine and its ever-evolving ethos on flavor and craft. It is a casual bistro on the corner of Wuding Road and Shaanxi Road N.
The main product here is tartines – slices of toast topped with spreadable ingredients – yet the owner Guillaume Tu is eager to demonstrate to diners how adaptable and creative this well-known European snack can be.
After years of working as general manager at Villa Le Bec and Mr & Mrs Bund, Tu decided to challenge himself and create a lasting concept.
"I strongly believe that the future of dining is around a mono-product, and an open toast is ideal for the contemporary lifestyle because the toppings can be more gourmet and thoughtfully chosen to add variety to the flavor," he said.
"Additionally, isn't eating a tartine far better than having a sandwich? It's picture-worthy, considering their artful arrangements."
A tartine is much more than just a traditional French snack to Tu , who grew up in Lyon. His parents are from Macau and Hong Kong. Tu uses tartine as a medium to deliver creative, visually-pleasing combinations of this humble toast.
Every tartine on the menu has a unique back story that was influenced by Tu's travels, his early recollections, or what he has seen and experienced. Within10 weeks of the bistro's opening, he has already come up with his third menu of newly-created recipes , thanks to his incessant stream of ideas and the positive comments from clients.
The most popular tartine is La Ciboulette, sold at 55 yuan (US$8.2), which was inspired by Tu's trip to Singapore, where he enjoyed dinner at Burnt Ends, which is ranked No.34 on the World's Best Restaurants 2021 List.
"I tried a dish that was so amazing that it almost made me cry. It was a crunchy flatbread with plenty of chives, dill fronds, and cured fish roes on top. It appears so easy, but it is incredibly delicious."
Inspired by that unforgettable sensation, La Ciboulette is created with a similar idea: a piece of toast slathered with and chopped with a large amount of chives. It quickly became a favorite among diners thanks to its vibrant green, refreshing appearance, and exquisite, delicate flavors.
For those who prefer authentic Italian flavors, try out the Vitello Tonnato on toast. The perfect tuna mousse spread is inspired by the amuse bouche served at Mr & Mrs Bund. The savory, thinly sliced veal is prepared to perfection.
Tu offers inventive takes on the humble toast, with toppings varying across the menu and each "slice of amazing" excelling in texture and flavor combinations. The house specialty is tartine , but you can also get seasonal soups, salads, charcuterie , and cheese to make a full lunch.
"I'm a wine enthusiast, and a wonderful glass is always a great accompaniment to the food here," Tu explained. He gives guests plenty of opportunities to sample his wine selection, which includes roughly 45 French selections.
Opening hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9pm
Tel : 13601719437
Address: 678 Shaanxi Rd N.
Average price: 150 yuan