The odd one out serves up surprising treasures
Housed in a sunken mall in the northern part of Bund, Erman’s Kitchen seems a little bit out of place — serving serious Mediterranean food next to spicy hot pots and Korean BBQ.
The restaurant is not easy to find and there’s no outdoor seating. But what Erman’s Kitchen lacks in location they make up for in food. The chefs have served in many five-star properties, including Banyan Tree, Starwood, Accor and MGM.
Spider Zhong, the head chef, is especially good at developing new dishes and adding his personal twist to Italian and French classics. He has more than 10 years experience in establishments including L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon and Angelo Restaurant in Taipei and More Than Eat in Shanghai.
The Caesar salad (78 yuan) is a recommended starter. It’s composed of roast chicken, crispy pancetta, white anchovies and parmesan chips.
The classic hard-boiled egg is presented differently in this salad: Zhong uses the creamy yolk of the soft-centered eggs as a sauce alongside the Caesar dressing.
Another signature appetizer is the foie gras in three ways: pan-fried, terrine and mousse (228 yuan). The terrine is coated with pistachio for an extra layer of texture and nutty flavor, while the mousse is sweet and smooth.
The Gravlax (marinated salmon) with homemade ricotta, fennel and dill sauce, black caviar and rucola (98 yuan) is a fresh appetizer beetroot juice in the marinade.
The homemade lobster bisque with cognac and chunks of lobster meat (98 yuan) is a very warm soup full of intense flavors.
For the mains, the pan-seared cod with chorizo, bell pepper and bisque ragout and the slow-braised Wagyu beef cheek with black truffle, crusty pancetta and polenta are classic Mediterranean dishes with a twist. The slow-cooked beef was very tender and has a strong black truffle fragrance, and the cod was nicely cooked and quite juicy. Both dishes are 258 yuan, and the beef cheek dish has a large portion size that can be shared by two to three people.
The dessert menu is classic Italian, featuring pannacotta with raspberry sauce, tiramisu, chocolate lava cake with wild berry sorbet and an Italian cheese platter. Pastry chef Steve Fang uses fine Italian Amedei chocolate to make the chocolate cakes.
The restaurant is spacious and comfortable with nearly 200 seats and four private rooms in different sizes and styles.
The kitchen is open, which allows guests to see the action.