A French papillon gets a new look, flavor

Maison Papillon, a creative, modern French fine-dining restaurant opened in 2014 near Jing'an Temple, received a makeover this year, along with an updated dining concept.

Maison Papillon, a creative, modern French fine-dining restaurant opened in 2014 near Jing’an Temple, received a makeover this year, along with an updated dining concept.

In contrasting with previous green wall and vintage-inspired decorations, Maison Papillon has returned to the simple white wall to present a chic and elegant dining environment that’s perfect for celebrating special occasions.

Chef Zhu Xiaohu has previously worked under well-known Singaporean chef Justin Quek, American Alan Yu and Italian Umberto Bombana.

At Papillon, he has created a new winter menu highlighting seasonal ingredients and bold flavors. 

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Seafood selection for starter

After a refreshing hors d’oeuvres, a seafood starter was served, featuring Hokkaido scallop carpaccio with caviar and organic bean sprout, tuna with sea urchin and a peony shrimp (228 yuan/US$34.46). The beautiful platter of fresh seafood in sashimi style had harmonious flavors, but it’s more of a dish for the warmer spring and summer.

The porcini mushroom consommé with slow poached farm chicken, asparagus and wild mushroom (98 yuan) was a delightful surprise. The clear, light soup was very warm and gentle — it simply highlighted the umami flavors of the porcini and chicken.

The fish dish was a slow-roasted king salmon with seaweed, chives and saffron sauce (218 yuan). The salmon was tender and the chives were a nice touch.

The star of the menu was a pan-roasted Australian wagyu beef tenderloin with pan-seared foie gras, mushed potatoes and black truffle sauce (498 yuan), a very luxurious combination that’s ideal for the winter season.

The only downside was the large portion size — two slices of steak and one hearty piece of foie gras were a little hard to finish for ladies after the first three dishes. The chef’s dessert of the day was a nicely done chocolate lava cake.

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Porcini mushroom consomme with slow poached farm chicken, asparagus and wild mushroom 

The tasting menu at 698 yuan per person was a good deal, considering ordering all those dishes a la carte would cost more than 1,000 yuan.

Maison Papillon also has other set menus, including Australian wagyu bone-in ribeye set (1,399 yuan for two) and a prix fixe set menu that allows guests to choose an appetizer, a chef’s special and a main for 498 yuan per person.

The service was professional and attentive. The restaurant can also tailor private menus for special celebrations or private groups, starting from 698 yuan a head.


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