Bird flies high in fashionable cuisine

Bird is born with a clear thought behind its partners – a comfortable neighborhood spot with a well-chosen wine list and short, simple food menu.
Betty Richardson / Ti Gong

Roasted radish, smoked herring butter and brown bread

Bird is born with a clear thought behind its partners — a comfortable neighborhood spot with a well-chosen wine list and short, simple food menu, both of which change frequently to keep people coming back for more.

Camden Hauge, behind Egg café and other food events, found an ideal venue on Wuyuan Road that boasts a distinct neighborhood vibe in the middle of Shanghai. The interior has a very clean structure — mostly white and natural wood colors, with touch of rattan elements giving off a natural aesthetics. 

“For wine, we focus on small producers and low-intervention wines, wines with souls,” said Hauge. “Our food menu is similarly soulful in that it’s composed of dishes from around the world, united only in that they are things we want to eat.”

Shanghainese chef Chris Zhu was a surgeon for seven years before becoming disillusioned with medicine and turning to his other passion, cooking. He returned to Shanghai, studied at Cordon Bleu and cooking at a friend’s wine bar, before meeting Hauge when he walked into Egg to ask about participating in their Chef’s Table dinner series. 

“His technique is at a very high level but his attitude toward food is fresh and unpretentious and, most importantly, he cooks with heart,” Hauge commented.

Bird changes both wine and food menus every two to three weeks, with further specials new on the board every day. 

Betty Richardson / Ti Gong

The team focuses on small wine producers and selects a curated selection of wine to go with the food. ­

My last visit to Bird proved Hauge’s concept all right. Sitting along the bar table ensures a more intimate dining experience both to your company and to the in house wine expert who helps find your ideal pairing with the selected food item.

The team is not trying to pair each dish with a single wine, rather, they have a curated selection of wines that go with most of their food. 

Day-time advertising guy and night-time wine expert, Lobin Tjia, has chosen to champion smaller producers.

Low intervention or otherwise interesting wines include Ageno Stoppa, an orange wine whose unique amber color is matched by its intense candied-orange nose with a complex savory finish. 

Another example of what they stand for is Guimaro Tinto, from Ribeira Sacra in the north west of Spain. Given the terrain, it is the definition of heroic winemaking and a good introduction to mencia, a relatively unknown but gem of a grape. 

Along with the food, the team tries their hardest to give customers a novel, approachable and fun wine experience each time they visit.

Regarding the food, I have tried several for sharing and particularly loved the roasted radish, smoked herring butter, brown bread; sweet potato chips, egg yolk (lemon-and-thyme-cured); rice cakes with bechamel and prosciutto (essentially a sticky rice cake, macaroni and cheese) and steamed blue lip mussels, with their own house-baked bread to sop up the fragrant white wine broth.

The dessert is equally attractive: a Parisian-inspired lightly sweetened and spiced ricotta scattered with rum-soaked dates and pistachios. 

Almost next door, there is a cafe by day, cocktail bar by night, space opened by Hauge at the same time. 

“We were lucky enough to get the two venues from the same landlord, so the double act was a happy accident,” Hauge said. “By opening two venues, we cover all occasion touch points and they should complement each other perfectly.”

One can simply start with an aperitif or cocktail at Bitter, hop over to dinner at Bird next door, and then return to Bitter for a digestif or proper drinking session with pals. We think this flexibility is the definition of a neighborhood spot.”

Info

Opening hours: 6pm-10:30pm (Wednesday to Monday); 11:30am-2pm (weekend lunch)

Tel: 1350-1726-412

Address: 50 Wuyuan Rd

Average price: 280 yuan

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