Of Japanese cheesecake, cognac salmon and wasabi oreos

In keeping with its international history, Shanghai's cuisine increasingly offers cutting edge flavors from around the world.

LeTAO’ comes to Shanghai

The celebrated Hokkaido dessert brand LeTAO has opened its first store in Shanghai, serving fresh cakes, cookies and chocolates that are flown in directly from its factory in Japan.

Founded by Seigou Kawagoe in 1998 in the beautiful city of Otaru, LeTAO has impressed its devoted customers with its Western-inspired confections, particularly the double Fromage cheesecake, Jersey milk roll and cheese cookies.

And the brand has become a representation of Hokkaido sweets.

“What we pursue in making the desserts is the ultimate taste and flavor," said Kawagoe at the opening of the Shanghai store. "The two-layered double Fromage consists of an upper layer of creamy no-bake cheesecake and a lower layer of rich baked cheesecake.

"We kept experimenting to achieve the right proportions."

He stresses quality of ingredients and quality of service.

LeTAO sells one double Fromage cake every 10 seconds, annually a total of 250 million cakes are sold across all stores.

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The original double Fromage cheesecake (left) and its chocolate variation (right)

Shanghai is the sixth city in which the brand is presented outside Japan, after Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Seoul.

LeTAO plans to open more stores in Shanghai and also in other Chinese cities.

Besides the classic double Fromage cheesecakes, LeTAO’s Venezia Rendezvous is also a signature dish.

The Mascarpone crème brûlée mixes Mascarpone from the Lombardy region of northern Italy with fresh cream made in Hokkaido to create an intensely flavored and smooth taste that can be paired with wine and tea.

In Shanghai, the double Fromage cake retails for 228 yuan (US$33.50) and the chocolate version is 238 yuan.

If you want to sample different flavors, afternoon tea sets featuring LeTAO’s signature cakes and cookies are offered in store.

Address: 159 Madang Rd

Tel: 6330-6830

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LeTAO has opened its first Shanghai store in Xintiandi. It offers afternoon tea sets for those who wish to sample different flavors.

New nine-course menu at The MEAT

Executive chef Otto Goh of the Kerry Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai has crafted a nine-course degustation menu to celebrate the best ingredients of the season.

The dining experience starts with a taste of the sea — oyster and salmon roe served with pickled cucumber, radish sprout and kelp jelly, a fresh and umami combination that prepares the palate for the richer dishes to come.

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Oyster and salmon roe

The five main entrées round up tastes from sea and land. A highlight is the salmon and lemon dish which seasons Atlantic salmon with traditional Chinese five-spice, served with handmade candied lemon that takes 76 hours to prepare, alongside Hollandaise sauce and sautéed asparagus.

The dish has the right amount of acidity to balance the rich salmon.

The seafood used throughout the menu is sustainable. The Shangri-La group has received Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody certification for all 53 of its properties across Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

The steak dish uses domestic beef from the Changbai Mountain region in Jilin Province that can rival Japanese Kobe beef. It is paired with morels, potato cake and vegetable puree.

The menu features two desserts created by executive pastry chef Jayme Shimamura.

The degustation menu is 780 yuan per person plus 10 percent service charge and taxes.

Address: 1388 Huamu Rd

Tel: 6169-8886

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Salmon and lemon

Cognac pairing with authentic Chinese flavors 

Chinese executive chef Liu Junping from The St Regis Shanghai Jingan has created a menu featuring classic dishes from Shunde in Guangdong Province for a special collaboration with cognac house Hennessy, connecting authentic Chinese flavors with the classic French spirit.

Shunde is known as the land of finest chefs, and its Cantonese cuisine is highly regarded across China. The menu at Yan Ting Chinese Restaurant features traditional Shunde dishes such as mandarin fish soup made from delicate deboned beef and asparagus stir-fry with black garlic, Shunde-style shrimp cake and baked chicken.

The dishes are paired with Hennessy for a contrast of flavors. From now through December 31, ordering selected dishes from the menu will come with one glass of Hennessy X.O or V.S.O.P, and a set menu is also available for 800 yuan per person, which includes one glass of X.O and one glass of V.S.O.P.

Address: 1008 Beijing Rd W.

Tel: 6257-9999

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Shunde-style shrimp cake paired with Hennessy V.S.O.P.

Spicy Oreo

Oreo has just launched two jaw-dropping new flavors in China, stuffing the classic chocolate wafers with spicy chicken wing and wasabi flavored cream fillings.

They may taste as weird as they sound, but people who enjoy savory cookies should get up the courage to try.

The heat is not very strong, and the flavor resembles salty snacks like prawn chips.

The cookies are not yet available in supermarkets or convenience stores, but can be ordered on Mondelez International’s Tmall shop online.

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Oreo has launched two new creations in China: the spicy chicken wing flavor (left) and wasabi flavor (right).

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