Nostalgia and modernity in a calming oasis
Newly opened fine dining Chinese restaurant Bao Li Xuan manages to marry form and decorum with impeccable service and provide an oasis of calm with their elegant, cozy dining room and private dining room cocoons.
Located inside the historic Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, as part of the Bvlgari Hotel, the restaurant captures the essence of both pleasant nostalgia and metropolitan modernity.
Built in 1916, the Chamber of Commerce Shanghai was considered a masterpiece by Atkinson & Dallas Architects and Civil Engineers Ltd. It’s majestically restored by the renowned Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, in collaboration with United Design Group Office for Urban Renewal, to preserve a unique piece of Shanghai’s history.
Indicating grace, quintessence and magnificence, Bao Li Xuan takes its name from the brand Bvlgari. The treasured scroll of three characters of calligraphy by Qiu Zhenzhong, president of Lanting Calligraphy Art College, graces the restaurant. The essence of Chinese culture shines brilliantly against the timeless Italian elegance. Turquoise raw silk wallpaper, black lacquered panels, art deco patterned carpets, custom-made Italian chairs by Maxalto and artistic lighting by Flos manifest the integration of contemporary elegance and Chinese refinement.
Chef Fu Man Piu, from Hong Kong, has more than 25 years of professional experience in cooking, once achieved a one-Michelin-star status for a restaurant under his watch in Macau and also served for a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Hong Kong.
It serves up modern Chinese cuisine that takes inspiration from Cantonese (authentic Hong Kong-style), expecting myriad palates from an international clientele. Traditional flavors are preserved in a contemporary presentation, while consistently polishing techniques are integrated with superior ingredients and classic styles.
Each of the dishes I’ve tried from Cantonese roasted suckling pig to steamed crab claw with egg white in Huadiao wine (a traditional rice wine) and pan-fried turbot with spring onion in supreme soya sauce made a good impression in color, aroma and taste. Each delicacy is served with wine elaborately chosen by the resident sommelier. The sommelier had chosen Cote du Jura’s famous Vin Jaune to pair the crab claw as the special white wine made in the Jura region in eastern France is reminiscent of sherry — a perfect paring for the crab meat.
Dining at Bao Li Xuan is the ultimate experience, from its gorgeous location and atmosphere to the Bvlgari silverware and unique menu design inspired by ancient account books of banks. One can relax at the whiskey bar following the exquisite dinner.
Opening hours: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Address: 33 Henan Rd N.
Average price: 400 yuan (US$57.6) (lunch); 800 yuan (dinner)