Madrid's Mercado flavor in the heart of Shanghai

There is nothing more enticing than top quality seafood, cheese and ham, and Mercado 505, is just the place for them.

There is nothing more enticing than top quality seafood, cheese and ham, and Mercado 505, a three-floor restaurant at the corner of Wulumuqi S. and Huashan roads is just the place for them.

The secret behind its quality food is its suppliers. Shanghai native Katrina Li ran a food company for eight years,  importing top-notch European ingredients from Spanish 5J ham and cheese to French oysters before launching Mercado 505 in May last year.

Stroll into the 300-square-meter building and you’ll be welcomed with a smile from a member of staff ready to relay the day’s freshest ingredients, be it scampi from New Zealand or special Wagyu beef from Chile. The food counter is filled with mouth-watering ingredients that one can simply pack and take home.

Behind the counter, chefs are always on the move in the open kitchen, ready to serve those who take their time to enjoy a pleasant moment over some of its delicious choices.

courtesy of Mercado 505 / Ti Gong

M7 Chilean Wagyu Steak 

Mercado 505 is inspired by a Mercado in the center of Madrid that is an amazing open-market place to sample local cuisine, great wine and beer besides its cheerful vibe. Here, the open-plan design gives the same feel. The first floor features relaxed high tables and stools while the second floor has a restaurant ambience.

Though quality ingredients are sourced from around the world, the cooking method here is Spanish. The Mediterranean cooking aims to maximize the original tastes with a touch of sophistication.

I started my meal with the not-to-be-missed raw seafood platter (328 yuan/US$47.5 for small portion) that took me back to west France near the Atlantic Sea. Selected French oysters, French sea snails, boiled tiger prawns and Hokkaido scallops ensured the quality and freshness of the raw seafood available at Mercado 505.

courtesy of Mercado 505 / Ti Gong

Iberico pluma meat with Spanish piquillo

It was followed by the Scampi Carpaccio (198 yuan) that was an instant hit because of its beautiful presentation. The rich textures and the original sweet flavors from the scampi meat blended well with garlic-almond pralin, capers and basil oil.

I also tried the Iberico pluma meat with Spanish piquillo (138 yuan), an authentic Spanish recipe that is exquisitely tender yet has an intensely savory taste of pork meat with a touch of sweetness and smokiness. It’s a great winter staple to order in the season.

Steak lover shouldn’t miss the M7 Chilean Wagyu steak here that is rarely found elsewhere. There is the Striploin, bone in rib eye, short rib (sell by gram) as well as chuck flap and rump cap (sell by portion) to choose from.

Info

Opening hours: 11:30am-10:30pm (Monday-Friday); 12am-10:30pm (Saturday); 12am-6pm (Sunday)

Tel: 6248-8505

Address: 505 Wulumuqi Rd N.

Average price: 400 yuan

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