Local restaurants roll out creative winter menus
Bak kut teh hotpot at The Brew
Winter is the best season for enjoying hotpot, and executive chef Otto Goh at Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai has brought the Malaysian-style bak kut teh hotpot to Shanghai to warm local stomachs and hearts this season.
The hotpot itself is a delicious Malaysian-style pork soup that’s cooked for more than two hours. The traditional recipe uses a large number of herbs and spices to create a rich soup with medicinal flavors and benefits. The pork used in the soup is a rich mix of pork belly meat, pork tripe and pork tail (a collagen-rich mix)
The bak kut teh hotpot set is best for two to four people, and priced at 198 yuan (US$28), plus 10 percent service charge and 6 percent taxes. It includes a large pot of pork soup served over a stove, deep-fried dough sticks, rice and vegetables. There’s unlimited top-up on the soup and simple dishes can be added.
The best way to enjoy the bak kut teh hotpot is to enjoy a few bowls of the hot soup. If you want some heat, there’s a special chili sauce that can be added into the soup to boost the flavor. The deep-fried dough sticks are cut in smaller pieces and best enjoyed by dipping into the soup, so some of their crunchiness is preserved.
For a more complete experience, Pu'er tea is a classic combination with bak kut teh.
The hotpot is served for lunch and dinner at The Brew’s outdoor dining area (a closed space that’s kept quite warm). The offer will last through March 8 next year.
Address: 1388 Huamu Rd
Hairy crab menu returns at Yong Yi Ting
Every hairy crab season, Yong Yi Ting, the Michelin-star restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, is one of the most popular restaurants in town. Consultant chef Tony Lu has brought back some classics and added a few new ideas to the latest hairy crab menu.
A recommended appetizer from the menu is the braised hairy crab meat with Nepalese grains and spinach in broth, which is a vibrant soup that highlights the umami flavor of the crab.
The steamed egg white with Shaoxing rice wine and Boston lobster in hairy crab sauce is a centerpiece that blends the elegant flavor of hairy crab meat and roe with the extra tender egg. The steamed cod with Iberico ham and hairy crab meat is a lighter option for seafood fans.
Xiezao, which translates as “crab jujube,” is a deep-fried tofu skin stuffed with minced pork, hairy crab meat, water chestnut and bamboo shoots.
As for the staple, you’ll never go wrong with clay pot rice with braised hairy crab roe and ginger oil, a sizzling and rich dish that blends the creamy hairy crab roe with soft and fragrant rice.
Address: 111 Pudong Rd S.
The home of Chameleon
Chameleon is a newly opened travel-themed restaurant and lounge featuring creative Western dishes and cocktails created by two top mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang.
The venue aims to create the vibe of a home away from home, so it’s divided into a living room, dining room, private room, kitchen and balcony.
Every six months, Xie and Yang will travel to a new place to draw inspiration from the local food and wine culture, and then bring back what they’ve learned to Shanghai to create new cocktails, food, decor and music while retaining some of their favorite flavors.
The current menu consists of local delicacies like bamboo shoot and ham soup, as well as other regional Chinese cuisines like hotpot spices and pickled cabbage from Sichuan Province.
Address: 5/F, 90 Shaanxi Rd S
Autumn specials at Utsusemi
Opened in 2013, Utsusemi has been a top Japanese kaiseki concept in Shanghai that's introduced the unique cuisine to many people.
As legend has it, kaiseki originated from Japanese monks’ practice of holding a stone in the arms to resist hunger and cold during their Zen meditation in 16th century Kyoto. Having evolved over the years, kaiseki now integrates spatial aesthetics and cooking techniques through the use of tableware, seats, courtyards, paintings and vases.
This autumn, Utsusemi has launched special menus serving Japanese favorite treasures of the mountain and sea, selecting Japanese local ingredients that are only available in autumn.
The appetizers made of matsutake, goose liver, hairy crab and sea urchin set a graceful tone for the whole meal, and the abalone seafood meatball is a low-key yet distinct dish presenting delicate flavors. The meal features classic sashimi, steamed dishes, grilled dishes as well as Wagyu sirloin hotpot with fresh truffle.
Famous artist Zhao Chun spent a year and a half creating 20 sets of exclusive white porcelain tableware for Utsusemi. The streamlined unassuming white porcelain tableware decorated with sketched cicadas, butterflies and cranes echoes the seasonal changes at Utsusemi.
Address: 3/F, 99 Beijing Rd E