Spring the time to try some new restaurants
Spring brings with it many spectacular things. This month we select some hot venues where you can enjoy an array of zesty, mouth-watering cuisines to celebrate this delightful season.
Mercedes me Store, The Bund
Two eateries at the Mercedes me Store, The Bund have selected a variety of seasonal ingredients to present traditional dishes using fusion cooking methods and creative pairings.
The Si Fang San Chuan Chinese Restaurant further integrates local cooking styles with the Cantonese cooking concepts of less oil and salt while introducing ingredients from Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan and Chongqing.
Its roast ducks are selected Beijing Nanyuan Jinxing ducks weighing 2.2 to 2.3 kilograms. Chefs use traditional Beijing fireplace duck roasting techniques to ensure the good appearance, color and taste of the ducks. Customers need to order the dish at least an hour in advance. The duck rolls are handmade so each slice is flimsy and semi-opaque, and tastes soft and chewy. Customers then add pieces of the duck into the freshly made duck rolls, then dip them with the restaurant’s “secret” sweet sauce. Melt-in-the-mouth duck crackling is added with fine truffle and foie gras.
Chefs at Mercedes me Store’s Western Restaurant carefully select seasonal ingredients to match the color of spring and offer dishes that appeal in both taste and appearance. Osmanthus and yam mousse is a dessert made with Chinese ingredients and cooked in a French style. Osmanthus-fermented glutinous rice is a traditional Shanghai-flavor snack. They add Chinese yam, a nutritious food.
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Address: N3, 600 Zhongshan Rd E2
Originating in Hangzhou in 2007, this authentic Zhejiang cuisine restaurant has recently opened a branch in Jing’an District. As one of the eight great culinary traditions, Zhejiang cuisine features mild, delicate flavors and emphasizes fresh ingredients. Meat and vegetables are usually cooked together, and peppers and scallions are seldom seen.
“Freshness is the key to our success,” says Ma Mindong, head of the restaurant.
Every morning, Ma leads a team to choose ingredients such as fresh pork, chicken, seafood, bean curd, bamboo shoots and black fungus.
The highlight of the menu could be crispy beef belly which is derived from crispy pork intestines, a favorite with Hangzhou gourmets. The beef belly is cleaned and seasoned with homemade sauce. After being fried, the belly is topped with beef bone broth to keep the original taste of the food.
As for the hot dishes, sea urchin tofu in stone pot is not to be missed. Based on chicken broth, the pot has a great combination of sea urchin, sliced sea cucumber, taro, zhuyouzha (fat dregs), shrimp and beans. The highlight of this dish is the Huyang soy bean sauce which is a common but a favorite sauce in Hangzhou households. The hot stone pot helps maintain freshness and taste.
Another highlight is fried turbot topped with fermented black beans and sliced chili pepper, onion and fish meat. The chef chooses a fish weighing 600 to 700 grams and makes it into a fish leaping style which means abundance and prosperity.
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 4:30-9:30pm
Address: B1/F, 1563 Nanjing Rd W.
TimHoWan, L+ Mall
Its 54th branch worldwide, TimHoWan continues to serve freshly steamed and high-quality dim sums to food lovers in Shanghai. At the 8th floor in the L+ Mall, the restaurant has four must-tries which are barbecued pork buns, rice steamed in a lotus leaf, classic changfen (rice rolls served with pork and sauces) and shrimp dumplings.
The barbecued pork buns are stuffed with chashao (barbecued pork). The chef is committed to hand-making the dim sum, and the stuffing is seasoned with homemade hawthorn sauce. Three buns cost 28 yuan (US$4.3).
Rice steamed in a lotus leaf is also very popular. The lotus leaf can infuse the rice with a distinct aroma to tone down the richness. The sliced chicken and mushroom on top are braised in the homemade sauce for more than five hours.
You also have to try the changfen with its very soft skin. It is served with fillings such as barbecued pork and vegetables. The sauce is very simple and plain so you can get the smooth and original taste of the rice roll.
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
Address: 8/F, 899 Pudong Rd S.
This fusion restaurant on Hengshan Road offers a new and surprising menu with eggs, pasta, desserts and cocktails.
There are plenty of eggs choices such as Scotch eggs, Pink Lady Egg Benedict, and braised beef cheek and poached eggs. The Pink Lady Egg Benedict is very popular with female diners because the setting of the dish is so nice. The chef uses beetroot sauce, asparagus and smoked salmon. The braised beef cheek and poached eggs combine the tender texture of beef with the fresh taste of avocado and egg. Black vinegar sauce adds a twist.
As for the pasta and risotto, you can try braised beef ribs brisket pasta, charcoal grilled chicken shredded pasta, garlic pawn pasta and rosemary beef skewer risotto.
A meal isn’t finished without a dessert. Waffles topped with strawberry and mint ice cream, chocolate souffle, apple tart and basque cheesecake are among the popular choices.
Opening hours: 10am-12pm (Monday-Wednesday, Sunday); 10am-2am (Thursday-Saturday)
Address: Rm101, 191 Hengshan Rd
Chua Lam's Dim Sum, Global Harbor
Chua Lam’s Dim Sum has opened its second branch at the Global Harbor shopping mall after the success of the one in Xintiandi.
Covering an area of 380 square meters, the new branch offers more choices for food lovers in addition to signature dishes such as barbecued pork buns, roast pigeon, fried spring rolls with egg white, steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce and basil, and pan-seared glutinous rice topped with eel fish.
As a highlight of the new branch, shrimp toast topped with black truffle and fried mini shaomai (steamed dumpling) skewer are very popular. The chef makes classic shaomai in small sizes so food lovers can eat conveniently and leave room for other dim sum choices.
As for desserts and drinks, the restaurant offers lots of choices including a pineapple bun stuffed with ice cream and its signature iced milk tea. The pineapple bun with crispy skin and the ice cream is a magic combination you won’t want to miss.
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Address: 1/F, 3300 Zhongshan Rd N.