Herbaceous delicacies inspired by Shan minority
The team behind Bloom and Hu Ma recently launched a new concept – SHAN – to serve creative dishes inspired by the Shan minority group from the vast mountainous zone extending through China's Yunnan Province to Myanmar and Thailand.
The people living in the Shan Hills, which comprise numerous mountain ranges connecting the three countries, are called "Shan people." It is said indigenous Shan people are historically part of the Dai minority who began migrating from China to the south in the 12th century.
Their food is unique with a premium placed on fresh, high-quality ingredients. The taste is usually less pungent than many Southeast Asian dishes, but with irresistible herbaceous flavors that come from mountain herbs and spices.
SHAN is a modern restaurant situated inside the recently opened Taikoo Li Qiantan, a new lifestyle destination in the Pudong New Area. You walk through verdant greenery outside and enter a restaurant that's equipped with an impressive open kitchen that provides a close-up view of the chefs.
The dining rooms' design is inspired by the Shan Hills – three connected dining rooms decked out in pine wood and calming tones, exuding a soothing ambience.
SHAN's food is created for the eye, nose and mouth. Each dish is creative and exquisite thanks to top-quality ingredients and innovative minds in the kitchen.
For example, after six months of research, the team selected meat from Chongming Island's locally raised goats for the restaurant's different dishes. The goats are raised on shrubs, grass and small trees, and their meat is top notch without the "goaty" smell.
Try the goat meat soup, which nourishes and warms the body on cold days. The meat is boiled with sugar cane water, wild mushrooms from Yunnan and a mixture of Chinese medicine such as danggui, goji berry and licorice.
Shan people are fond of duck and chicken, which are prominently featured on the menu. The kitchen sources duck and chicken from Qiandao Lake (Thousand Islands Lake) in Zhejiang Province, where the animals are raised under natural conditions without hormones, antibiotics or toxic heavy metals.
I had dry aged duck with jungle curry that's bursting with bold, spicy flavors. The dry-aging process enhances the flavor and makes the duck tender, while the slow smoking results in crisp skin.
SHAN's wine list is also noteworthy, designed based on the taste profiles of the menu items. It will soon introduce an orange wine menu, because the skin-contact maceration adds both color and tannins.
Opening hours: 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9pm
Address: W-L2-10, No. 1-9, Lane 500 Dongyu Rd
Average price: 220 yuan (US$31.40)