A tasty exploration of the senses at Bhacus
A meal at Bhacus is an exploration of the senses.
It's the latest concept from Shanghai veteran restaurateur Eduardo Vargas, who has created a series of much-loved restaurants under the Azul Group.
His new venture is dedicated to wine and wood grill.
"But it's not your typical grill restaurant and it's neither a barbecue spot nor a steak house," Vargas said.
It offers a more refined experience starting with pristine seasonal oysters, creative small bites, to a variety of hot dishes and grilled items centered around wood grill.
A large open kitchen takes the center stage with an open flame grill – where diners can see the chefs flaming the premium cuts, with a ripe smokiness that is both gentle and enticing.
The interior gives off a warm ambiance with a red theme – the color of wine, which indicates the similar attention to their wine offerings. You'll find a delightful selection of reasonably priced bottles inside the wine room.
Bhacus' food is not confined to a particular country's cuisine. Azul Group executive chef Will Colmenares channels the grill concept into the menu of sharing plates.
"Each dish has a unique representation of charcoal, wood, stone or smoke elements that is the core of our wood grill," Colmenares said.
It's hard to pick highlights as each dish is a result of abundant creativity and good execution. Some dishes are cooked directly on their hickory wood grill, absorbing the rich, unique flavors of the wood. Other items go into the Josper charcoal oven that gives dishes a very unique smoky flavor.
Charcoal elements are also shown in an indirect way – from the black color of the elements like the black garlic to the charcoal powder made from a mixture of edible spices.
"In general, each dish is unique on its own but they all have a small reference to the whole concept," Colmenares said.
The starters are playful but avoid weighing on the stomach, such as creations like Wagyu beef tataki that is a premium full-blood Wagyu beef M7 quickly seared and smoked on hickory wood to get a light, smoky taste into the meat. It's then thinly sliced, topped with a salad of shallots, spring onions and crispy garlic and finished with a lime, ginger, soy ponzu and chipotle peppers aioli.
Charcoal octopus is another dish worth your attention. The spicy marinated octopus cooked directly on the Josper oven sits on a foam of Yuca with roasted shallots, chorizo confit, black garlic puree and celery cress – all in all is great combinations of flavors.
All the beef cuts (M5-M9) are grilled to perfection on open wood fire and customers can choose from six unique sauces. Other items like charcoal lamb, portobello mushrooms and char-grilled corn come into the jasper oven.
"The charcoal lamb is a dish that was born for Bhacus as I wanted a dish that could fully explain what we do and not a beef but something more unique," Colmenares said.
The best end of lamb is marinated with harissa sauce and covered with a mix of spices and black garlic to make it look like it was completely burned down directly on the charcoal. But once cut, you can see the juiciness of the loin perfectly cooked on a bed of smoked eggplant puree, roasted jalapeños, confit baby tomatoes and roasted hazelnut.
Bhacus is one of the exciting openings lately that is fresh and vibrant. The spacious venue is ideal for all kinds of occasions and the laid-back patio is a great spot after a busy day.
Bhacus will start brunch service during the upcoming National Day holiday when guest chef Oscar Beltran will serve from 11:30am to 3:30pm. It includes a free flow of Prosecco for 250 yuan (two hours).
If you go:
Hours: 5pm-11:30pm, Tuesdays-Sundays; 11:30am-3:30pm (Saturday and Sunday brunch)
Address: 2/F, Bldg 3, 277 Wuxing Rd