Shanghai Eats

12 Nov

From a foreigner’s perspective, when you spend long periods of time in China, if you aren’t adventurous eaters – my parents – the food you are offered becomes a lot of the same with different names and/or sauces. By the time I got to Shanghai, my parents had been in China almost 2 weeks. They were ready for some western food. Good thing I’m a foodie, right?

Upon arriving, I noticed on one of our Abercrombie & Kent city pamphlets that one of my favorite chefs, Jean Georges Vongerichten, had a restaurant in Shanghai. This was a must try, no questions asked. Little did I know that he had various food concepts in Shanghai all in 3 on the Bund.  We tried both Nougatine and Mercato. Similar to Barbara Lynch restaurants, Jean Georges really transforms his restaurant’s decorations into reflections of the actual restaurant.

Nougatine Shanghai

I found out that Nougatine name derives from the nougat marble floor of the Manhattan restaurant. This space was as an upscale bistro married to the adjacent to the Jean Georges restaurant. Walking in, the elegance could be felt from the dark wood, solid structuring, and dimly-lit romantic vibe.

Bar at Nougatine Shanghai

Open Kitchen at Nougatine Shanghai

For food, we had quite the feast. To start we began with the Crispy Crab Cake. This paired itself with Avocado, Pink Grapefruit and Ginger; it was spectacular.

Crispy Crab Cake, with Avocado, Pink Grapefruit and Ginger at Nougatine ShanghaiI had the Slowly Cooked Salmon, with Passion Fruit-Olive Oil Emulsion, Spinach, Black Olive. The fish was so tender and the sweetness was something that I hadn’t usually had with salmon. It was a nice change.

Slowly Cooked Salmon, with Passion Fruit-Olive Oil Emulsion, Spinach, Black Olive at Nougatine ShanghaiFor dessert, I had the Jean-Georges Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. Boy I wish I could go back for this.

Jean-Georges Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream at Nougatine Shanghai

I must take back my initial claim – some Chinese food is fabulous. I wish there was a Dai Tau Fung in Boston. There are only two on the west coast. Guess I have to head over to LA sometime soon.

Din Tai Fung Shanghai

Din Tai Fung Shanghai

For food, we began with a green bean appetizer. Green Bean Appetizer Din Tai FungWe also tried some spring rolls. They were quite delicious and the dipping sauce was out of this world.

Spring Rolls Din Tai Fung

The coolest thing about this place was the How-To-Guide for eating xianolongbao (dumplings).

How to eat xianolongbao at Din Tai Fung

Ingredients used to eat Chicken Xianolongbao at Din Tao Fung

Chicken Xianolongbao at Din Tai Fung

That night we headed to Mercato. Mercato was our second Jean Georges experience.

Mercato Shanghai

Walking in, it reminded me of a stylishly rustic version of ABC kitchen. The décor was just phenomenal.  It provided a feeling of comfort but sophistication. The contrast between wood and leather to steel and iron truly painted a picture that was not scene in the Shanghai dining scene.

Bar at Mercato Shanghai

Wine at Mercato Shanghai

Naturally, even though a weekday, there wasn’t seating available until late night, so we decided to sit at the pizza bar. The aroma of the wood-fired pizzas and occasional dishes prepared in this area got my stomach growling from the moment we sat down.

Open Wood Pizza at Mercato Shanghai

Having read up on their website prior to eating, I was interested and happy to see that they work closely with Petali, The Fresh Olive Company, and Sololatte to source the finest products and freshest ingredients possible. More true words couldn’t be stated: our dishes were fresh and delectable. With regards to the actual food, it seemed to be our lucky night as we were presented with risotto balls on the house minutes after we sat down. Good thing too, as my growls started to escalate in noise. Sure made this girl feel special.

Risotto Balls at Mercato Shanghai

My dad got a Crushed Tomato, Garlic and Chili pizza. Like father like daughter with the sans fromage, it seems.

 Crushed Tomato, Garlic and Chili pizza at Mercato Shanghai

Both my mom and I had the Tagliatelle with Basil-Pistachio Pesto, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Parmesan. Talk about a green dish. The pesto was really fresh and a different taste that I was used to but I highly enjoyed it.

Tagliatelle with Basil-Pistachio Pesto, Roasted Brussel Sprouts at Mercato Shanghai

For dessert, I had the best affogato I’ve ever had. Affogato Sundae with Espresso Ice Cream, Chocolate Fudge,Vanilla Meringue and Cinnamon Crumble.

Best Affogato I've Ever Had - Mercato Shanghai

I must say I was pleased with my dining in Shanghai.

2 Responses to “Shanghai Eats”


  1. Q&A | Little Moments of Happiness - November 25, 2013

    […] On location Shanghai, China […]

  2. Just Grand at J&G Grill | Little Moments of Happiness - January 14, 2014

    […] encounter with his work at ABC Kitchen in NYC, I was hooked. Having been to some of his concepts in Shanghai this past October, I perused his website to see where there were other locations, as I could not […]

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