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In celebration of Le French May, refined Huaiyang restaurant 10 Shanghai has created a menu offering dishes made with premium French ingredients using traditional Chinese techniques. Under the helm of Executive Chef Xiaohe Chen, who has over 20 years of experience working at fine establishments the likes of Fairmont Peace Hotel and Oriental City Hotel in Shanghai, and Executive Chef Ben Luen, who joined recently from the group’s Modern Shanghai restaurant, the duo present a celebratory menu using Huaiyang cuisine techniques of the lower reaches of the Huai and Yangtze rivers.
10 Shanghai, located in bustling Causeway Bay’s Lee Garden Two, is part of 1957 & Co.’s diverse portfolio, which includes Gonpachi, An Nam, Paper Moon, Ta-ke, Hokkaidon and Mango Tree. The modern Shanghainese restaurant features a large main dining room awash in inky green and brushed gold, with two additional private rooms.
The special Le French May menu showcases an appetiser platter of smoked soft-boiled eggs with caviar, deep-fried frog legs tossed in salt and pepper, chilled pork knuckles steeped in sweet rice wine and jujube stuffed with ham and glutinous rice. The smoked eggs, a Huaiyang speciality, are infused with rich aromas, although the caviar is more for photos rather than adding to the taste profile. The frog legs were crispy yet tender and seasoned deliciously. Our favourite was the stuffed jujube thanks to the contrasting sweet and savoury tastes.
The double-boiled soup, featuring black Silkie chicken, sea conch, conpoy and morels, was soothing and comforting, while the steamed langoustine and threadfin was one of our favourites of the menu. The sweetness of the shellfish is accentuated by the complexity of the huadiao wine, and the threadfin fish has very little bones in comparison to the types of fish that are commonly used in this dish.
The braised beef cheek and sea cucumber rival each other in texture, both being incredibly sticky and addictively gelatinous. This dish provides a hefty dose of delicious collagen.
Instead of using the traditional ingredient of pigeon for this smoked meat dish, the chefs use French quail in this rendition of the crispy smoked game bird. We are accustomed to the robust flavours of pigeon in this dish, which has more fat to create a crispier finish, so we felt the quail detracted from the dish as this bird is a lot leaner and less juicy – some things are better left to tradition.
The white asparagus with honey peas, lily bulbs and Jinhua ham, tossed in a salted egg sauce, was light and delicious. We liked the contrast of the sweet lily bulbs and peas against the briny ham, although the salted egg sauce isn’t very pronounced.
We wrapped up the savoury portion of our meal with the signature fried rice with foie gras. We liked the chewy texture of the rice, which allowed us to savour the taste of the dish longer.
A trio of desserts, ranging from osmanthus mochi with Cointreau, to pecan custard puffs, to deep-fried molten chocolate dumplings rolled in sesame, concluded our French ingredient-centric meal.
A delicious fusion menu combining elements of French and Huaiyang cuisine. Highlights for us were the langoustine and threadfin and the beef cheek and sea cucumber. From 21 May onwards, members of the 1957 & Co. loyalty programme and HSBC credit cardholders can enjoy a special two-for-one meal promotion, meaning that two people can enjoy this menu for $980. Various restaurants within the group are also running similar promotions, so it makes more sense then ever to share the wealth amongst friends.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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