Squid ink risotto @ Table N°1
When you are an expat in Shanghai, you usually look forward to picking up a copy of the free magazine Cityweekend filled with restaurant listings and reviews, the latest concerts and exhibitions etc.
For a year now I've been wanting to try Table N°1 by Jason Atherton since reviews have generally been positive and the menu seemed interesting and reasonably priced. The chef is famous (and has worked at El Bulli as well as won numerous awards) and I liked the idea of modern European cuisine, gastro-pub concept etc. That "N°1" was mentioned somewhere in the name of the restaurant probably contributed to said desire, you know how the psychology works for some of us.
I digress, restaurant opposite was making offering to the gods, burning paper money etc
I convinced Hub to join me there for lunch (he usually prefers French or Italian restaurants if he had to consume calories) one afternoon in February and we found the South Bund area where the restaurant was pretty cool. We were seated in a bright dining room decorated simply with modern fittings and I was quite intrigued by the fact that the kitchen was situated in the next building. It's like watching your neighbours cook, one of those thoughts that crossed my mind.
Salmon cakes with quail eggs
The lunch menu was simple and looked delicious on paper. But I must say that while the food was quite nice, we didn't find it exciting and couldn't find the incentive to return. Plus the portions were small.
We had salmon cakes with quail eggs, squid ink risotto, calf liver (for Hub)...They were cooked properly, the colours and presentation were lovely, but we just felt that there could be more to it. The risotto wasn't anywhere as good as the ones I've eaten in Italy, and the dessert while nice couldn't be compared to what I usually get in France.
Was it just a bad day? Maybe I should give the private chef dining a try? But Hub wouldn't have any of it.
Table N°1 by Jason Atherton
The Waterhouse Hotel, Cool Docks1号 Maojiayuan Road,
Tel : 021 60802918
Tel : 021 60802918