The new generation of chefs has begun to embrace their own land. They have learnt Western techniques, but have decided to unleash their talents on the canvas of Chinese cuisine. After winning a Michelin star for Ling Long Beijing, Jason Liu, at the age of 30, once again garners a star for the restaurant’s new venue in Shanghai, the most challenging city for top-notch restaurants in China, after opening only for few months. In my mind, the two spots are not on the same level any more.
fter three years of anticipation, The Chairman and 102 House once again joined forces in Shanghai at the end of this August, marking their third collaboration. The first time was at The Chairman in Hong Kong, the second at Den in Tokyo, and this time at 102 House Shanghai with the theme of Huangpu River-inspired Cantonese Flair.
It’s been almost ten years since the opening of Fu He Hui, nestled among tree-lined avenues at the former French Concession of Shanghai, a hugely sought-after historic district abundant with quaint residential buildings during the 1920s. The name “Fu He Hui” comes from the owner – Mr. Fang 's understanding of happiness (Fu, 福) and wisdom (Hui, 慧): "The process of pursuing happiness leads to wisdom and the pathway to wisdom is accompanied by happiness".
Chef Xu Jingye showcases understated elegance of Cantonese cuisine in every dish at 102 House, which, within just one year of its establishment in Shanghai, was awarded two Michelin stars, making a remarkable debut. But Michelin is both pressure and motivation. This year, the spring menu demonstrates even greater stability with precise execution and graceful flavouring.
The restaurant came to Shanghai last summer and has undergone two renovations in between, but I have already tried its summer, autumn and winter menus. The seemingly simple dishes are loaded with unpretentious skills and rock-solid knowledge of Chef Xu Jingye, who has made Guangzhou cuisine so purely classic yet elaborately eye-opening.
Now its previous rich Southern French flavours have recently been revamped by the new Executive Chef Ugo Rinaldo, who has embarked on a mission to give a new life to French cuisine through revisiting old favorites with a modern refreshing twist.
After a revisit, I was greatly impressed by chef Yann Klein’s understanding of the Chinese terroir and the use of local ingredients. I stand by my commendations as the whole dining process is just like a progressive symphony, leading you to the spectacular beauty of the moment.
If you want to replenish an exhausted body after a long day, stimulating sensations may not be a cure-all formula. Rather, sometimes a simple meal is all it takes to fix a sunken heart, to soothe the soul and restore the spirit.
he founder of Nan Xing Yuan, Deng Huadong, has brought traditional “Nan Tang" dishes to Shanghai, bringing back to life the intricate hospitality and refined subtlety of Chinese fine dining.
The truth is, I do not want to see Chinese fine dining restaurants offer all-the-same mediocre dishes.