After a week of feasting on Chinese cuisine of several regions my colleague wanted to see glamorous Shanghai at Xintiandi with a Continental meal.
Xintiandi is still tending in its 10th year, unfortunately there are now some women of the night hassles though not highly aggressive. I paused with a bit of trepidation as my colleague look at the better people watching that food spots on the main drag, to my relief he said, “Are you familiar with the restaurants here?” I took him to a back lane and into T8, hopeful it had not fallen from its early heights at Xintiandi’s birth.
The menu now has touches of the molecular, including an elaborate machine to pull out essence of raspberries, leaving a thick, intense raspberry sauce. We sat at the horseshoe bar that surrounds the the open kitchen, and the constant fixation of the staff, right up to the executive chef, with that raspberry spinning machine , was amusing. The raspberry essence water, used on fois gras with a pipette, ironically was the least interesting taste of the evening.
Watching the calm work of the kitchen based on careful ingredient prep was fascinating. Why does it seem like chaos when I try to cook one dish at home?
My colleague summed it up when I was if he was not going to have his popover-esque bread roll. His eyes flashed with intensity at the potential threat, “Oh, oh, oh, I am having it. I will be on the treadmill in the morning if I have to, but I am having it.”