The Whampoa Club, Shanghai

My latest exciting gastronomic experience was in Shanghai recently, where I had the pleasure of dining at The Whampoa Club. This restaurant  is an opulent setting for Jereme Leung’s modern interpretations of traditional Shanghainese cuisine. Contemporary Chinese or Chinese Fusion are the other names that this type of cuisine, goes by.

DSC08026Three on the Bund – because good things come in three! 1. arts & culture, 2. shopping, 3. dining & entertainment. Here you have Laris, Whampoa Club, Jean Georges or New Heights all housed in the same building.

The entrance to the Whampoa Club is in the side street off the Bund. You walk past the up-market Armani store then enter a darker smaller road. You will then see the Whampoa Club signage…  take the lift to the fifth floor where you emerge into a startlingly opulent gilded gold and red lobby/holding area. There is a huge, modern crystal chandelier that dominates this room. As you walk through the long corridor, you will notice two extremely pretty ladies playing traditional Chinese music instruments. If this is not haute cuisine paradise, I don’t know what is.

lobby with grand crystal chandeliergold gilded waiting area

corridorcorridor to main dining area

pretty ladies playing traditional Chinese music instrumentspretty ladies playing traditional chinese music

You will have a gorgeous view of the Pudong district, i.e. , the Bund from where you sit and appraise your menu. Tonight, we decided on the degustation menu priced at RMB688 per person – this is before you even add on the wine or the champagne.
We had the trio starter of old fashioned shanghai smoke fish, chilled drunken chicken in shaved ice and trio marinade in glutinous rice wine brine. Exquisite.

view of the Pudong district - the BundThe view outside from our table

trio starter of old fashioned shanghai smoke fish, chilled drunken chicken in shaved ice and trio marinade in glutinous rice wine brinethe trio starter of old fashioned shanghai smoke fish, chilled drunken chicken in shaved ice and trio marinade in glutinous rice wine brine

Next up was the soup of crab claw, double boiled in duck, chicken and pigeon stock. This totally knocked our socks off. The scallop was of a texture I have not tried in any other restaurant. It was far more bouncy, springy and my Hong Kong counterpart told me this means that it was truly fresh (‘hoe seen..‘  is what she kept saying in her Hong Kong Cantonese.. as in “sun seen” .. fresh!)

soup of crab claw, double boiled in duck, chicken and pigeon stockdouble boiled crab claw, duck, chicken and pigeon soup

Then came the dynamic duo of steamed cod fish with ‘Ji’ vegetable and Crispy king prawn flavoured with crispy milk and oat flakes. The sweet king prawn tempered the salty cod fish to perfection.

dynamic duo of steamed cod fish with ‘Ji’ vegetable and Crispy king prawn flavoured with crispy milk and oat flakes.steamed cod fish with ‘Ji’

dynamic duo of steamed cod fish with ‘Ji’ vegetable and Crispy king prawn flavoured with crispy milk and oat flakes (second shot)Crispy king prawn flavoured with crispy milk and oat flakes

Then, as if to remind you not to forget that the Chef is in tune with European trends, enter the Pan-seared Australian Wagyu beef with pistachio nuts. The beef melted in our mouths and the pistachio complemented its gamy taste to perfection. This was my favourite of the night.

Pan-seared Australian Wagyu beef with pistachio nutsPan-seared Australian Wagyu beef with pistachio nuts

The Assorted mushroom handmade noodles in X.O. sauce was a real winner too. Perfectly al-dente and luscious to taste. I loved the heavy-handed way in which they added the X.O. wine… superb!

Assorted mushroom handmade noodles in X.O. saucehandmade noodles in X.O. sauce

For the grand finale and dessert, we had the yogurt and strawberries ice-cream with seasonal fruits. A great end to the night.

yogurt and strawberries ice-cream with seasonal fruitsyogurt and strawberries ice-cream with seasonal fruits

I have been told that the prices here at Whampoa Club, would make some of China’s finest choke, but where else then, can one go for Chinese food with quiet, yet impeccable service, breathtakingly stylish design and food which will have one surreptitiously licking ones plate!  Whampoa Club is a very serious restaurant serving some perfectly cooked food and we would gladly recommend this velvet escape experience to anyone who enjoys exquisitely good food.

DSC08087After dinner, the head waiter told us that it would be a great idea to check out the club at the top of the building – New Heights.

DSC08089martini mania.. this is the double apple martini.. after this one, I forget the names of the others:P

DSC08091international crowd at new heights. Great view to go with excellent cocktails.

The martinis here were superb! We drank like 5 each. After that we headed out to take a few shots of the skyline.. unfortunately it was so windy and so frigging cold, I nearly lost my camera.. never mind my footing!

DSC08093Bird’s Eye view from New Heights.

DSC08096The Bund (Waitan) is a true architectural symbol of Shanghai. ‘Bund’ is derived from an Anglo-Indian word for an embankment along a muddy waterfront and that is what it was in the beginning of time, when the first office opened here in 1846. Located on the west bank of a bend (running north and south at this point) in the Huangpu River and just south of Suzhou Creek, the Bund became the site of some of the earliest foreign settlements after Shanghai was opened as one of five Treaty Ports in the Treaty of Nanjing that ended the Opium War in 1842. Because of its proximity to the Yangtze (Changjiang) River, Shanghai grew rapidly as the economic center of foreign interests.

DSC08105Anyway, you will notice that the super sharp photos that I normally take (ahem!) are missing because it really WAS that friggin cold- like 3 degrees + windy. You just need to take my word for it that the view was amazing. Too bad about the renovations on the Bund though.We will definitely be back one day.. when it is less cold/windy and the Bund is 100% again.DSC08106

The End
Add:
Whampoa Club,
23A Jinrong Jie ,
Xidan/Financial Street
金融大街甲23号
Tel: 8808-8828

Comments

  1. Wah lau wei! I’ve never seen anyone do so much fine dining in one place before. hehe. Well done. :razz:

  2. how do both of you go to places in Shanghai??? Taxi? Walk?

  3. actually hor, shanghai is damn happening. KL cant even hold a flame to it….

  4. Fantastic array of dishes. Almost fusion Chinese, more than traditional.
    Cost a bomb?

  5. Oh man the food looks GOOOOOD…… :) :)
    (How much did it cost though? Not an arm and a leg, I hope?)

  6. The instruments are di zi (flute) and Yang Qin (lyre played with bamboo sticks). Both my sisters know how to play the Yang Qin. hehe…

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