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.
Three 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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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!
For the grand finale and dessert, we had the yogurt and strawberries ice-cream with seasonal fruits. A great end to the night.
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.
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!
The 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.
Anyway, 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.The End Add: Whampoa Club, 23A Jinrong Jie ,