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Posts Tagged ‘Veal Milanese’

Cuisine: Gourmet innovative Italian.

Visit: October 2012.

Price: High (anything near to the prestigious address of the historical Bund in booming Shanghai has an expensive rent, in addition being backed up by an established Italian chef, the prices at the restaurant move to higher levels).

81/2 Bombana bar

Chef: Umberto Bombana has been strengthening his name on the Asia dining scene in recent years. After opening his first Italian restaurant in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, this year he launched his first 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo restaurant in mainland China. Here in Shanghai as well as in Hong Kong the chef named his restaurants after his favorite Italian film director Federico Fellini’s 1963 autobiographical movie “8 ½”. Celebrating Italian lifestyle, art and pleasures became the motto of his restaurants.

In Shanghai the chef Bombana has teamed up with an Executive Chef Alan Yu, Chef de Cuisine Silvio Armanni, and Pastry Chef Sohya Takahashi to create a unique blend of flavours.

Atmosphere: Depending on where you are sitting, the bar is more fun and off-beat, while the restaurant is more uptight. The service is friendly, knowledgeable and impeccable. Each wine by the glass we were not sure about was given us to sample a sip so we could make up our mind according to our preferences while the wine waiter explained each wine and its producers in detail. I would recommend you dress up nicely at both – the bar and main dining area as the restaurant has quite a luxurious feel.

Crisp and original Italian grissini

Food: Innovative Italian classics, visually appealing and tasty. You can order the entire tasting menu or if you like select only one or two dishes from it as you fancy and add some items from the a la carte list.

From the later I tried the Artichoke Soup served with shaved italian black truffle first. It was quite a hearty soup, good for an autumn, but not a mind-blowing selection as it was quite simple. I would not order it again.

Much better was the Wagyu Tajima Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio topped with vegetables brunoise & crispy parmesan. The wagyu grade beef was superb, thin and juicy as it should be in a tasty carpaccio. Basil pesto levelled up the vegetables and the crispy parmesan crackers added depth and contrasting texture to the delicate and fatty beef.

Wagyu Tajima Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio

From the tasting menu I loved the seasonal Hairy Crab gratin with parmesan foam & oscietra caviar. I would lick all the sauce from the plate if I was not at a fine dining restaurant. The creamy parmesan sauce was so delicious and the gratin of crab with cheese and refreshing scoop of caviar just clicked all well together. A glass of a more acidic wine such as Riesling or Pinot Gris would be ideal for this dish.

The main courses feature the Italian signature Breaded Veal Chop “Milanese Style” with cherry tomatoes & oregano salad that is made to perfection here keeping its authentic crunchy texture and thin meat, it is not oily but more on the drier side so some might prefer it while others might miss a bit more juice. The tomatoes are succulent and intense adding zesty acidity to the dry character of the Milanese style veal chop.

Hairy Crab gratin with parmesan foam & oscietra caviar

Drinks: The wine list is studded with big names in the wine industry such the Angelo Gaja’s expensive Italian breed, but also with lesser-known off-the-beaten-track producers.

We went for the wines by the glass since they looked appealing. I found an interesting blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot made by Livio Felluga to be my favourite. This blend is called Vertigo and is produced in the North-eastern Italian IGT region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Elegant, smooth, deep with dark fruits such as rich blackcurrant and ripe tannins all made it not only a good wine with food but also enjoyable on its own.

Italian Livio Felluga Vertigo blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

With your drinks you can savour the restaurant’s own baked Italian bread sticks – grissini. There are three kinds, but the plain ones are simply the best and perhaps the best I have had so far.

Opening hours: Dinner: 6pm until midnight.

Contact: Tel : +86 (0) 21-60872890

Address: 6th floor at Associate Mission historical building, 169 Yuanmingyuan Road, Shanghai, China

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Cipriani has always been the Venetian treasure known under the name Harry’s Bar. As the restaurant was growing around the world it took the last name of its owner Giuseppe Cipriani and today the family’s fourth generation is in charge over this, now global, restaurant empire. Its newest addition to the family album is the Cipriani in Monte-Carlo. The interior is designed like a luxurious yacht so originality of experience is guaranteed. The only design faux-pas to me was the huge photograph of the ex-F1 manager and luxury entrepreneur Flavio Briatore hanging in the middle of the restaurant reminding the guests that he was one of the investors in the project. It seems that Mr Briatore surely has a decent ego.

Cuisine: Italian

Visit: July 2012 & April 2013

Price: High

Atmosphere: Fresh, elegant and focused on service. Nevertheless, the service was not yet spotless at the Monaco’s branch freshly after its opening in 2012. The waiters were flickering their limbs around creating the atmosphere as if one was at a royal party or a ball, yet it was not enough to manage everything perfectly. Nevertheless, I must happily admit that the service has got much better! During my dinner there in April 2013 everything was brought promptly and the waiters were very pleasant. The dress code is smart casual – jacket, but no tie needed and ladies can wear just nice dress, but not flip-flops please. It is quite a fancy place, which nothing unusual for a big name Monaco restaurant, so I would wear something fashionable to fit in.

Monaco’s own Cipriani

Food: For the high price tag you will not get a good value for money, while you can just head 10 minutes East to Italy and eat like an Italian king for at least half the price. I learned that it is important to choose the right dishes as well as drinks there. From the appetizers I would recommend the Buratta with tomatoes and basil. This dish is purely about the freshest ingredients and that was managed at Cipriani with excellence.

Burrata with tomatoes and basil

The Asparagus with goats cheese was nice but a bit boring. Perhaps the most interesting was raw Artichoke with parmesan. After mixing the parmesan into the starter it was very good. All the above dishes went very well with our intense Italian Chardonnay.

Artichoke with parmesan

Some of the main courses are a different story. The Veal Escalope (Milanese style) was very dry, which for such a classic dish was a major minus. My sister ordered Sepia with the black ink and polenta and was shocked that she got a huge plate of black ink and so little polenta, no wonder she got sick later in the night. The fish was much more enjoyable. It was grilled just right, no excess oil and very fresh. The only drawback was a side salad served with the dish. It was bitter and boring. The pastas are superb! Cipriani is known for its homemade pasta and they make them perfectly al-dente at all of their upscale restaurants – from London to New York. The Spaghetti with seafood are superb. Served in a large ceramic dish, the waiters leave the pasta next to your plate so you can serve yourself as much as you can. The dish also keeps the pasta warm for longer than they would normally stay if served on the plate.

Veal Milanese

The dolci (deserts) selection is shown to all guests on a tray. It looks good, but nothing stirring the palate. Where was tiramisu or pannacotta? The first was on the menu but not displayed on the tray. There were rather some cakes of rather international character than purely Italian. We got a slice of some flabby creamy cake, boring enough that one spoon was sufficient.

Drinks: Members of the Cipriani Club have an access to a private bar and terrace upstairs, the rest of us can have a drink at the restaurant’s bar left from the main entrance. To have your aperitivo is a must at a true Italian establishment. We have ordered Belini, a cocktail made of champagne (or prosecco) and peach pure and were not disappointed. A perfect start to the evening. The wine list is prevailingly Italian. Ordering Antinori’s white Chardonnay was a safe bet, although not a cheap one. A bit oaky to my palate, rather resembling New World Chardonnay, but it went well with our food or politically incorrectly said it made the food better. On another occassion we ordered much cheaper white Gavi di Gavi from Scolca, yet it was quite weak with the food. It is rather a refreshing aperitif than wine matching up cheese and many of the pasta dishes.

The after dinner cappuccino I had in July 2012 was a disaster! At a vending machine in Milano’s subway I get a better and a much cheaper deal. The foam was airy, not creamy enough and the coffee too strong for a cappuccino, it was resembling the French take on this otherwise delicious coffee speciality.

Opening hours & Contact: Everyday 7pm to Midnight; Tel: +377 93 25 42 50

Address: 1, Avenue Princesse Grace, 98000 Monte Carlo, Monaco.

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