It might have taken a few months for Heritage by Madison to settle, but when it did, it settled beautifully. Through half a dozen visits in as many months, I have witnessed a restaurant slowly come into its own. Mr. Austin Hu brings together a loose patchwork of curious-minded ideas, united by a gentle Asian bent and an unbridled spirit.
Oha Eatery is not the kind of place you’d stumble upon. But if you know what you are looking for, you will surely enjoy Oha’s brand of Guizhou food, made with a modern, lyrical sensibility.
Daimon Gastrolounge has something any number of fusion restaurants don’t: the sensibility of chefs who truly understand the cuisines they are trying to merge. The food is firmly grounded in Cantonese and Shanghainese classics, inflected with just enough twists and turns to hold our attention.
Directly across the alley from Gaggan, Asia’s best restaurant according to The World’s 50 Best, is Gaa, the latest addition to the Gaggan empire. 29-year-old chef Garima Arora, a former Gaggan sous-chef and Noma alumni, manages to make Gaa her own with what she calls “eclectic cuisine”, using global techniques to prepare locally sourced ingredients.
Bo Shanghai’s techniques are very far from Chinese cooking, but the food is noticeably inspired by the flavors and traditions of China. Their creations often take the spirit of China’s regional cuisines and come up with an entirely reimagined rendition, keeping me on my toes with a sense of discovery, but, at the same time, comforting with its familiarity.
A cozy French bistro by Japanese chef Kenji Ishibashi, Racines is a hidden gem in the truest sense of the word. Discreetly located in a quiet residential building behind a rather nondescript door, Racines is certainly not a restaurant you’d stumble across. But if you know what you’re looking for, Racines is one of most invigorating French bistros in town, a compelling meeting of French techniques and Japanese sophistication.
Taian Table and Bo Shanghai, two of the most formidable players on Shanghai’s dining scene, joined forces to present a four hands dinner for two nights. With five dishes from each team, the two restaurants managed to unite two distinct visions and styles of cooking into an engaging and surprisingly coherent dinner.
The younger sibling of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, Bo Shanghai tries to interpret the ingredients, flavors, and cultures of Chinese cuisine through a global lens.