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Fine Dining Triptych

Casting about for a restaurant fitting for a holiday celebration? Sink your hooks into these three good excuses for splashing out.

Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen has reaffirmed its position as one of Shanghai’s top wine vendors, picking up “two goblets” from US magazine Wine Spectator. They celebrated recently with a wine dinner starring six wines that received Spectator ratings above 90 out of 100. These included Guigal’s 94 point Condrieu La Doriane (2007), which had a delicious easy oiliness, like there’s a salmon swimming in there somewhere, and the magazine’s wine of the year in 2008, Casa Lapostolle’s Clos Apalta (2005).

Napa is the place to learn a thing or two about wine, or put past learning to use, and its food is as good at its wine. Do your best to get down there before chef Sean Anthony finishes his stint in the kitchen in just over a week’s time. His food is damn tasty.

The only other venue in Shanghai to receive the two goblets award was the Ritz Carlton's Palladio. Congrats to both restaurants.

Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen, 57 Jiangyin Lu, near Huangpi Lu Tel: 6318 0057

There’s a superb French restaurant in the heart of Shanghai where the chef prepares a unique meal and serves just one table per night. Sounds buzz-worthy, right? So why haven’t you heard of L’Atre? Liu Gaochen studied at the France Bocuse School of Art and Food and went on to work with Paul Bocuse, Michel Bras and Alain Ducasse. Now he and his wife are starting out on their own, serving course after course of creative French food including dishes like a millefeuille of tuna. It’s spensy (RMB 880, not including wine) but you’ll be devotedly taken care of by Liu and his wife in the restaurant’s beautiful little three storey lane house.

L'Atre, Building 1, Lane 224 Nanchang Lu. Tel 5306 8670

Further French fine dining is also on the menu at Papillon, where William Mahi is working on furthering French fine dining. Mahi’s avant garde menu (RMB 388 + 10 per cent) is a chem lab of lecithin, strange foams and liquid nitrogen constructed around quality ingredients and classic cuisine. There’s an intensely flavourful cured salmon candy, a bubble of gazpacho that wobbles like an egg yolk (pictured top), and a snowfall of frozen soup. The stars of the show are Mahi’s beef with white truffles, which have hints of kidney and macadamia, and his sea bass with olives and a villainously powerful reduction of orange that tastes like apricots and citric acid. Yum.

Papillon, LAN Club, 102 Guangdong Lu, near Sichuan Lu. Tel: 6323 8029




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