La Stazione

A cosy, upmarket Italian restaurant with French and Spanish influences
Where: 98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu. Tel: 5175 9818
Why: To sample the Parmesan ice cream and drink the monthly Negroni

The guys behind Goodfellas and MVP are delivering to Shanghai a brand new concept. The 100-seat restaurant, in the popular Jing’An drinking spot, boast the longest and, so they claim, the best stocked bar in the area - with a mission to offer 150 different wines in the future. There is also a focus on Negronis (RMB 58), with a new one being created each month, and an aim to get multiple varieties on the menu at any one time.

The restaurant is stylish, yet comfortable, with the interior designers sighting their inspiration as being the spirit of an Italian Art Deco train station and the liveliness of Tribeca train station in New York. Notable features include a pizza oven, walk-in wine cellar and a cured meats display room, but the wow factor comes from the floor-toceiling windows and upper floor balconies, nestled amongst the trees and overlooking the road below, perfect for the spring and summer seasons. There will also be live music and a late night dinner menu comprising of pizzas and cold cuts, which will be served until 2am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The venue also has a late night license until 5am for special events, so it might just become a regular haunt for all your late night requirements.

It seems that no money has been spared on the project, and the Italian head chef from Milan was brought over from his last appointment at Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou.

The menu is reasonably priced, for the area, and fuses traditional and modern techniques with ingredients from across the Mediterranean. Standout dishes included mixed cold cuts and cheese (RMB 168), which included tomato bruschetta and an indulgent dollop of cheesy, sweet and creamy Parmesan ice cream – perfectly counterbalancing the saltiness of the Italian cured meats. Special mention also goes to the Parma ham, arugula and Parmesan pizza (RMB 118), which comes directly from the pizza oven to the table, as well as the lobster and shrimp linguini with fresh tomato sauce (RMB 188), which had a fresh and generous amount of perfectly cooked seafood. Overall, this venue has much potential and we can’t wait to check out this restaurant and bar again over the coming months.