New & Noted: Light & Salt Daily
What: A tranquil new restaurant, in the heart of the city, from the Light Salt team
Where: 407 Shanxi Bei Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu. Tel: 5266 0930. Web: www.light-n-salt.com
Why: For alfresco dining on the oasis inspired patio – even during the winter months
Nestled in a three-storey villa on historic Shanxi Lu, and surrounded by global fashion brands from Jing’an’s art and fashion district, the restaurant sits impressively, overlooking the bustle of the main road. With a raised garden and patio wrapping its way around the villa, and the front section of open dining area, guests are treated to a view of home grown fresh herbs, flowers and greenery. Beautiful outdoor furniture enhances the outdoor area, where diners can eat, even during the winter months, thanks to the addition of outdoor heaters. The first floor of the restaurant has a casual lounge-dining vibe, whereas the second floor compromises of cosy and intimate private dining. Creative space, Garden 27, is on the top floor.
Light & Salt Daily serves up fresh, organic food from farm to table, and currently offers a seasonal lunch set menu (RMB 157 for two courses or RMB 187 for three courses). They also have lunch, dinner and brunch à la carte menus. We sampled dishes from both the lunch and the dinner menus and started our meal with the foie gras crème brulee, poppy seeds and smoked brioche (RMB 107). The delicious combination of the rich, savoury foie and the sweet, hard glaze of the crème brulee spread over the brioche whetted our appetites for more. The next dish to arrive was the beautifully plated sweet and sour seared scallops with cabbage, edamame, bacon and lemon vinaigrette (RMB 77). The scallops were large and meaty and the seafood flavour was perfectly balanced with the sharp vinaigrette. For the main course, we tried the famous cheese pasta with parmigiano-reggiano, wagyu beef fillet, wild mushrooms and fresh black truffle (RMB 256). This dish was served table-side by a chef who combined the ingredients inside a scooped-out wheel of parmigiano-reggiano. The dish had substance as well as style, with the opulent taste of the fresh black truffle cutting through the rich and creamy sauce. We also tried the soyglazed Angus beef oyster blade with caramelised onion and wasabi ginger dressing (RMB 217), which was cooked to perfection and beautifully plated with the tender, red meat taking pride of place. To round out our extravagant meal, we tried the lime custard with chocolate crumbs as well as mango and passion fruit ice cream (RMB 47). This deliciously tart dessert was light and sweet, the perfect note to end on.
Executive Chefs Rafael Qing and Samuel Albert, from the Light & Salt group, designed Light & Salt Daily’s menu, so diners can be sure of their experience and excellence. Favourite dishes from Light & Salt On The Bund’s menu, such as the miso cod, have been revitalised for the new location. We are sure that this new restaurant, hidden in plain sight on Shanxi Lu, will enjoy just as much success as its sister restaurant, and we will be back again soon to sample the brunch menu.