[Shanghai] 8 Hands Dinner @ Unico
8 Hands Dinner (2015)
Location: Unico by Mauro Colagreco
中山东一路3号外滩3号2楼(中山东一路广东路口) – Floor 2, Bund No. 3, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu near Guangdong Lu (黄浦区 Huangpu District)
Date: April 1, 2015
Price: RMB¥498 + 10% service charge per person
Every year, 4 chefs and their 8 hands come together under one roof to create an odyssey of a meal. Our 8 talented hands this year were Mauro Colagreco (Unico), Michael Wendling (Cuivre/T for Thai/CU2+), Brad Turley (Goga/Hai by Goga), and Scott Melvin (The Commune Social). No need for introductions for any of these esteemed chefs of Shanghai.
First things first, we drink. Unico has opened a second bar called El Lab serving a small selection of drinks with premium spirits.
Cottonpolitan with vodka, cranberry juice, and quinoa. The cotton candy melts as soon as the liquid is poured into the glass. A sweet but potent drink.
Our busy chefs working on the main event in the kitchen. It is a war zone in there but it is a delicious one. Clockwise from top left: Chefs Scott Melvin, Brad Turley, Michael Wendling, and Mauro Colagreco.
We started with Unico’s signature warm Argentinean bread to share.
What can make foie gras even better? Bacon. Three epic slabs of foie gras “torchon” with bacon jam, orange port wine & balsamic juice (MW). That’s a per person portion.
Refreshing bay shrimp & spring pea salad with feta, leaves crostini (BT).
A surprisingly delightful combination of grilled broccoli, beetroot tartare, goats curd, crispy chicken skin (SM). The beetroot and goats curd matched so well together and I always love my chicken skin. The broccoli was a bit hard and could have been steamed longer.
Beef soup, light turnip & beans (TB) was a bit salty so just a few sips.
Surf & turf mains: crusted tuna loin, hummus, baked bell pepper & coriander (MW) and Argentinian tenderloin paired with sesame sauce & roasted vegetables (MC).
Spicy crust and peppers reminiscent of Southeast Asia flavors.
Great Argentinian beef paired with an excellent sauce.
Crumbles of bits and pieces of smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed & lemon (SM) in true Commune Social fashion.
Staying true to his Argentinian roots, Chef Mauro’s dessert resembled a deconstructed alfajor with dulce de leche, coconut, and cornstarch cookie (MC). Alfajor is a dulce de leche cookie with many variations across Spain and South America (see El Bodegon for a traditional Peruvian version). Perfect ending.