[Shanghai Girl Eats] Chef’s Table @ 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Chef’s Table @ 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana | ottoemezzobombana.com | Dianping
Address: 6-7/F, 169 Yuanmingyuan Lu near Beijing Dong Lu / 圆明园路169号协进大楼6-7楼(近北京东路)
Date visited: 2016.06 for dinner
Price: Chef’s Table 6 courses for RMB1,800 + 10% per person
Will return: Yes
8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana is one of the most expensive fine dining venues in Shanghai and is taking it up another notch with its Chef’s Table dining experience. This one table per night dining experience inside the 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo kitchen clocks in at RMB1,800 per person + 10% for 6 courses. Worth it? This was one of the most memorable and fun dinners I have had in Shanghai.
Dining inside the kitchen is an unique experience and can get as up close and personal as you prefer with Executive Chef Riccardo La Perna — it is for those who want an interactive experience with the chef and see how each dish is made from beginning to end. Chef Riccardo can introduce dishes to you, show you how things are done around the kitchen, give sauces to sample, and even talk about the RMB20,000 imported Italian chair you are sitting on, etc. It’s nice to know even when I am sitting in the kitchen, they are not skimming on the furniture my butt is on.
Chef Riccardo is not shy about the high cost of dining at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo and explains it correlates with the high quality of ingredients they use, which is evident from the abundance of caviar, truffle, and live seafood throughout the menu. I have also witnessed a bartender make ice cubes with Aqua Panna water during a previous visit. Case and point.
A USD$300 meal (and more if you want to go for the optional wine pairing on the way to bankruptcy) is not a frequent activity for most people so I would save this for very special occasions. The round table can accommodate up to 4 people but for the most optimal experience and full view of the kitchen, I recommend it as a 2-person dining experience.
Next time I come, better be a date with a man.
We started with Culatello ham “Graziano Cacciali” aged 32 months, which had the most perfect fat-to-meat ratio that just melted in my mouth.
Our first course was New Zealand scampi carpaccio with citrus emulsion and Black Pearl Royal caviar. The raw scampi was sweet, fresh, and topped with high quality caviar. Very good.
Second course was Normandy Blue lobster Mediterranean style with stewed leeks, orange and sherry vinegar sabayon, Black Pearl Royal caviar (more caviar is always good). A rare instance of lobster cooked right — the lobster meat was tender and juicy. I don’t usually order lobster because a lot of places tend to overcook it and it ends up being a very expensive plate of mushy and chewy crustacean.
Chef Riccardo showed us the lobsters that were used — very much alive, huge, and full of roe.
Third course was spaghetti “Mancini I Turanici” selection with king crab, zucchini, garlic, chili, extra virgin olive oil. It was king crab umami all around. I am very serious about having al dente pasta and was delivered super firm spaghetti as requested.
Fourth course was another pasta on a much heavier scale: homemade pappardelle with Colorado lamb ragout, rosemary, Cacioricotta cheese, fresh Australian “melanosporum” black truffle. In unmistakable signature Bombana style, out came the truffle shaver and it started raining truffle all around.
Rich, creamy, and truffle-ful. This disappeared fast, especially considering it was our second plate of pasta.
Fifth course was roasted Australian Mayura beef striploin & braised Australian Wagyu beef shoulder with whipped celeriac, roasted mushrooms, Australian “melanosporum” black truffle sauce. The strip loin (top) was a mouthful of marbled fat while the beef shoulder (bottom) was braised so tender it fell apart with ease.
And as if we were not already full enough, Chef Riccardo threw in a lamb chop for the two of us to share. Another tricky meat to cook but tasty when done right as it was here.
The dessert course consisted of an almond & mulberry sorbet with pistachio as a palate cleanser and limoncello souffle.
We went to the dessert preparation room and watched the limoncello souffle rise in the oven before it came to our table and was promptly devoured. From oven to table!