Vespertine Modern Kitchen & Bar | vespertine-cuisine.com | Dianping
Address: 中山南路505号老码头(近毛家园路) – Cool Docks, 505 Zhongshan Nan Lu near Maojiayuan Lu (黄浦区 Huangpu District)
Date visited: 2014.07 for dinner
A la carte: ~RMB¥300-400 per person (or more if you get the RMB¥798 bone-in ribeye for two/RMB¥1200 Wagyu NY strip)
Set menu: 5 courses for RMB¥398, 7 courses for RMB¥698, and 9 courses for RMB¥998
+ 10% service charge
Will return: Yes
What to get:
– Beef tongue fettuccini, arugula, pumpkin, egg
– Gnocchi, smoked lobster, lobster sugo
– Short ribs, white puree, flamed baby carrots, shallot rings
– Chocolate coolant
Please note this was an invited tasting
Update: Chef Christopher Hora is no longer at Vespertine and I have not been back to try the current chef’s dishes yet.
Vespertine, located at Cool Docks at South Bund, offers modern western cuisine in a lavishly decorated space where creative dishes on the menu came to life at the table. Satisfaction? Check.
David, one of the owners at Vespertine, is someone who knows how to enjoy the good things in life. He is a very particular guy, much like this fellow Shanghainese. He likes what he likes and stays true to his instincts when it comes to the décor and dishes. If you like it, great and if you don’t like it, he knows he cannot please everyone and sticks to what he knows and likes. If only more people can apply that philosophy to life.
No expenses spared on the plentitude of decorations on every wall and in every corner of the restaurant from elaborate vault door handles downstairs to the jellyfish tank upstairs (you’ll have to see for yourself). There was an Aston Martin in the middle of the restaurant at one point but rumor has it that one of the customers bought it. Or I could just be making this up. Regardless, they will be replacing it with another Aston Martin soon. While the décor may be fancy, their attitude is certainly not. They just want everyone to be able to enjoy good food in a nice setting. I like it.
As for the food, chef’s tasting menu in 5 courses for RMB¥398, 7 courses for RMB¥698, and 9 courses for RMB¥998, or a la carte are available. We let owner David pick all the dishes today a la carte.
Bread with black pepper and lavender butter is quite a combination.
Beef tongue fettuccini, arugula, pumpkin, perfect egg (RMB¥78)
The fettuccini is made from different vegetable juices, which results in various colors in each strand. Slow-cooking the “perfect” sous-vide egg (in 65 degree, 63 degree, or whichever temperature people like to use these days) is probably the most important and difficult part of this dish and it was executed beautifully. Poke the egg and mix it into the tender bits of beef tongue and vegetables. Sauce-y but not creamy. Light but flavorful. Very good.
Lamb & beef meatballs, roasted chili puree, parmesan herb powder (RMB¥108)
This is one of David’s favorites but I was slightly less enthusiastic about it as lamb is a pretty polarizing food. I can only eat half a meatball before it starts to get heavy for my personal taste. I get more joy from the beef tongue fettuccini.
Gnocchi, smoked lobster, lobster sugo (RMB¥178)
Our gnocchi arrived fashionably trapped in a glass of smoke. A very nicely put together plate of potato gnocchi and lobster pieces in lobster sauce. Flavorful without being heavy.
Short ribs, white puree, flamed baby carrots, shallot rings (RMB¥188)
The tender and partly fatty beef, slow-cooked for three days, makes this a winning meat & potatoes dish.
Passion fruit soufflé, panna cotta, bourbon anglaise, berry coulis (RMB¥98)
A petite soufflé and panna cotta to pair. I don’t have a good history with soufflés but the passion fruit was surprisingly tasty and the texture was airy without being empty.
Chocolate coolant (RMB¥80)
Rich chocolate cake spilling
pure guilt ultra dense and gooey chocolate. Just yes.