[It is not clear Il Nascondiglio is a home restaurant concept that integrates mysterious elements of both Italian and Chinese arts and tradition. The old Chinese living room, former property of Chiang Kai Shek, has been taken over by an Italian trio since 2011. By adding some Venetian elements, purchasing interesting art and furniture pieces, they have created a uniquely edgy environment.
The restaurant opens only upon reservation and the long table can sit up to 15 guests. They also host “open nights” where people can reserve alone or in small groups and meet strangers over a delicious meal cooked by the chef, Andrea Canciani.
We started off with a generous sampler of four different seafood bites: salt cured tuna bacon and whiskey salmon tartare were delicious, followed by… ta daaaahh Baccala Mantecato, a cod spread typical of the Venice area and which you can’t find very often at other venues in Shanghai. The Scallop gratin was also on point.
As a second appetiser we had a light and summery octopus carpaccio, with marinated raisins and cashew to bring out some texture.
The main dish that I preferred was definitely the squid ink ravioli with red scorpion fish filling. The compact, generous filling and creamy green pea cream made this dish truly excellent.
The aglio, olio e peperoncino linguini with bottarga and caramelised cherry tomatoes were tasty, though the bottarga was only a small grated sprinkle that didn’t add much flavor, resulting in the dish being a quite simple, home whipped pasta dish.
The third main dish was cod fillet with baby potatos, carrot and a roasted pepper sauce. The chef cooked all 10 pieces of cod in the same huge pan, which is probably the reason why he failed searing it properly. The highlight of this dish was surely the… plating (!).
As dessert we had a yummy tiramisu – made the proper Italian way, just a simple scoop of goodness without the silly overachieving attitude many tiramisu in this town have.
The usual 5-6 course meal with free flow wine starts at 450 RMB.
A highly recommended dining experience in Shanghai that is well worth you money and time.
For reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org