For a Classic Date: Modern French at Epices & Foie Gras

Epices and Foie Gras focuses on quality ingredients that are elevated by modern cooking techniques which allow a fresh, sexy experience of classic French cuisine.

Perfect for a romantic, refined date, the space includes two spacious floors plus a terrace; perfectfor the warmer months of the year. The dim lighting and comfortable armchairs facilitate intimate conversations in a cozy, classy environment.

The menu, curated especially for the Shanghai Bite Club’s tasting, featured flavorous wine pairings for each course. The owner, a wine connoisseur, will be able to recommend the perfect bottle for your meal.Don’t hesitate to ask for advise.

The dinner started with two amuse bouches. My favorite was the Lobster Roll with bisque gelée, made with super fresh Canadian lobster flown in the day before. I loved the complexity of textures in this single bite, with chunky pieces of mayo dressed lobster, crunchy caviar pops and the chilled bisque gelatine.

Less successful was the attempt to reinvent the classic Italian Prosciutto e Melone with a French twist. While the house-cured duck breast was pleasantly savory and pungent, the excessively big piece of melon overpowered all the flavor, and was too big for an “amuse bouche” size.

Coming down to the appetizers, the pan seared scallop with diced Bellota Spanish ham plus Argentinian Prawn two ways was a luscious surprise. The scallop was quickly seared on both side, leaving the meat almost completely raw – which is how I like my scallops. The smokiness of the fried Bellota ham and the acidity of the Hollandaise sauce magically completed this perfect bite. The fish and prawn meat stuffed Argentinian prawn head was also delectable, with its crunchiness and umami flavor. It stood out as one of the best dishes of the night.


As a second appetiser we received a platter of foie gras three styles. While I enjoyed both the classic terrine and the pigeon and black truffled marbled foie gras, my absolute favorite was the red wine poached foie. The acidity of the red wine combines perfectly with the fattiness of the foie, attenuated by a refreshing slice of pear which creates a pleasantly balanced mouthful.

The most exciting, delicious dish was the 78°C slow cooked Faroe Island Salmon Fillet. Completed with a fennel and burrata cheese emulsion and a saffron sauce, the dish brought out delicate but complex flavors that made each bite of this tender fillet incredibly interesting and satisfying. More texture was brought to the dish by some crispy chips on top of the salmon and a potato, clam and baby mussel salsa below it.

The pigeon main was again a winner. I am a big fan of pigeon meat when its skin is perfectly caramelised and the inside is still dark red without being bloody – exactly how it was presented at Epices & Foie Gras. I particularly enjoyed also the green sauce on the side and the pumpkin pure, though it was maybe a bit clumsily plated and looked like a Christmas tree. The foie gras and pigeon stuffed puff pastry, although tasty, did not belong in the equation of this dish, which would have been successfully and elegantly completed without it.

The last main was an Iranian pistachio crusted roasted lamb rack. Served on a slate plate with a delicious eggplant roll and aioli, the dish was nicely balanced. I would have preferred a medium rare cook on it, but lamb is such a personal business that I understand the choice of cooking it longer for a 8 people table.

A natural lime juice and basil infused tart sealed the deal of this stunning dinner experience. I enjoyed the natural flavor of the tart which isn’t made with concentrated lemon juice and therefore may not feel as tangy as it should be. But staying true to their quality, natural ingredients philosophy, Epices & Foie Gras, once again delivers great flavors and satisfaction.

Recommended by the Michelin Guide as a go-to place while visiting Shanghai, I would definitely recommend this venue for sophisticated first dates and couples who would like to spend some quality, quiet time while enjoying delicious and sexy French food with a twist.

Expect to pay around RMB 500 per person including wine.

 

Address: Shanghai, 309 Hankou Lu, near Shandong Zhong Lu – 汉口路309号, 近山东中路

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