Shanghai: Jean Georges

3 Nov

Since I met Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Formula 1 Paddock Club in Singapore last year, I have been a huge fangirl of his as I was genuinely touched by how personable and humble he was. If you’re not aware, Chef Jean-Georges is a successful chef and restauranteur based in NYC that invented his own unique brand of Fusion French-Asian cuisine that makes use of light sauces, broths and oils instead of the traditional heavy French ingredients; and he now owns an empire of restaurants around the world. At F1 I managed to sample his signature dishes in tasting plates format which were pretty delicious by event catering standards, and I was looking forward to finally eating at one of his restaurants. So it was natural that we treated ourselves to Jean Georges at Three On The Bund for a nice lunch while we were in Shanghai.

We had window seats but unfortunately it was super foggy that day. Anyway the dining room has a very elegant old-world Manhatten feel, don’t you think?

The adjacent Nougatine, its more casual sibling.

Complimentary bread – Served hot, thankfully. My raisin and nut bread was sweet and I definitely could have eaten more. The bread roll was crispy and fluffy on the inside. Good bread course.

Foie Gras Brûlé, Dried Sour Cherries and Candied Pistachio – This was good. The foie gras had a crispy top just like in creme brûlé and was set on top of a toasted brioche and white port wine gelée. I’m not a fan of cherries (because of maraschino cherries) but here they tasted natural, slightly tart and complimented the foie gras very well as it could cut through its “richness”. The tartness was then balanced by the candied pistachios and port gelée. I thought the flavour combination, presentation and concept were excellent. One of Chef Jean-Georges signature dishes and I can see why.

Tuna Tartar, Avocado, Spicy Radish and Ginger Marinade – This looked promising and I loved the sample I had at F1. And though you can’t see it, the tuna is actually sliced into “ribbons”, very pretty. However, the ginger marinade was far too pungent, sour, acidic and too much in quantity for a marinade (the tuna ribbons were swimming it it). A pity as I would have loved it if the marinade was tuned down a notch for e.g. if it was just a ginger glaze and much less sour.

Soy sauce glazed tenderloin with onion rings and potato puree – A simple main but executed oh-so-well. The soy sauce/beef combination really worked here, the onion rings were extremely thin and crispy and the potato puree was smooth, buttery and simply divine. Interestingly, the beef had a very “liverish” flavour, perhaps because it’s grass-fed beef.

Black Truffle – Fontina Pizza – I upgraded my main to this pizza as I loved the truffle and cheese combination on a pizza. The crust was good and the truffle flavour very intense but a pity this was way too big a portion for me and I was struggling just after a quarter, especially since the hubs wasn’t keen since he doesn’t like truffles. It was also on the salty side. Would recommend ordering this if you could share w 2-4 pax as I think it’s quite rich to eat it on your own.

Jean-Georges Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream – I didn’t need to see the menu to decide on my dessert. Chef Jean-Georges was the chef who popularised THE molten lava chocolate cake that is now ubiquitously on almost every single restaurant’s dessert menu and aspiring dessert chef’s arsenal. So I definitely had to eat it here. It was good as expected – with a very molten centre, thin cake and lovely chocolate soil – but honestly it wasn’t much significantly better than the other good molten lava chocolate cakes out there. And trust me, it kills me to say this. Still, please order it to give credit to the chef who gave us this genius dessert.

Crackling Lime Tart, Vanilla Chantilly Mousse I am always up for a lime/lemon tart to round up a meal. This tart had a twist because the base actually had pop-rocks type bits. Very fun dish and it definitely did awaken and cleanse my palette.

Petit Fours

Service was good, and commendable for China. Overall an enjoyable meal but I wasn’t too blown away and it is a little pricey after all the additions, though it is still significantly cheaper than dinner or a plane ticket to NYC. I would say give the set lunch a try if  you’re interested. I hope his restaurants in NYC fare better and that I would make it there someday soon.

Price: $$$-$$$$ for lunch (RMB 218 per for 3 course set, additional RMB 68 for truffle fontina pizza, 10% service charge), dinner probably $$$$
Location: 4/F, Three on the Bund, 17 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu

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