Jean Georges is the namesake Michelin-starred restaurants by Chef Jean-Georges Vorgerichten, the only ones in his sprawling dining empire to offer degustation menus. In an earlier post, we tried the signature tasting menu. In Part 2 of the wonderful dinner I had at Jean-Georges in Shanghai, we take a look at their season degustation menu.
Located on the Bund alongside its illustrious neighbours, Jean Georges has long been one of the pioneers of French fine dining in Shanghai, and opened on The Bund from as early as 2004. It was denied the start when Michelin came into town in 2017. But this mistake was promptly rectified the following year in 2018.
Summer Tasting Menu
The second degustation menu that featured summer ingredients like Madai from Japan.
The three bite size starters included a sweet pea cold soup, crispy salmon sushi (which is housed-smoked salmon with deep fried sushi), and an arancini (Italian rice ball stuffed with squid, breaded and deep fried)
Toasted Egg Yolk, Caviar and Herbs
Like the signature egg caviar in the other menu, JG showed that a simple toast can also be a luxe first course.
It is made up of three sous vide egg yolks between two pieced of meticulously toasted bread and topped with quenelle of caviar. Your very atas *high-class in Singlish version of the coffee-shop toast and half-boiled eggs. And here’s how it can be replicated (almost) at home – the trick is the sous vide.
Madai Sashimi with Shaved Radishes and Nasturtium Vinaigrette
This was beautiful! A seasonal fatty fish used as a ceviche with herby dressing instead of the usual Japanese yuzu or soy sauce treatment. It was refreshing and yet, appetising start to the tasting journey.
Sautéed Foie Gras with Strawberry Jam and Marcona Almonds
Wow, the foie gras with the homemade jam. What can I say, it was one hit after another. After the light ceviche, you now have heavy hitting foie gras, and it was a home run for sure.
Black Cod with Honshimeiji Mushrooms and Lemongrass Consommé
The signature menu has lemongrass with lobster that turned it to a tom yum. This one used the fragrant, lemony nature of lemongrass to take away the greasiness of black cod.
The cod was steamed and topped with Honshimeiji mushrooms sautéed with herbs. The consommé was made with the au jus from steaming the cod, infused with lemongrass. Wonderful combination.
Sautéed Lobster and Corn, Coconut and Lime Emulsion
Infatuation with Thailand continued in this menu with the lobster. Coconut and lime, Boston lobster turned into Thai green curry this time, especially when paired with corn.
M7+ Purebred Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, Smoked Potato Purée, Cucumber Jalapeño Jus
A wet piece of beef – something a Texan will frown on. But somehow the slightly spicy and pickled soup worked with the highly marbled piece of wagyu tenderloin cooked medium rare. And the medium rare is not the Chinese “medium rare”, it’s the proper French doneness and the meat just melted in the mouth. I wonder why would JG open next? Disneyland?
Palate cleanser before dessert – compressed watermelon with yuzu boba.
Grape, Beignet, Tapioca, Grape Sorbet, Almond Pudding
A very complex dessert singular in taste – “berry berry” delicious after the richness of this degustation. Tapioca came in the form of boba pearls for that bite. Grape sorbet had been scrapped into balls to make this dessert like a string of pearls. The most delicious part was the almond pudding, just like a page off traditional Chinese banquets where guests were offered longan and almond jelly.
The Sommelier selected seven house pours to compliment the Summer Tasting Menu. She was kind enough to let us share the wine, and luckily most of the courses were quite similar in the two menus.
1/ Starter –
Bubbly start to the wine pairing, a celebratory drink for a wonderful evening. For over 200 years, Perrier-Jouët has crafted nature into art, selecting Chardonnay as the signature House style and elevating it from a little-used grape variety to the cornerstone of world-renowned Champagnes. The NV champagne was an easy drink, not much bouquet, and light on the taste profile.
2/ Ceviche –
Rías Baixas is a blend of indigenous varieties like Albariño, Loureiro and Caíño planted in the valley of O Rosal, near the mouth of the River Miño. It was a white wine of great complexity where the fusion of flavours of apricot, ripe melon, citrus orange peel and orange blossom were based on subtle mineral notes and hints of mint and eucalyptus. It was dense and acidic, and paired well with the ceviche.
3/ Foie Gras –
2017 whites, both dry and sweet are excellent quality in a bizarre year. Sauternes is particularly noteworthy with the top names making superlative wines that have plenty of richness and structure for aging, but also deliver wonderful intensity and freshness making for superb drinkability now in 2021. The first of three sweet wines for the evening, it was a bit overwhelming with the rich and fatty foie gras.
4/ Fish –
Spanning the Loire River as it flows out to the Atlantic Ocean, the region has diverse soils and climates, meaning Chenin Blanc comes in all different styles. This refreshing, apple-scented Chenin Blanc will make a great aperitif or partner to goats cheese and salads. With fish, I found that it was a bit too sweet. Beautiful flavours, plum and nuts on palate. Good wine, but some bitterness aftertaste.
5/ Shellfish –
From shallow, warm clay loam soils near Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, lots of punchy citrus, orchard fruits, ripe fruit sweetness, a touch of waxy lemon character. A little nutty infill from the oak and good, lightly salty acidity balances nicely. It paired nicely with the spice-laden lobsters, and had the sharp, clean taste of a Hawke’s Bay dry white.
6/ Beef – Kalavinka
This is a collaboration from the vineyards in Yunnan and JG. Legacy Peak is an award-winning winery, founded in 1997 by owner Liu Hai, based in Ningxia region which is proclaimed as the Bordeaux of China. The vines of Legacy Peak vineyards, which produced highly concentrated fruit, so you get a rich, full-bodied wines. The wine was just the nouveau riche of China, brash and uncouth. Hit you on the head with conflicting signals, not exactly a good drink.
7/ Dessert –
Pale straw-yellow with greenish reflections. With intense aromatic and fruity, hints of clary, peach, grapefruit and meringue. On the palate of clean, light and delicate, backed by an excellent, refreshing acidity. I am not a fan of sweet, dessert wines like a Moscato. This one has very pronounced peach and nut overtones. One sip and I had enough.
The wine choices were safe and simple, red for red meat, white for white meat and seafood. Generally adapted to the Chinese palate, most of the wine are mellow and rounded in profile. The sommelier leaned towards more fruity and sweeter choices, which were preferred by new wine drinkers because they are easier to drink. But generally, I was bored by the choices, which did not demonstrate range or variety in taste.
I prefer this seasonal menu over the signature degustation menu. This menu showed the creativity of the culinary team and the breadth they had. The signature menu seemed tired and aged, put there just to allow the restaurant to get the Michelin star.
4F, Three On The Bund,
No. 3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road
Shanghai, 200002 China
+ 86 21 6321 7733
Date Visited : Jul 2021
Michelin Shanghai Guide 1 Star 2018-2021