What a view! This is what everyone said when coming to dine at Mercato by Jean Georges. Of course the food was great as well.
Located on the 6th Floor of Three on the Bund, Mercato by Jean-Georges is the first of its kind offering quality yet casual dining experience along the posh Bund area. It went on to open in Hong Kong (since closed) and Guangzhou, but the menu was not new – it was a tried-and-tested menu that Vongerichten had designed for many overseas locations like the Paris Cafe in TWA Hotel, LA.
The place was bustling with activities when we came for dinner. The crowd was mix of locals and tourists. The service was prompt, and we managed a window view (I asked for it in my booking).
Each table in the spacious 180 seat main dining room boasts stunning views of the Bund and Shanghai skyline. The open and airy space allows guests to become immersed in the experience as the aromas, flavours and textures of the sensual cuisine merge with the soulful music, and soft luminous lighting.
The seasonally inspired menu reflects Jean-Georges’ signature flair and talent for balancing flavours and textures.
The meal started with daily breads from the wood fire oven in the restaurant. Tonight was a lovely onion bread with some sourdough with EVOL. Asked for butter but it never came. Also a little warm snack – deep fried arancini rice ball stuffed with cheese. Creamy and crusty, delicious.
Diver Scallop Carpaccio, Japanese Grapes, Chilli and Lime
Carpaccio, ceviche, poke – what’s the difference? The dressing. Carpaccio is simply dressed with olive oil and salt, poke with soy sauce, and ceviche with lime and oil. Lovely scallop ceviche served on a bed of ice. I could not taste any heat from the chilli, but a side condiment of chilli and vinegar was provided if one find this dish a bit bland.
Wood Oven Roasted Whole Tiger Prawn with Tomato, Garlic and Parsley
This was a Chef’s Special, and I didn’t know why I ordered it as my experience of roasted tiger prawns in a Western restaurant have been so-so at best. The prawns were overcooked, like how they liked it for all their seafood. Perhaps they were not as used to seafood cooked a la minute like we do.
Black Truffle, Three Cheese and Farm Egg
All of Mercato’s pizzas start with a special dough, made daily in-house with the finest Italian flour and are roasted in an Italian wood burning oven which imparts a beautiful crackling texture and satisfying char.
This pizza was their classic that has been featured in JG’s restaurant around the world. It was favourite among the diners and had been voted the best pizza in Shanghai. The truffle used was from Yunnan so it did not have a pronounced truffle taste. But the cheeses used (parmegianno, burrata, mozzarella) were superb and the finishing touch of an egg was sublime.
Roasted M7 Beef Striploin, Caramelised Sunchokes Shallots, Salsa Verde and Lime
Perfectly roasted to medium rare, the Australian M7 beef striploin was moist and tender. It came with roasted potato and a sauce similar to patatas brava. But the best thing on the plate was the caramelised shallots. Shallots, like onions, became sweet when the water molecules in the tubers broke down.
As a casual dining brand by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mercato did not disappoint. Housed in the same building as the namesake two-starred restaurant, Mercato also got the Michelin Recommend (previously known as Michelin Plate) accolade.
I liked the food here but it was not outstanding that I would come again specially for it. But I would bring any foreign guests that are in town for a visit for the view.
Mercato by Jean Georges
6/F, Three on the Bund, No.3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai.
Tel : +86 21 6321 9922
Date visited : Jan 2022
Michelin Guide Shanghai Edition Plates 2020-21
Wishing all my friends in Shanghai a safe and uneventful quarantine.