A twist on traditional French food

Updated: 2012-05-05 07:53

By Yang Yijun in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Jade on 36 has been the flagship French restaurant of Shanghai for its creative and stylish dishes for a long time. Yet, the new chef de cuisine Franck-Elie Laloum has added his own creative gems to the crown.

Laloum is from Valence in the south of France and previously worked at three Michelin three-star restaurants from 2000 - 2011. They include Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris and Maison Troisgros in Roanne, and two Michelin two-star restaurants, namely La Palme d'Or and La Villa des Lys in Cannes.

He takes pride in his newly defined "New Age French Food", in which he presents new flavors using high-quality ingredients and adds new twists to classical recipes.

"I respect the original flavor and nature of each ingredient," he says. "I also like to use fresh vegetables and spice. I extract their essences with new cooking techniques, matching and combining each flavor style to present guests with authentic French cuisine with a modern touch."

Take the l'oeuf, meaning "egg", for example. The egg is cooked at a constant temperature of 65 C, making it soft and silky. The egg is then placed in the middle of roasted pumpkin foam with button mushroom slices and Iberico ham powder. Laloum transforms the simple dish into an artwork - his version of l'oeuf looks like a sunflower.

In one of the recommended main courses, le pigeon, pigeon breast is roasted and flamed with Rhum J.M., while the legs are braised with Medjoul dates, a natural candy and turnip confit. The breast meat with the aroma of rum is roasted to perfection - soft and slightly juicy.

The dessert menu is as creative as the main. I make a "risky" choice to try the l'ananas, which is pineapple with Sichuan green peppers.

A twist on traditional French food

The peppers are wrapped with fruit juice in a small bubble, which is placed on top of the dessert. The tender pepper adds a refreshing touch to the crispy pineapple slice and the mousse below.

Adam Tihany, acclaimed among the greatest US interior architects by the New York Times, designed the restaurant on the 36th floor of Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai.

The restaurant shares the same spirit as the city - contemporary yet classic. While dining, guests can enjoy stunning city views.

It now offers business lunch packages - two courses starting from 268 yuan ($43), plus a 15 percent service charge per person, and three courses at 348 yuan. The menu changes twice a month. Dinner costs approximately 900 yuan per person.


(China Daily 05/05/2012 page12)