Over the past decade, Shanghai has increasingly attracted celebrity chef ventures from French chef Jean Georges and English chef Jason Atherton. Austrian-born celebrity chef, restauranteur and occasional actor, Wolfgang Puck has opened a restaurant in Xintiandi, Shanghai.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is a chic-looking restaurant, serving an affluent crowd of locals and largely expatriates. The interior is subtly glamourous with a ribbed wooden structure swoops elegantly up on the ceiling.
The dining experience was surprisingly affordable for four pax. The total damages was about SGD150. Compared to CUT by Wolfgang Puck in Singapore, the bar and grill restaurant was many times more affordable with high food quality.
Truffled potato chips drizzled with maytag blue cheese fondue, RMB50, is one of the great starters at Wolfgang Puck Bar. Crispy potato chips with aromatic, yet pungent-less cheese were indeed a great companion. Made in caves and cellars built into the side of a hill where natural molds and yeasts grow, the Maytag Blue was moist and had a dense, crumbly texture. The starters gave a three-note experience, just like perfumes, the top note was the salted potato chips, middle note was the cheesy taste and finally the base note was the spicy flavour imparted from the cheese.(Food rating: 4/5)
Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings drizzled in Chilli Garlic Sauce, RMB78, was tasty and crispy. Remarkably, they contained only one bone. It was very intriguing that our table discussed this through the meal. (Food rating: 4/5)
A starter, Grilled Spanish Octopus with Fingerling Potato Salad in Romesco Sauce, RMB110, was heavenly. Unlike the usual firm octopus we had at other restaurants, this octopus was tender and moist as if it was chicken breast meat. For the price, it was worth trying this good octopus leg. (Food rating: 4/5)
Pizza is a ubiquitous presence in the world. But having a great pizza may not be easy. How about having Pepperoni Pizza comprising Mozzarella, Red Onion and San Marzano Tomatoes, RMB99, from Wolfgang Puck for your delectation. The thin crust was crispy and fragrant. The tomato sauce was moist and delicious, which tasted different from the ones you might have bought from the supermarket. What was more surprising was that the pepperoni slices or spicy sausage was not overtly salty. A good slice of pepperoni should have salt, spice and heat in good balance. (Food rating: 4/5)
For entrees, Seafood Linguini, RMB 165, was a nice pasta dish to start with. A light, yet aromatic pasta served with Clams, Shrimps, Calamari, Garlic, White Wine and Herbs was delightful. The calamari was moist and chewy and the prawns crispy. The chef cooked the pasta in al dente style, giving the right chewy texture. As for the taste, the pasta, though subtle, has a nice seafood flavour that was unforgettable. Though the presentation was simple, it was not cooked in aglio olio style. (Food rating: 4/5)
The second entree, Homemade Rigatoni with Turkey Bolognese and Herb Ricotta, RMB105. Using tube-shaped pasta or Rigatoni, the dish was cooked with meat-based sauce and Italian whey cheese. This pasta has a richer flavour than the Seafood Linguini. Suggest trying the Seafood Linguini first, followed by the Turkey Bolognese Rigatoni. Amongst the two pasta dishes, Rigatoni was my favourite. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
Address: Unit 1, Bldg. 16, Xintiandi, 181 Taicang Lu (near Huangpi Nan Lu) 太仓路181弄新天地16号1室(近黄陂南路)
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 5/5
Ambience: A cosy, yet dim interior for people with high purchasing power. Diners can also enjoy alfresco dining while enjoying the autumn breeze.
Service: The staff were very attentive, proactive and polite, making diners feel comfortable whilst dining in the restaurant.
Recommended dishes: Grilled spanish octopus with fingerling potato salad and romesco sauce, Sweet and spicy chicken wings, Homemade Rigatoni with Turkey Bolognese.