IF YOU GO
Level 4, Jing An Shangri-La Hotel. 1218, Middle Yan’an Road, Jing An Kerry Centre, West Nanjing Road, Shanghai. 021-2203-8888.
500 to 600 yuan ($82-98). Wagyu Beef Prime Rib, Crab Cakes, Oysters du jour. just what we needed to refresh the palate, along with the dollop of gaucamole.
It’s hard to do a good crab cake and harder to create a great one, and it does take a true-blue chef from the southern States to pull off a crab cake that silences even the most finicky of food critics.
And then the main attraction reappears — a huge platter of prime rib thoughtfully cut into cubes that will make enjoying it so much easier. Grilled corncobs slathered with butter leaned against the pile of meat, while a separate, equally gargantuan platter of whole baked potatoes gleamed in their foil jackets.
It is always a treat to eat Wagyu, especially when you know it comes from a source known for good practices in farming.
The beef was rich and needed a minimum of flavoring from salt and pepper. I would have liked my meat a little more pink, but I realize that many Chinese diners do not share my preference.
It does seem a shame to cook a good thick slice of Wagyu till it’s brown and firm when it can be so juicy and oozing with flavor.
No meal is complete without some liquid lubrication, and the 1515 West Chophouse & Bar lives up to its name with a really good selection of New World reds, as well as a selection of white wines, champagne, vermouth and sherry.
If in doubt, sommelier Jerry Liao is ready with recommendations.
For those who want something a little more fancy, bar manager and resident mixologist Dario Gentile will mix you some unique concoctions while you sit at the bar and muse on history and ambitions as you gaze out the window and look over the compound of the former residence of Mao Zedong in Shanghai’s famous Jing’an district. Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.