Hours: Tue-Sat 6pm-12am
Price: 1088/10 courses, 1388RMB/14 courses
Visited: Feb 2017
Please note that this was an arranged tasting.
I’ve written about Stefan Stiller’s Tai’an Table last April when this hidden restaurant first opened (click here to read), and it wasn’t long before it was awarded a Michelin star. To everyone’s surprise, however, Tai’an Table got shut down the very next day due to license issues, officially making it the shortest-lived Michelin restaurant in history. Talk about being dramatic.
去年四月泰安門剛開時，我曾寫過這家地址和電話都不公開的隱藏餐廳（沒看過這篇的人可以點擊這裏閱讀）。由德國名廚 Stefan Stiller 親自把關的創意料理在開業不久後獲得了米其林一星，整個團隊開心地喝香槟慶祝，卻沒想到得獎第二天就因爲證照不全而被迫停業，成爲史上壽命最短的米其林餐廳。
But the incident turned out to be positive after all, as Tai’an Table got unprecedented media attention from both in and outside of China, including majors ones like the BBC. They quickly got reorganized and opened Tai’an Table 2.0 last December, at a new location near the intersection of Zhenning Lu and Xinzha Lu. Let’s take a look.
不過塞翁失馬焉知非福，泰安門因此上了不少國內外的大小媒體（包括英國 BBC），反倒打響了餐廳的名氣。去年 12 月他們整裝重啓，將泰安門 2.0 開在了鎮寧路新閘路口附近的巷弄裏。
Keeping the design from version 1, Tai’an Table 2.0 is an open kitchen surrounded by 22 bar seats, with two tables of four on the side.
沿襲一店的設計，這裏有環繞著開放式廚房的 22 個座位以及兩個 4 人卡座，坐滿也只有30個位子，走的是精致路線。
On the second floor, there is a bar in collaboration with Leroy Champagne – a nice place to have an aperitif while taking a sneak peek at the kitchen below through the slender windows.
二樓還有個和 Leroy 香槟合作的酒吧，可以餐前來這裏喝一杯，也可以透過窗戶看到樓下廚房的動靜。
Tai’an Table offers a no-choice menu changing on a five-week basis. The 10-course option goes for 1088 RMB, and the 14-course is 1388 RMB. What I had this evening was Menu #6, which, compared to #1 from last April, presented even bolder and more captivating flavors. Below is chef Stefan Stiller and chef Jeno Racz preparing our dinner…
泰安門僅提供一套每 5 周更換的套餐，可以選擇 10 道 1088 元或者 14 道 1388 元。我這次吃到的是他們自開業以來第 6 個菜單，和去年四月嘗的 1 號菜單相比更大膽更精彩了。下圖是 Stefan Stiller 以及他手下的主廚 Jeno Racz，我們來看看當晚他們呈現了什麽樣的有趣料理…
Course #1: welcome snacks and nibbles. The cube of beef tongue was especially memorable with its melting texture, and the olive-lookalike that’s in fact grape and olive oil was quite fun as well.
Course #2: “Le Puy” lentil salad, dry beef cheek, champignon. At the bottom is Le Puy lentil from France, topped with thinly sliced mushrooms, dry beef cheek, and wasabi mayonnaise. Lovely layers.
第二道：連弩豆色拉、風幹牛臉、蘑菇。最底下是法國的 Le Puy 連弩豆、疊上蘑菇薄片、撒上風幹的牛臉肉碎、再點綴上山葵蛋黃醬。層次豐富，融合得也巧妙。
Course #3: tuna otoro, Kaluga queen caviar, chilled dashi. This dish is decidedly Japanese in both its looks and flavors, like…a fish swimming in a pond (except it’s been sliced and slightly torched, oops) under cute round leaves.
Course #4: Carabinero carpaccio, lime, grapefruit, crispy head. Loved the sweetness from the Carabinero shrimp in combination with lime and grapefruit, but the shrimp head was a bit disappointing – I don’t think it was intended to be eaten whole as it was not so crispy, but then there was not much to dig from.
Course #5: foie gras “cake”, truffle, apple & kumquat chutney. The richness from the foie gras + truffle combination is nicely balanced by the apple kumquat chutney and pickled radishes on the side, a pleasant if not surprisingly dish.
Course #6: charred sardine, sauce vierge, basil, yuzu gel. Sardine isn’t the most luxurious fish we know, but it was prepared exquisitely in this case, a most charming surprise.
Course #7: burnt onion, kohlrabi, chives, shimeji. A vegetarian dish full of umami, with house-pressed chive oil and an exciting acidity from pickled shimeji. One of my favorites for this evening.
Course #8: turbot fillet “bouillabaise”. This soup was almost too acidic for me – and I usually love acidic flavors. I did enjoy the tender turbot and scallops as well as each meticulously-prepared vegetable, their soothing flavors somewhat offsetting the intensity of the soup.
Course #9: bone marrow, oyster cream, herb salad. I remembered this dish from menu #1, the richness of the bone marrow and oyster cream and the freshness of the herb salad making a delectable combination.
第九道：牛骨髓、新鮮生蚝醬、香草色拉。這道菜在泰安門第 1 個套餐中也有，不過香草的量似乎增加了，適當地緩解了牛骨髓的油膩。
Course #10: cucumber sorbet, Hendrick’s Gin, herb snow. A refreshing palate cleanser.
第十道：黃瓜冰霜、亨德利金酒、香草雪花。清爽的 palate cleanser。
Course #11: slow cooked beef short rib, mustard seeds, cashew nuts, lettuce. The beef short rib was first brined for a week then slow-cooked for 3 days, resulting in an incredibly soft and flavorful slab of meat. The accompanying mustard seeds have been cooked 7 times to remove its pungency and keep only the desired flavor and texture – indeed a dish that takes much time and effort. Lettuce with cashews on the side was also wow.
Course #12: pigeon breast, black quinoa, artichoke cream. I quite liked the pigeon and the sauce made from its innards, though personally not a fan of the artichoke cream with black quinoa on the side – I enjoyed the meat with blackberries and beetroot cream instead.
Course #13: strawberry & pear, vodka, black pepper, thyme. Not so memorable.
第十三道：草莓 & 香梨、伏特加、黑胡椒、百裏香。清爽，不過似乎缺了味道上的層次，有點太過平淡。
Course #14: chocolate, smoked sea salt. This dessert is chocolate in all its forms – as a mousse, as a sorbet, as a jelly; in its original flavor, with smoked sea salt, and paired with caramelized banana. It’s a gorgeous plate in terms of both the presentation and flavors, though I basically had 0 room in my stomach by this point and as this plate was quite rich, it was eventually left unfinished.
第十四道：巧克力、煙熏海鹽。這道甜點展現了巧克力的各種形式，有慕斯、有冰霜、有凍糕；有原味、有煙熏海鹽、有與焦糖香蕉的搭配。美麗豐富的一盤，不過因爲比較甜而且到了這個點胃空間已經是 0 的關系，最後沒有吃完。
Farewell sweets: guimauve, pâte de fruits, canelé.
The service at Tai’an Table was smooth throughout the evening, the chefs and the waitstaff gliding in and out like dancing a waltz. A full meal here takes about 4 hours, and as long as you are not in a hurry to go somewhere else, this would be a very worthwhile experience. I heard that they are changing menu in 2 weeks, so the question is…would you want to come take a look at #6 before it makes exit, or be the first to taste #7 when it comes out? Hmm, tough decision.
泰安門整晚的上菜速度都非常順暢，廚師們和服務人員在場內滑進滑出，像首華爾茲。14 道菜吃下來差不多要花 4 個小時，只要你不趕時間，這會是一長值得享受的精彩體驗。聽說再過兩周泰安門要換菜單了，你想要在＃6 完美謝幕前去嘗一下，還是等＃7 出爐後搶先去試試呢？嗯哼，好難決定。
泰安門 Tai’an Table