Table No. 1
Address: 1-3 Maojiayuan Lu, near Zhongshan Nan Lu / 毛家園路1-3號1樓, 近中山南路
Tel: 6080 2918
Price: [Lunch] 158 RMB+15%/person, [Dinner]300~400 RMB/person
I had an instant good feeling about Table No. 1 as soon as I stepped into The Waterhouse. It’s chic in the unusual way of broken tiles, exposed bricks, and rough edges, charming especially during the evening with elusive candle lights adorning the tables. This contemporary European restaurant is ran by Jason Atherton, one of Gordon Ramsay’s protégés, and offers some very interesting dishes with intriguing texture and flavor combination. Yes, it’s got one of those menus that have you perusing for twenty minutes before deciding what to order.
Table No.1 by Jason Atherton
Interior, spare and simple
While the dinner a la carte menu is difficult to choose from (I remember perusing it for at least twenty minutes last time since too many dishes looked tempting), the lunch menu is likable and succinct: 2 appetizers, 3 mains, and 2 desserts, at 178 RMB (+15%).
The first appetizer, a rabbit rillette, was topped with a satisfying layer of duck fat and encircled by a beautiful mix of pickled vegetables, gelée, and toasted walnuts. Though not as smooth and creamy as the usual rillette, what’s served here was very tender and the texture went nicely with the accompanying pieces of bread, themselves aromatic after being drizzled with olive oil and then grilled to perfection.
Rabbit rillette with pickled vegetables
Rabbit rillete close up
Rabbit rillette, served with crusty bread
The second appetizer, cabbage soup with pork belly and garlic, was creamy but not so rich as to fill you up before the main course. It came with a piece of rustic bread and Parmesan. Excellent.
Cabbage soup, pork belly, garlic
Served with bread and Parmesan
The first main course, sea bass with mussels, saffron, red peppers and black olives, was just ok. I actually couldn’t taste the saffron, but the carrot puree was quite an interesting addition to the dish. Overall not memorable.
Sea bass, mussels, saffron, red pepper and black olives
The roasted beef rump served with red wine sauce was very nicely flavored, excellent with the clove of roasted garlic, but was a little tough to chew even though it was cooked medium rare. What I liked most about this course was that it came with bowl of garlic fries and a house-made ketchup that was fresh and actually tasted like tomatoes.
Roasted beef rump, red wine sauce served with fries and salad
In red wine sauce
Garlic fries with house-made ketchup
The ice-cream and sorbet came out looking fabulous on a glass plate. Strawberry ice-cream, chocolate ice-cream, and a vanilla ice-cream pineapple sorbet swirl, each topped with a candied piece of fruit, and three accompanying sauces – peach, vanilla, and dark chocolate. All the flavors were delicious, though I was slightly disappointed that there was nothing as outlandish as the basil sorbet I last had here.
Ice-cream and sorbet
Strawberry, vanilla pineapple, chocolate
The second dessert was all about the orange. From the orange chip perched at the top to the zesty orange sorbet to the warm and fluffy orange cake to the dripping orange syrup, the dessert was bursting with the orange flavor. It was anything but uniform, however, since each component had its distinct texture, and together they made a beautifully orchestrated piece.
Orange syrup cake with orange sorbet
Fluffy, fluffy orange syrup cake
What an absolutely lovely meal. The waitstaff made lunch all the more pleasant by being smooth and attentive, clearing any empty plates and replacing utensils in a timely manner, and always carried a smile. Though Table No. 1 is somewhat out of the way for me, I don’t mind the travel when the experience is this good.
Glutinous & hairy? Very random writing on the floor