It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten really excited about the restaurant scene in Shanghai. Recently, I had dinner at Taian Table and it was definitely one of the most memorable meals I’ve had here. Headed by Chef Stefan Stiller and Chef de Cuisine, Jeno Racz, Taian Table is a private dining restaurant with 20 counter seats and two small tables that can set up to 4. The location is a secret and only revealed after you’ve made a reservation. There is only one menu, which is completely based off the seasonal produce. You can choose from a 14-course (1,288 RMB) or 10-course (988 RMB) meal.
I’d definitely recommend sitting at the counter because it’s fun to be right in the middle of all the action. We started our meal with amuse bouches of mackerel with pickled pineapple relish, turbot in a pea puree with shrimp foam, and a foie gras truffle with sweet wine dressing. Next came the vegetable salad. Pickled vegetables served atop of baba ghanoush with a vanilla dressing. Probably the most intriguing bite of the trio was the tomato-shaped goat cheese. Chef freezes the goat cheese and then dips it in gazpacho, which solidifies against the cold cheese (I’m simplifying the complex process). I would also recommend the gin and tonic, which is served with Hendricks gin and freeze-dried cucumber sorbet. It’s probably the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had and so incredibly refreshing.
The scallop ceviche was one of my favorite dishes. Topped with an oyster and sea urchin, the ceviche was paired with a lime-coconut and chili dressing. I really liked how there is this rich contrast of the spiciness and citrus from the sauce and then a sweetness from the fresh seafood. It was a bite worth savoring. Our next dish was Alaskan king crab mixed with mayonnaise, chopped roses and wasabi tobiko. I was really astounded by the presentation and all the small details in every dish. The green sauce, which is brushed on the bottom, is actually wasabi cream!
The beautiful presentation continued with the 62 degree-cooked onsen egg, which was on top a bed of spinach and next to 42-month old Iberico ham. The “nest” was actually fried spring roll wrappers and was super delicious with the creamy egg. I forgot to take a photo of the following dish, but it was a celeriac and parmesan cream on top of a beet root custard with raspberries and pepper oil.