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Table No 1 by Jason Atherton, Shanghai, dinner

Menu from an “early supper” (6pm-7pm) dinner at Table No 1 by Jason Atherton in Shanghai, China:

Tomato salad with radish, basil, lime and orange dressing

Slow cooked hen’s egg in veal consommé

Wagyu steak, mushroom, polenta, spinach and pepper puree, red wine jus

Ice cream and sorbets with fresh berries

Considering the quality of Atherton’s food in London, his Shanghai outpost Table No 1 really couldn’t compete.

It’s well made and well executed but somehow doesn’t quite have the same finesse, or the richness of flavours.

For example, the tomato salad, although well-presented, didn’t have the intensity of one made with sun-ripened tomatoes. There was a certain blandness to it, which in turn made it rather boring to eat. Even with the addition of the basil, it craved something else as well.

There were some good things about the menu though. The egg broke open and melted its golden lava into the broth, adding to the richness. The dessert, though resembling three nipples placed on a plate, was perfectly balanced in terms of the sweetness and sourness.

And given the lower prices for an early dinner, the equivalent of a theatre menu, it’s still very good value for money.

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Qin Xie
Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef. When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN. Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014. According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.

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