M1NT Restaurant – Not Just a Nightclub, Also a Top Dining Experience in Shanghaiby Joanna on Jan 14, 2013 • 6:01 am No Comments
Many people think of M1NT as an exclusive nightclub in Shanghai, China. This is true. But what you might not know is that it is among the best restaurants in Shanghai. I was certainly surprised and blown away by Chef Grant Brunsden’s menu of culinary hits.
M1NT is a place I often take guests out for a “big night.” You must be on the guest list for this members only club. It’s a see and be seen sort of place. Gals and guys dressed to impress. Bottles of champagne floating about and just enough models to make it feel like a “hot scene.” But completely on the other side of the club lies the restaurant. A polished, sleek dining room with a view. The lighting is soft enough to make it feel romantic / cool and fun music plays that is loud enough (but not overpowering) to make you feel it is a bit of a party. Funnily enough, you don’t have to be on the “guest list” to gain entry to the restaurant – you just need a reservation. (and by the way, if you choose to stay on after dinner, you can just walk over to the other side and enjoy the club).
I asked the restaurant manager what he would consider the signature dishes as I wanted to see a “highlight reel” of Grant’s menu. He at once knew what I was seeking and suggested that he prepare a tasting menu of M1NT’s best dishes. We were told that as an option a sommelier was available to pair wines with the dishes, which we chose to do. When I have a chance to do this I always find it quite educational and inspiring for when I am planning dinner parties at home.
What we had next was an amazing parade of dishes from Chef Grant. He tries to use local sourcing when possible. I was stunned by the pan fried Chinese foie gras – not even realizing this could be locally sourced, and at such high quality.
We also enjoyed an amazing assortment of seafood. The first dish out was the Yellowtail Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce and Pickled Ginger which if I closed my eyes I could almost imagine I was in Tokyo. Next up was a Tuna Tartare with Avocado and Wasabi Dressing – this was in fact one of my favourite dishes of the evening and appears to be many other diner’s favourites the manager told me. The texture of the tuna and avocado combination was brilliant and mild flavour of these ingredients offset by the wasabi dressing offered just the kick it need. Another favourite was the Grilled Langoustine with Yuzu Pepper Sauce – lately I cannot seem to get enough lobster and I was delighted again by the mild, sweet flesh of the lobster being offset by the citrusy, spiciness of the yuzu pepper sauce. Finally we capped off the seafood journey with a Yellowfin Tuna Steak with Artichoke, Asparagus and Spinach and Oriental Dressing.
The “mains” (can there be mains in a feast like this?) were an Angus Tenderloin Steak with 3 Dipping Sauces and a Steamed Black Cod Marinated in Miso. The steak was gorgeously grilled to perfection.
But what really blew me away was the Black Cod – with the miso marinade, it was so juicy and tender that it literally melted in the mouth.
You would think after all this, there wouldn’t be room for dessert. But no, there is always room for dessert! We could make up our minds so we asked for a sampling of the desserts and out came a large dish with Chocolate Fondant, Green Tea and Coconut Ice Cream, Banana Cake, Tiramisu and Walnut Pannacotta. My favourites were the classic tiramisu, the rich yet silky walnut pannacotta and the chocolate cake with a molten center. Who doesn’t love a molten chocolate cake?
Again, to say I was surprised that I could enjoy such a spectacular meal in the same establishment as a night club is an understatement. And while I am not such a nightclubby sort of person, it is the restaurant that will make me a regular at M1NT.
24/F, 318 Fuzhou Lu, near Shandong Zhong Lu
Telephone: +86 21 6391 2811
Hours: 7 p.m.–late
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