When you have a 30-year career putting together more than 300 menus and working in over a dozen Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe and Asia, you deserve free reign to do whatever you like at your own place. That’s what French chef Jérôme Tauvron is doing at Blanche, a new fine-dining restaurant on Wukang Road.
Blanche is part of the new Bamboo Retreat hotel, a beautifully restored shikumen-style mansion where Chinese scholar Wang Yuanhua used to live, and takes its name from carte blanche, the French term for blanket authorization. For Tauvron, this means fine-tuning his French-Japanese cooking style – first started in 2012 at L’étranger in London and most recently Silex here in Minhang – into a kaiseki-like experience full of delicate yet intensely flavored dishes.
His beef tartare with caviar, for example, is composed like a zen rock garden, tastes meaty and full of texture. A single oyster, warmed by watercress and tofu foam, is so juicy like it was just plucked from the sea. The black cod, a Tauvron signature since his days at L’étranger, is the most memorable of the meal – sweet and tender with a satisfying char. The chocolate praline weaves the nostalgia of a Kit Kat with sensual, decadent flavors.
Dinner here is centered around two tasting menus: either six courses for ¥688 or seven dishes for ¥1,188. Throw in a bottle of wine – a diverse list spanning biodynamic producers, Japanese sakes, and a 1943 Chateau Latour – and you’re facing a bill of at least ¥1,500 for two. It’s expensive but strangely appropriate, especially if you’re handed a blank check.
100 Wukang Road / 武康路100弄