A Mediterranean Inspired Summer Menu at The Kitchen Table

By Sophie Steiner, July 31, 2023

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With abundant greenery and opulent sunshine streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows, The Kitchen Table at W Shanghai – The Bund feels like dining in a summer getaway town on the Mediterranean coast. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The upgraded lunch and dinner menus fit just that vibe, with a variety of Western eats and plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options on offer, most of which take inspiration from the southern coasts of Spain and Italy.

The Kitchen Table also boasts a Josper grill section, paving the way for charcoal roasted steaks and seafood.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The lunch menu is broken up into appetizers and mains, with optional sets available every Monday through Friday from 12-2.30pm.

RMB328 will get you an appetizer, main and a selection of desserts from their sweets display that spans cakes, tarts, cookies and ice cream of all kinds. 

Two courses “any way you like it” are available for RMB268, or an appetizer plus a signature from the Josper goes for RMB450.

For the sugar addicts, an all-access pass just to the desserts display will set you back RMB128. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

On the appetizer front, the Mediterranean Vegetable Soup (RMB160) is Chef Charles Chen’s take on a traditional Italian minestrone.

A succotash of diced carrots, onions, zucchini, squash, and chickpeas swim in a robust tomato broth, further enhanced by springy barley, kidney beans, and elbow macaroni.

A parmesan and herb tuille caps the top, lending both salt, fat, and crunch – three essentials for feeling satiated and satisfied.

This soup can also be enjoyed on the dinner menu.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Skipping ahead to the meats, the Argentinian Tenderloin Escalopes (RMB250) pairs two medallions of medium-cooked beef with equally meaty porcinis, anchored to the plate by a shmear of cauliflower purée and earthy truffle beef jus.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A plated rendition of a classic Spanish stew, the Tomato Butter Stewed Seafood (RMB220) sees a tidal wave of shrimp, mussels, scallops, clams and baby octopus sautéed in delicately seasoned semi-dried tomato broth, one that allows the crustaceans’ natural sweetness to shine.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A tangy-meets-savory black garlic balsamic mayo, coupled with ribbons of cucumber slathered in a zippy yogurt dressing, together act as the ideal counterpoint to the Bone-in Cheese Crumbled Chicken Breast (RMB180).

Crusted in a coating of parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, the tenderized chicken quarter is crispy on the outside yet remains succulent on the inside.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The summer dinner menu sees just as many seasonal upgrades as lunchtime, with starters like Norwegian Gravlax Salmon (RMB288) that’s been cured overnight two ways – the first two slices with brown sugar, the second with fresh dill and parsley.

Crowned with Perseus caviar, a dollop of horseradish sour cream and crispy shallots, the salmon slabs are best enjoyed nestled inside one of the homemade mini pita pockets.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A 125-gram globule of Fresh Burrata (RMB198) is encircled by a moat of basil-oil drenched honeydew melon cubes, thyme orange segments, sundried tomatoes, and a dehydrated paprika-sprinkled bean curd skin – hitting all the flavor cues in one moreish mouthful, from sweet to savory, tart to herbaceous bitterness.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A cross between an appetizer and a dessert, the Cherry Tomato Tart (RMB165) is composed of a crumbly, slightly salted pastry crust filled with four different kinds of orange juice-marinated cherry tomatoes.

Orange segments and fresh fig slivers are enveloped in a whipped zero-fat coconut cream, a dribble of maple syrup tempering the fruit’s acidity.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Utter indulgence is a spoonful of the cream-laden Cauliflower Soup (RMB198), adorned with sea urchin, shredded king crab leg meat, and goose liver foam – each adding undulating layers of umami richness.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Onto the sweets – of which we gluttonously sampled three.

Open the appetite with a trio of premium Italian gelato-stuffed profiteroles served atop a glass candy tray as the Candy Profiterole Ice Cream Sandwich (RMB90).

Like a dismantled box of Neapolitan ice cream, the correspondingly flavored home-baked profiteroles encase Valrhona 58% dark chocolate mint gelato, strawberry gelato and tart lemon gelato, respectively. 

Our only gripe comes with the bite – one that causes an unavoidable ice cream avalanche as the profiterole's flimsy, puffed exterior is no match for the dense gelato – making them wholly unshareable.

So while there are three to choose from, you really have to pick your poison.

(Our suggestion death by chocolate. Forever and always.)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

An antonym to the weight loss trend, Sam’s “Weight Watcher” Tiramisu (RMB198) is thusly named as it’s presented atop a kitchen scale, one portion clocking in at a behemoth 400 grams.

That aforementioned weight is composed of an espresso- and coffee liqueur-soaked sponge cake mounted by a triumvirate of mascarpone in velvety strata – coffee cream, cocoa cream, and original mascarpone cream – dusted with cocoa powder.

Lemon Tart (RMB120), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Summer Parfait (RMB160) sees a laser-cut coconut piped full of vanilla bean-studded mascarpone and egg whipped cream, finished with a splash of Grand Marnier and lime.

Alternating spheres of cantaloupe and honeydew melon pleat the top in contrasting pastels.

That's Shanghai Readers Exclusive Deal

An exclusive deal for all That's Shanghai readers, The Kitchen Table is offering a complimentary glass of house wine for all those who purchase a lunch set through August 31  simply show this article to your server, and your wine is on the house. 

As a quick reminder, lunch sets are available every Monday through Friday from 12-2.30pm. An appetizer, main and selection of desserts (plus that glass of house wine for That's Shanghai readers) is just RMB328. 

Two courses “any way you like it” (plus that glass of house wine for That's Shanghai readers) are available for RMB268, and any appetizer plus signature item with the same wine deal is RMB450.

The Kitchen Table, 4/F, W Shanghai - The Bund, 66 Lvshun Lu, by Dongchangzhi Lu 上海外滩W酒店4楼, 旅顺路66号, 近东长治路.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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