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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Unleashing a Fusion of French and Chinese Cuisine: Savory Delights in Every Bite

LifestyleFoodUnleashing a Fusion of French and Chinese Cuisine: Savory Delights in Every Bite

Located in The PuLi Hotel and Spa in Shanghai, Phenix is a French restaurant that has been awarded one Michelin star for seven consecutive years. One of the signature dishes of the restaurant is Le Pigeon, which is highly praised by customers and recommended by the executive chef, Ugo Rinaldo.

As the name suggests, Le Pigeon is a dish that features pigeon as the main ingredient, along with foie gras, salsify, and shiso. According to Rinaldo, the use of pigeon from Guangdong province adds a unique touch to the dish, blending traditional French and Chinese recipes together.

“The pigeon is a local product cooked in a French style that is used for foie gras. Then we have a Chinese sweet plum sauce, very similar to a French sweet plum. There is really a cohesion between what people will expect in a French restaurant but putting in local ingredients,” says Rinaldo.

Rinaldo, who joined the restaurant in 2021, is no stranger to the culinary world. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Rinaldo has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in France, Italy, and China. His expertise has contributed greatly to the success of Phenix and its menu.

In addition to Le Pigeon, Phenix also offers a wide range of French dishes with a local twist. One of the highlights is the lobster dish, which features a sauce made with fermented tofu and a side of crispy rice. The fermented tofu is a traditional Chinese ingredient that adds a unique flavor to the dish.

Apart from the food, Phenix also boasts an elegant atmosphere and top-notch service. The restaurant is situated in a beautifully designed space with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a stunning view of the city. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable, ensuring that customers have a memorable dining experience.

 Phenix is a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in French cuisine with a Chinese twist. From the signature Le Pigeon dish to the lobster with fermented tofu sauce, the menu is full of surprises that will delight the taste buds. With its Michelin-starred reputation and excellent service, Phenix is a top choice for fine dining in Shanghai.

Top of Form

Rinaldo’s restaurant, which was founded in 2016, is committed to using only the finest, freshest, and high-quality ingredients. According to the chef, this is not only the restaurant’s top mission but also the foundation of Rinaldo’s cuisine philosophy.

Last year presented numerous challenges for the restaurant, but Rinaldo is grateful for the support of their loyal customers. However, the chef also anticipates changes in the future. One significant trend that Rinaldo has observed in Shanghai is the evolution of Michelin-starred restaurants. The city has a unique blend of European and mixed concepts that has influenced its culinary landscape.

The restaurant industry in Shanghai is highly competitive, and to succeed, a restaurant must be innovative and able to adapt to changing trends. Rinaldo’s restaurant has thrived due to its unwavering commitment to quality, and its cuisine has been well received by the local community.

Rinaldo’s philosophy centers on the concept that food should be prepared and presented in its purest form. As such, the restaurant has a menu that is simple yet elegant, with a focus on the quality of ingredients. Each dish is designed to enhance the flavors of the ingredients, and the chefs use a range of cooking techniques to ensure that the dishes are both visually appealing and delicious.

In addition to the quality of the food, the restaurant has an impressive wine list that features a range of international and local wines. The wines are carefully selected to complement the dishes on the menu, and the restaurant has an experienced sommelier who can help diners make the best wine choices.

The restaurant’s commitment to quality extends beyond the kitchen to the entire dining experience. The restaurant’s decor is elegant, with a minimalist design that is both modern and welcoming. The dining room is spacious, with plenty of natural light, and the staff are attentive and knowledgeable, ensuring that diners have an enjoyable experience.

Rinaldo believes that the restaurant industry will continue to evolve, and that the key to success is to be open to change and to be innovative. The chef believes that the trend towards using high-quality, fresh ingredients will continue, and that there will be an increasing demand for restaurants that provide a memorable dining experience.

Rinaldo’s restaurant has already established itself as a leader in the Shanghai culinary scene, and the chef is confident that it will continue to thrive. The restaurant’s unwavering commitment to quality, combined with its elegant decor and attentive service, ensures that diners have an enjoyable experience every time they visit.

Rinaldo’s restaurant has built a reputation for excellence in Shanghai’s competitive restaurant industry. The chef’s commitment to quality ingredients and simple yet elegant cuisine has won over the hearts of the local community. The restaurant has continued to adapt to changing trends and is poised to remain a leader in the industry.

French-born chef Rinaldo has had an illustrious career spanning over two decades, working at several prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Monaco before relocating to China. He has been the executive chef at The PuLi Hotel and Spa in Shanghai since 2016 and has focused on incorporating the best of French cuisine with local ingredients to offer his guests a unique culinary experience.

For Rinaldo, the use of fine, fresh, and good quality ingredients is not only the top mission of his restaurant, but it is also the foundation of his cuisine philosophy. His experience in France and Monaco gave him the chance to learn from some of the best restaurants and discover the richness of French gastronomy being executed at the highest level. This vast array of experience has helped him significantly in his career overseas, where he has been able to integrate French dishes into local Chinese culture by exploring food and culture with his local team.

Rinaldo believes that any chef that is passionate and working out of their own country should always be interested in local culture. Consequently, he and his team always go to the market to see the products in season, try Chinese restaurants, and understand what people like and how Chinese chefs are developing those products. They import specialty ingredients such as blue lobster from France and Australian beef, but around 70 percent of the ingredients used in the restaurant are from local sources.

For Rinaldo, building the menu is all about choosing the best ingredients, whether local or imported, and creating a balance. While he acknowledges the importance of using local ingredients, he believes that using 100 percent local products for a Western restaurant is risky and not fair to some guests. Rinaldo says, “At least when people come to a French restaurant, they can have an experience like they are in France.”

The restaurant’s menu does seasonal changes, but it also retains a part of its signature dishes. According to Rinaldo, Shanghai’s food and beverage industry was already a booming market three years ago, with many restaurants opening or had planned to open. Even during the pandemic, the restaurant has received support from customers, and Rinaldo believes that people are now back, and their restaurant is full every day. While Rinaldo appreciates the support from customers and the challenges he has faced over the last year, he also sees changes ahead. He believes that the trend of Michelin-starred restaurants has changed over the years in Shanghai, and the city has a European way with a mix of concepts. His focus remains on creating a unique culinary experience by using the best of French cuisine and local ingredients, and he believes that chefs should always be interested in local culture to create a memorable dining experience.

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