2 New Lunch Menus: 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana & Highline

By Sophie Steiner, September 22, 2023

0 0

8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana 

An extension of the three Michelin Star venue (of the same name) in Hong Kong, Chef Bombana, Executive Chef Gabriele Delgrossi, and – joining the team this past summer – Chef De Cuisine Nicoló Rotella (previously of New Wave by Da Vittorio) have together recreated the same lux, fine dining affair on the north Bund at two Michelin Star venue 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, the That’s Shanghai 2022 Food & Drink Awards Restaurant of the Year. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Like all meals at Bombana, the newly launched and seasonally updated 4-Course Lunch Set (RMB888) begins with freshly baked bread, sliced tableside and still steaming – filling the room with its yeasty perfume. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Presented with your choice of olive oil, select from an aromatic Sicilian blend to a delicately herbaceous Puglian alternative with a slightly bitter, earthy finish.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The long-standing signature amuse bouche of fresh mozzarella still remains, siphoned into demurely acidic tomato water and sprinkled with dried tomato powder, whetting the appetite for what’s to come.

If the team ever decided to change it, immediate riots in the streets would undoubtedly ensue (with us at the helm)  it’s that perfect. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Breathing new life into a commonplace dish of tuna tartare, the Tonno centers on cubes of bluefin tuna – a notoriously unctuous cut.

It is juxtaposed against a subtly sweet organic pumpkin juice, enhanced by a touch of yuzu, and the nuanced salinity of glistening pearls of Oscietra caviar that salt or soy alone can’t provide. 

Dots of orange jelly release acidity, brightening the palate. 

Each mouthful ends on a different note, inviting diners in for another bite, as nothing is superfluous; each ingredient synergistically serves its purpose to create a balanced whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Made fresh daily egg pasta is stretched thin and ribbon-like as the Tagliolini  smothered in a smarmy smoked butter and Taiwanese magao lemon pepper seafood sauce.

Dusky purple baby calamari with a pleasant chew receive a final shaving of cuore di tonno, or Sardinian tuna heart – a finnicky ingredient where one extra flake can throw an entire plate out of balance.

But here, the hit of umami adds depth, standing up to the other equally bold flavors. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Using a Japanese oil basting technique, the Taiwanese-sourced Amadai – or sweet sea bream – reveals a crackly canvas of ruffled scales, standing at – and demanding – the utmost attention.

Ultimately, the plate is a game of texture, floundering between aforementioned crunchy scales and tender meat that flakes off in buttery chunks; from curiously refreshing liquified lettuce salad to popping beads of finger lime segments.

And, for the utmost contrast, a tableside dusting of Gillardeau oyster snow laced with whiskey – a prudent companion for all things lux seafood – throws the element of temperature into the mix.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Charred Uruguay M9 Denver steak from the center of the under blade, the Manzo is a leaner cut with no fat cap.

Instead, the beef is marbled with a remarkable amount of intramuscular fat, resulting in a mouth-wateringly tender and juicy piece of meat. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Dribbled in a honey and Dijon mustard grain jus, the steak is partnered with a Yunnan artichoke tartlet of sorts, with the artichoke prepared three ways: a sous vide base; fried artichoke leaves on top; and a velvety purée awaiting in the center. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A hint that fall is finally coming, the Zucca sees a dewy quenelle of pumpkin and cloves-spiced gelato perched atop a pumpkin seed crumble; typical autumn ingredients, ita goodbye kiss to summer in ice cream form.

Flanked by piped tufts of chestnut flower cream interspersed with dots of red plum gel, a crowning of tart, fresh plum slices temper the dessert’s treacly undertones. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The resident Head Pastry Chef Jacky Zhao also continues to wow us with the revamped set of Petit Fours.

Rotating based on seasonality, demand, and the whim of Jacky himself, expect a smattering of sweet endings like passion fruit madeleines on lemon sponge; mini black currant macaroons; pistachio mousse white chocolate pearls; pecan nut and coriander seed mousse perimetered by hibiscus and pear, encased in milk chocolate bonbons; and – our personal favorite – a tonka bean cream filled 70% black chocolate.

All are artfully presented in bone-white custom-made serving dishes designed to fit the petite four display. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In addition to lunch, the restaurant also offers a five-course Tradition Menu (RMB1,580) with optional wine pairings for an additional RMB1,080, an eight-course Innovation Menu (RMB2,680) with optional wine pairings for an additional RMB2,280, plus an expansive list of a la carte starters, pastas and mains. 

Thoughtful wine pairings curated by F&B Director Gian Luca Fusetto are also available for an additional RMB2,380. 

8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, 6-7/F, 169 Yuanmingyuan Lu, by Beijing Dong Lu 圆明园路169号6, 7楼, 近北京东路.


After gushing over Chef Conrad Van Den Heever’s (DentreeThe Nestpreviously of BloomAnchor & Clover Clubdebut menu at Highline last month, we found ourselves pining to go back for more, this time to scope out the lunch and brunch menu. 

READ MORE: Chef Conrad Van Den Heever's Debut Menu at Highline

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

We get how dinner mains can showcase a chef’s talent, really bringing that wow factor, but could he pull off the same feat with some eggs and bacon or everyday working lunches? 

Yes, yes he can. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Beginning with a sandwich near and dear to our hearts, there’s the self-proclaimed Best Reuben Sandwich (RMB98); given the bold statement, we had no choice but to verify for ourselves.

The bulk of the sando is some righteous 48-hour braised brisket, shredded to match the texture of the homemade sauerkraut.

And this, my friends, is the sleeper ingredient key to the optimal Reuben – a near 50/50 matchup of meat to kraut to cut through the brisket's fatty layers. 

Gooey Gruyère makes a showing, alongside a liberal lashing of mustard aioli with that ideal nip of – unexpected but very much appreciated – heat.

The sandwich itself is wholly stuffed – but not exploding nor imploding – and the rye toast holds up instead of just disintegrating under the weight of the sauce. 

So, is it Shanghai's best Reuben?

We haven't done the full legwork so can't make that call just yet. But this hero is surely giving us the necessary motivation to do so. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

There’s also a single serving portion of one of our favorite bites from the dinner menu, the Fisherman’s Coconut Bouillabaisse (RMB120).

A tidal wave of seafood – clams, mussels, prawns, baby squid and scallops – swim together in one of the most authentically flavorful Thai curry broths this city has to offer.

Fragrant aromatics like lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and galangal saturate the palate; a profile of which many a Thai auntie would approve. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Lending inspiration to pull together a list of Shanghai’s most Instagrammable salads, the Ultimate Cobb Salad (RMB168) is literally just that – grilled chicken and shrimp, an entire avocado, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, ham, crispy bacon, and green goddess dressing mixed greens, all sprinkled with feta.

It’s the entire kitchen sink and then some; a stellar way to get in your daily serving of five.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

An equally fresh alternative, the Salt Baked Baby Beetroots (RMB78) come together with velvety cashew nut purée – similar in texture to hummus but with nuttier undertones, further augmented by smoked ricotta.

Tart pickled golden and purple beetroot, plus lightly dressed arugula round out this rainbow of a plate. 

DSC07116.jpgThe Cheese Platter (RMB228), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Onto the brunchier side of things. All four of Highline’s Benedicts have been re-done, with the Truffle & Portobello Mushroom Benedict (RMB98) being the standout of the lot for that sweet umami burst of homemade porcini mushroom jam alone. 

The marriage of the warming treacly shmear, coupled with the robust earthiness of the shrooms, is genius, a base that sets the tone for the rest of the ingredients stacked atop it – namely a marinated and grilled mushroom cap, a perfectly poached egg (with that yolk porn worthy ooze), a dribble of hollandaise, and fried shimeji mushrooms for crunch. 

A wealth of juxtaposing textures and tastes to wake up even the sleepiest of taste buds. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Beetroots are the name of the season, with the Sous Vide Beetroot Salmon Gravlax (RMB98), the fish’s pudgy flesh turning a rosy purple hue.

Pleated in ribbons above a crispy grain toast, alternating piped dollops of avocado cream and fiery sambal olek mayo are finished with bursting spheres of salmon roe and crisp arugula. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A Once Upon a Hainan (RMB68) – a mocktail blended with coconut lychee cold brew, pineapple juice and orgeat – makes for the utmost refreshing companion. 

DSC06981.jpgMaple Bacon French Toast (RMB98), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Sea Salt Chocolate Chip (RMB58) – a "deconstructed ice cream sandwich” if you will  is just a fancy way of saying, "make it yourself, b*tch."

The vanilla ice cream with oat crumble is nothing to write home about. That said, after trying those warm, gooey sea salt double dark chocolate chunk cookies, we would do just about anything for them (even if it means assembling them into a haphazard melty mess ourselves). 

The dessert comes with four heavenly cookies, still warm from the oven, plus a scoop of ice cream  a pretty damn good deal for the price.

We guarantee you will leave Highline equal parts sticky and satisfied. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Bonus points if you pair it with the face-lifted Espresso Martini (RMB88). One of the best in the city that just got even better  the addition of Mr. Black coffee liqueur taking it from a 10 to a 100. 

Highline, 6/F, 282 Huaihai Zhong Lu, by Huangpi Nan Lu, 淮海中路282号6楼, 近黄陂南路.


[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

more news

Yi Long Unveils 'Secret' Madame Ching Modern Canto Menu

Modern Madame Ching meets traditional Yi Long, with Cantonese flavors as the middle ground by Chef Dali Wong

Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai October Crab Menu

Embrace the fragrance of late autumn

Bhacus Brings the Heat, Sweet & Meat with New Lunch Menu

Best enjoyed on their wrap-around terrace

Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai September Seasonal Menu

Say Hello to Early Autumn Romance

Italian Riviera Menu Launch with Guest Chef Natalino Ambra

A taste of the Italian Riviera in Shanghai

Chef Conrad Van Den Heever's Debut Menu at Highline

An eight months in the making SoCal package.

blue frog Reveal Biggest Menu Revamp in 5 Years

A modern grill institution with 21 years of history in China

A Mediterranean Inspired Summer Menu at The Kitchen Table

Escape to the Mediterranean coast with The Kitchen Table's new menu

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives