Shanghai Restaurant Review: Mercado 505

By Cristina Ng, July 31, 2018

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The Place

Mercado 505 is a market and restaurant that focuses on high-end jamon, full blood M7 Chilean Wagyu, Iberico pork and fresh seafood. This massive new space on Wulumuqi Bei Lu is in a much more populated corner of the city than its older sibling near the Cool Docks, Mercado de Waima.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Another draw is the lovely terrace – people will consume copious amounts of sangria on it for months to come, and the same crowd will likely move into the currently empty second and third floors when it gets cold.

The Food

As this is a market-to-table concept, the menu revolves around the freshest ingredients available and changes often. You really can’t go wrong with sliced meats, cheeses or any of their canned goodies, but the real gems are their seasonal specials.

mercado-505-garlic-prawns.jpgImage by Cristina Ng/That's

Garlic prawns (RMB85) are the perfect tapas and Mercado’s version showcases the protein’s excellent firm texture, complemented by some sizzling hot garlic and chili oil.

rougie-foie-wagyu-ham-mercado-505.jpgImage by Cristina Ng/That's

Also not to be missed is a fantastic Wagyu ham and Rougie foie gras (RMB188) number. Alternating layers of creamy, fatty duck liver and toothsome beef are arranged into a mouth-watering meat version of a mille-feuille.

white-asparagus-mercado-505.jpgImage by Cristina Ng/That's

White asparagus (RMB78) season is nearly over, but Mercado 505 has figured a way to eke it out a little longer by preserving it in vacuum bags. The vegetable is fork tender, slathered in a rich parmesan sauce and topped with shavings of bright lemon zest.

mercado-505-cover-photo.jpgImage by Cristina Ng/That's

Meanwhile, the seafood paella (RMB248) is quite satisfying, thanks to just the right amount of saffron and perfectly cooked shellfish. Most importantly, the bottom of the pan is lined with soccarat AKA that crispy toasted rice layer that signifies a good paella. 

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

To finish, their cheesecake (RMB88) is served in a glass with a quenelle of raspberry sorbet and citrus foam. Unlike the heavy versions found elsewhere, the airy texture and acidity of Mercado’s makes it an ideal summer dessert.

Food Verdict: 2.5/3

The Vibe

Amidst an overwhelming fad of complicated fusion plates, the simplicity of Mercado 505’s food is a breath of fresh air. That’s not to say their straight-forward approach isn’t exciting; in fact, we were planning our next visit before we even left the table. 

Vibe Verdict: 1.5/2

Total Verdict: 4/5

Price: RMB200-300 per person
Who’s going: mainly expats, groups of friends
Good for: tapas, paella, al fresco dining

[Cover image by Cristina Ng/That's]

See a listing for Mercado 505
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