3 New Fall Menus: Oxalis, Senso & Blaz

By Sophie Steiner, November 5, 2021

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It’s that time of the year again when summer slips into fall, T-shirts are quickly replaced by sweaters and – all too soon – thick jackets. Still, what better excuse to tuck into cold weather comforts than our bellies being hidden for the next six months? Here’s some of the new menus we’re gearing up to hibernate with as the impending chill sets in. 

Oxalis 

Famed for Chef Jonas Noël’s creative take on bistronomy – a 1990s culinary trend whereby chefs apply fine dining backgrounds to more casual concepts – Oxalis acts as the ideal blend of approachability and elegance. And the new fall menu is no exception. 

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Appetizers begin with a luscious Chestnut Soup (RMB98), where chunks of marinated mushrooms, edamame and roasted chestnut bits are hidden underneath a celeriac foam. 

DSC02206.jpgBeans Salad (RMB108), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Indulgently savory, the Shellfish Consommé (RMB198) is flavored with notes of ginger, heart of palm and peppermint, accompanied by springy shrimp mousse balls, a lighter alternative to those commonly eaten as a Hong Kong street snack. 

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A crudo made from Langoustine (RMB288), cubed apple and cucumber is dressed with a neon red Thai style chili sauce that bring out the crustacean’s natural sweetness.

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Flaky Patagonia Toothfish (RMB338) arrives in a bright orange carrot reduction laden with soft braised carrot slices. Thinly julienned carrot also crowns the top, flecked with grapefruit and yuzu. 

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Te Mana Lamb is available on both the lunch and dinner menu. During the day time, the Lamb Rump (RMB398/3 courses, part of the Chef’s Lunch Menu) is roasted and served alongside a chickpea fritter wedge and a warming bowl of lamb shoulder and chickpea ragu. Sweet duo-colored capsicum sauce flanks the bottom. 

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Dinner sees the expertly cooked Te Mana Lamb Tenderloin (RMB298) topped with kale, toasted pine nuts and delicately sliced pear. A lashing of soy sauce brown butter jus plus a sweet pumpkin purée add contrasting yet complimentary tasting notes. 

DSC02230.jpgM5 Australian Wagyu Striploin (RMB798/400 grams, RMB1,578/800grams), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Desserts span sweet to savory and spiced to simply delicious. The Exotic Fruits (RMB398/3 courses, part of the Chef’s Lunch Menu) as a Swiss roll is layered with Valrhona Caramélia 36% and espresso, juxtaposed by tart passion fruit purée and saccharine fresh mango slivers. 

The Apple Tart (RMB398/3 courses, part of the Chef’s Lunch Menu) is a superlative rendition of this humble sweet treat with toasted almonds, mascarpone cream and a refreshing dill and green apple sorbet. 

DSC02238.jpgAOP Fourme D’Ambert, Pear and Mulled wine purée, Homemade Granola (RMB88), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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A tower of Cabosse 72% Dark Chocolate (RMB88) discs is layered with dollops of airy chocolate ganache and bitter chocolate crumble atop a base of madras curry stewed pear. A quenelle of sweet pear sorbet powdered with more madras curry is fenced in by buckwheat lace leaf tuile. 

See a listing for Oxalis

Senso

As summer slips into fall, cozy, home-style Italian bistro Senso, with its sunny veranda, becomes the place to be, from lunch to happy hour to dinner and into the digestivo-filled evening. 

Speaking of happy hour, Senso does it right, daily from 2.30-7.30pm, with RMB35 cocktails, wine, draft beer and sparkling. Bottles are just RMB168, which includes four snacks, like eggplant bruschetta, crispy cauliflower and broccoli, arancini, meatballs and swordfish fritters, among others. 

Back to the seasonals, Senso has added fall favorites to the menu to assist in prepping for impending hibernation. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Endive Salad (RMB75) is a compilation of bitter greens, radicchio and endive, balanced by balsamic marinated mushrooms, nutty aged parmesan and salty shavings of bacon, all sprinkled deftly with black truffle. Served in a blooming rose pattern, this light salad still packs all the savory necessities that make it taste like a bite of fall.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

With the chef hailing from the southern Italian region of Puglia, it’s no surprise that horse has found its way onto the menu – as a burger, as a tenderloin steak and as the Carpaccio di Cavallo (RMB95). That's a horse carpaccio with olive oil lemon dressing, black truffle, rocket and shaved parmesan.

Despite the equine’s lower fat content compared with more traditionally used beef, the delicate slices melt on the tongue, accentuated by a pop of citrus and black pepper. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As much as a Pumpkin Spiced Latte equates with an autumn morning, the Pumpkin Ravioli (RMB100) is what you’ll crave on a brisk fall night. Ricotta, rosemary and roasted pumpkin purée are enveloped in freshly made ravioli rolls, dribbled with juniper butter sauce and punchy pecorino.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Two more pastas span the oceanic Gnocchi Neri (RMB110) – made from black squid ink gnocchi coupled with calamari and shrimp in a briny caper, olive and cherry tomato spiced sauce – and Green Mood (RMB95), springy orecchiette in a subtle broccoli and anchovy sauce, sprinkled with toasted bread crumbs. 

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As for the latest mains, the Purple Ocean (RMB150) features coffee-smoked grilled swordfish drizzled with almond honey salmoriglio – an Italian condiment made of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and fresh herbs, alongside apple cider-glazed eggplant. 

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The charcoal-roasted Grilled Octopus (RMB195) rests on an eggplant and olive oil emulsion with caramelized onion and charred baby potatoes. The smoky crisp on the exterior contrasts the tender snap of the tentacle meat, paired with a luscious swipe of earthy eggplant. 

DSC01929.jpgTiramisu (RMB65), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Dessert is all about the temperature play with the Black & White Volcano (RMB75), a baked dark chocolate ice cream atop a grenadine sponge cake base hidden below a layer of warm, piped meringue. The cold and hot / crisp and creamy / fresh and rich juxtapositions make it impossible to share.

See a listing for Senso

Blaz 

Since opening nearly a year ago, Blaz has gone from busy to busier, a testament to the thoughtful menu designed by chef Chris Zhu, the curated wine list by Simon Briens and the warm, welcoming atmosphere, accented by twinkling string lights in the garden and antique wooden elements.

That warmth translates directly into the new menu for fall, another round of ingenious combinations of flavors and techniques spanning France to Italy to Japan to Hong Kong. 

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The Burrata Cheese (RMB158) is shipped in weekly from Italy, encircled by curling ribbons of in-house smoke-cured short rib, fresh fig slivers, fig leaf oil and a generous drizzle of sticky balsamic glaze. A pairing that has stood the test of time, with good reason. 

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Crossing the North Pacific from Italy back to China, the diced Tiger Prawn (RMB148) are buried beneath a jelly made from the brine of pickled chilis, affording something seemingly texture- and colorless a surprisingly bold acidity that melts on the tongue.

Crunchy chopped jelly fish, celtuce cubes and bamboo shoots stud the gelatin throughout, while dashi cream spiked with aged sherry vinegar and Tabasco lines the bowl’s bottom, resulting in a lingering spice that rolls into a refreshing tingle. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Over to Japan, the Pigeon Katsu (RMB148) is lightly battered and fried – yet still succulent and fleshy – topped with pickled gooseberries. A bite full of chopped green beans sprinkled with crisp bacon pieces, a slather of black garlic purée and a dribble of sweet pigeon bone jus katsu sauce enhance this savory dish. 

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Crispy char siu sauce-coated Octopus (RMB198) is grilled and smoky; curled tentacles ominously ring fried, globe-shaped potatoes seasoned with XO paste and rehydrated daikon pickles. 

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Chef Chris is a dessert mastermind, and the fall flavors come through yet again. For an upmarket version of the common Guangxi and Guangdong street snack, the Guava (RMB65) sees cubed fresh guava interspersed with dots of preserved plum, galangal and a cooling guava sorbet.

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But the real standout is the ying yang-like Lychee Panna Cotta (RMB65). A silky smooth base of white custard-like panna cotta topped with a tart black berry granita and – the most surprising dessert addition – an activated charcoal smoked brown butter ice cream that could convince even the most refined of palates that it is the cold embodiment of a burnt campfire marshmallow. 

See a listing for Blaz


Got an F&B company you would like to promote? Contact us by email on billyxian@thatsmags.com and by WeChat through the ID: billyjunior317 or by scanning the QR code below:

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[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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