Eldivino: Upscale Thai in Downtown Shanghai

By Sophie Steiner, November 29, 2021

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The Place 

Adding to the allure of the Donghu Lu corner, Eldivino – the second outpost of an authentic high-end Thai restaurant – had its official grand opening last month in the space that used to house Bistro Burger. Owned by Jean-Claude Terdjemane (previously at The Peninsula) and Thai chef Nui Ratchaphibun, the two aim to bring the finest flavors of Bangkok to Shanghai in an upscale lounge setting.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Nicknamed 'Dr. Wine,' Jean-Claude is also an expert in the nectar of the gods, so it’s only fitting that Eldivino also sports a walk-in wine cellar offering 88 labels from across the globe.

Image courtesy of Eldivino

There is also an extensive cocktail menu that become the focal point when the restaurant transforms into a bar each night from 10.30pm.

Thai food by day and wine bar at night make Eldivino a fine addition to the already bustling neighborhood. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Food 

While Eldivino’s first location south of Nanpu Bridge specializes in sharing platters for larger groups, the Changle Lu/Fumin Lu spot is tailored to individual portions, with lunch sets available on Friday-Sunday (RMB128 for 2 courses; RMB188 3 courses), including coffee or a soft drink (or wine for an additional RMB50).

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In the Assorted Thai Appetizer (RMB78), Chef Nui brings together a collection of Thai snacks from across the country, each showcasing a different style of cooking and preparation.

A refreshing spring roll juxtaposes against a fried prawn puff – ready to be slathered in sticky plum sauce; a peppery betel leaf encircles a shrimp paste coated mixture of peanuts, almonds and lime that contrasts the golden purse – a crunchy, fried dumpling skin made from carrots that’s filled with minced prawn and corn. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The next course, Crispy Salmon and Seared Pan-Fried Scallop (RMB168) spans East and West, with seared Japanese scallop topped with smoked Danish trout eggs atop pomelo and tamarind.

It is served alongside a basket of crispy salmon nuggets, resting on a shallot, onion and tomato salad drizzled with a sweet Thai dressing.

Like a common thread running throughout the entire meal, there is no shortage of fresh herbs – chiffonade basil, torn mint and curling coriander find their way onto every plate. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Diners across the restaurant can smell the Classic Tom Yum Goong Soup (RMB72); as it approaches the table, wisps of lemongrass and fresh seafood permeate the air.

Laden with Japanese scallops, Phuket prawns and New Zealand mussels, the springy mushrooms and soft tomatoes add an additional layer of texture to the already balanced bowl.  

Image courtesy of Eldivino

The lightly spiced Green Curry Chicken (RMB78) sees a blend of green chili, sweet basil, eggplant and capsicum, plus rich coconut milk to achieve that signature silky thickness. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Spooned over aromatic Pandan Steamed Rice it tastes, in a word, like Thailand. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Simple is the crux of chef Nui’s cooking, a motto that comes into play with the Lobster with Yellow Curry Sauce (RMB355). A live lobster is steamed to order and dribbled with a creamy yellow curry – sweet with a seasoned curry spice.

The delicate lobster flesh pulls from the claws and tail in thick chunks, enhancing its sweetness with a trio of capsicum in red, yellow and green.

DSC04133.jpgBaked Snow Fish with Spicy Herbal Sauce (RMB255), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

 Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Mix Thai Dessert (RMB58) ends with four separate nibbles, ranging in texture and temperature. A homemade coconut ice cream is sprinkled with a peanut crumble and shaved coconut meat; a steamed coconut cream corn cake topping a layer of squishy sago; an individual portion of mango sticky rice is adorned with a globe of cold mango fruit; and the platter culminates in a Thai tea flavored layered gelatin cake. 

The Vibe

WechatIMG3.jpegImage courtesy of Eldivino

The space is smattered with florals; pops of color contrast the dark-hued semi-private booth seating and gold tablecloths. Depeche Mode and Queen belt out 80s classics across the sound system, enhancing the buzzing energy that goes hand-in-hand with good food, good wine and good company. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Seating spans just over 60 people, plus an outdoor terrace and a 12-person private dining room.

Image courtesy of Eldivino

With a wide bay window opening onto the street on sunny days, Eldivino’s vibe evolves throughout the day – from sunny café-esque mornings through afternoon hangouts into lounge vibes for dinner and wine bar meets cocktail venue at night. 

Price: RMB150-RMB400

Who’s Going: Anyone in the vicinity of the Donghu Lu corner, the Xuhui lunch crowd, the Thai expat community

Good For: Thai food cravings, curry consumption, seafood and wine-focused date nights

See a listing for Eldivino. Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s]

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