5 Michelin Star Chef Fréderic Anton Opens Tonight in Bund 18

By Sophie Steiner, January 17, 2024

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The Place

Exciting news for the city's gourmets – 18 by Fréderic Anton, a French gastronomic project by acclaimed five Michelin-starred Chef Fréderic Anton, opens tonight, January 18, in the space previously occupied by L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Bund 18.

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It is the acclaimed chef’s maiden voyage outside of France, where he is currently in charge of three Michelin-starred Le Pré Catelan on Paris' Bois de Boulogne, one Michelin-starred Jules Verne on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, and one Michelin-starred Jules Verne gastronomic cruise on the Seine River – the only boat to have obtained a Michelin star. 

An impressive CV, to say the least. 

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The day-to-day kitchen operations are helmed by Executive Chef Adrien Delcourt – the trusted Robin to Chef Anton's Batman – who has dutifully worked alongside Anton for over 10 years, and played an integral part in his latest two Paris openings. 

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Together, the duo will update the menu seasonally, with Anton returning to the city quarterly, thus affording him the shiniest new seat on the ever-stretching roster of A-list chefs who have franchised their restaurants into Shanghai. 

The Food 

Diners are treated to a multi-course degustation menu – six courses for lunch clocking in at RMB1,388 (with optional wine pairing for an additional RMB698) and ten courses for dinner at RMB2,888 (with optional wine pairing for an additional RMB1,298). (All prices are subject to a 10% service charge.)

There are no a la carte options.

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The lineup of dishes is a selection of timeless recipes from Fréderic Anton's kitchen, tweaked to fit seasonality and the local market, yet still sharing the same backbone as his Paris restaurants. 

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Case in point, Le Langoustine is a team favorite – an adapted rendition of one of Chef Anton’s signatures, with supple langoustine as the star of the show, a foie gras emulsion, chicken consommé, and a truffle jelly 'blanket' serving as supporting actors. 

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Steamed Black Cod is dusted with seaweed powder and black pepper, swimming in a viscous lemon butter puddle.

The delicate flesh flakes away in plush pleats with merely the softest nudge of a fork. 

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L’Oursin sees a handmade crisp tartelette – stacked with alternating stratum of caviar, lobster jelly, finger lime, and sea urchin – all piped with an airy tuft of Apulian stracciatella cheese cream.

A sprinkle of glistening caviar beads and grated lime zest lend both brightness and salinity.

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A shimmering, semi-translucent pearl – known as Le Miel – is a crystallized sugar sphere, only penetrable with a purposeful smack of the back of a spoon.

The 'glass' casing shatters to reveal an effervescent lemon foam studded with honeycomb crumble, a shmear of lip-puckering lemon curd and a cooling lick of honey ice cream, at once refreshingly tart and pleasantly sweet.

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These four plates are just a cheeky peak behind the menu’s proverbial curtain, a small sample size of the modern French gastronomy that serves as this culinary destination’s focal point.

Strip away the fine china, the all-encompassing wine list, the designer furniture, the state-of-the-art open kitchen, and the meticulous service, and the food still speaks for itself, the crux of a restaurant gastronomique

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As both the lunch and dinner set menus are suggested to be matched with the five-member sommelier team’s curated wine pairings, we were hardly taken aback to discover that the wine cellar houses an impressive 800+ wine bottle varietals.

Some 80% are from France, mainly Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne (Grand Crus, 30+ year old vintages and rare magnums abound), while 20% are internationally sourced – think Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, South Africa, and even a few China labels.

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And for pre- and post-dinner libations, there are cocktails, aperitivos, digestifs and the like served up with a twist at the six-seater bar. 

The Vibe 

If you were lucky enough to dine at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, you probably remember the onyx and crimson color scheme, a menacingly (yet elegantly) dark setup.

Well, 18 by Fréderic Anton is the antithesis to that décor – brazenly bright, with white-gloved waiters to match the white tablecloths, white walls, white tableware, white drapes, and frosted white crystal chandeliers. 

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Yet, the atmosphere is anything but sterile. Rather, it’s very much ‘contemporary European’ with minimalistic accents  mustard yellow and martini olive-hued velour barrel chairs, flower-petal frames, and displayed collectible modern art pieces  all add a necessary pop of color to focus the eye and laser in on the task at hand: paying the utmost attention to the food in front of you. 

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It’s nigh on impossible to maintain five Michelin stars without a formula, and the DNA that runs through Chef Fréderic Anton’s accoladed French establishments can be noted in the blueprint for his newest Shanghai venture.

In terms of technique, what is presented on the plate is unquestionably flawless – in execution, presentation, and quality of ingredients – with a level of service to match.

And the setting is equally transcribed; a poster-child for a luminous French gourmet eatery. 

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Yet, we wonder if (and hope that) over time, the menu will evolve to include nods to local flavors and ingredients, the likes of which we’ve been lucky enough to experience at other gastronomic French restaurants around town.

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To reserve a table (a must in the coming weeks/months), call 021 6071 8888. 

Price: RMB1,388-RMB4,000+
Who’s Going: French food aficionados, Bund addicts, the cream of Shanghai’s crop
Good For: French fine dining splurges, a taste of the City of Love in our own backyard, haute cuisine experiences

18 by Fréderic Anton, 3/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, by Nanjing Dong Lu, 中山东一路18号3楼,近南京东路.


Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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