Mercato, the Italian eatery founded by Jean Georges and Three on the Bund (外滩三号), is one of the best Italian restaurant in Shanghai. It is also one of my favorite restaurant in Shanghai, i am always impressive with their food as well as the ambiance. Now Mercato opens in Hangzhou, name Mercato Piccolo. Mercato Piccolo housed in the most valued shopping mall in Hangzhou, Hangzhou Tower (杭州大厦).
Mercato是米其林主厨Jean Georges和外滩三号合作的意大利餐厅，是上海最好的意大利餐厅之一，也是我个人非常喜欢的餐厅。最近杭州分店Mercato Piccolo也开业了，地处杭州的地标购物城—杭州大厦。
Visited: June.3rd.2015 (Lunch) 造访日: 2015年6月3日午餐
Address: 1F, Tower D, Hangzhou Tower, Hangzhou 杭州大厦D座1楼
Hours: 11:00-15:00, 17:00-22:00
Similar to the Shanghai restaurant, the decor of Mercato Piccolo is simply vintage. The restaurant is much smaller than the one in Shanghai, which can fit 50 diners at a time.
That day was the third day of opening, the entire restaurant was fully occupied. Luckily we made a reservation in advance, and got a table by window. However, we felt that the service was not qualified once we stepped into the restaurant.
The menu at Mercato Piccolo features most of the signature dishes at Mercato Shanghai, such as the Warm Seafood Salad, pizzas, pastas. Most of the dishes priced at CNY 88-128.
No matter at Mercato or Mercato Piccolo, you should try their wood-oven pizzas. The pizza was freshly in-house made and baked freshly, which is quite rare in Hangzhou.
无论是在Mercato还是Mercato Piccolo， 招牌的pizza是不可错过的一道菜。pizza的饼底都是自家制的，用的也是城中罕见的木炭烤。
My friends never been to Mercato before, so besides the signature dishes i have had before, we also picked some dishes depends on the featured pictures on menu. The Italian Chicories Salad was a very healthy green starter, the addition of orange and dressings were quite refreshing. But the overall flavor was nothing special.
The dish i enjoyed a lot at Mercato Shanghai, Warm Seafood Salad is also available on the menu. The presentation and the ingredients is almost the same as Mercato’s. The seafood was processed well, the octopus and prawns were quite tender, the clams were fresh as well. While the portion is smaller than Mercato Shanghai, and the quality of the seafood was not that premium. I don’t mind come back for this as long as its delicious.
Porcini crusted salmon is the featured siganture main course, i have tried this in Mercato Shanghai and was quite impressive with it. I felt a bit disappointing when it came to table, as the fat part hasn’t been processed very well, as you can see from the picture. I expected it is melt-in-mouth in tenderness and quite juicy, but it was actually over-cooked. The porcini crust was too salty.
We expected the pizza the most and hopefully, it was quite impressive. The black truffle pizza came with a very lovely truffle fragrance, the crust was thin and crunchy. The combination with three cheese and poached egg was so indulgent, see the runny egg yolk? The pizza was cheesy and flavorful. A must try.
We also tried the recommended rigatoni with braised meatballs. The entire dish was very flavorful, the meatballs were made in house, very tender and delicious. While the pasta itself was too soft for my liking, it would be perfect if it is al dante.
The food at Mercato Piccolo is not really impressive compare to Mercato Shanghai, except the pizza is above average. But in Hangzhou, it is probably my favorite western restaurant so far. The food quality should be the highest at opening, but that’s not the case at Mercato Piccolo. Especially the service, which has large room for improvement. I don’t mind to revisit Mercato Piccolo if i am lazy to travel to Shanghai.
Ratings:( 0-5 Rating Scale)