Jean Georges, Three on the Bund (外滩三号)
Jean Georges is a 3-Michelin-starred restaurant in New York by chef Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. Jean Georges Shanghai features a mix of the finest natural ingredients in uinique ways. Under Jean George’s gifted direction, Executive ChefPaul Eschbach transforms classic French dishes through the use of bold, Asian-inflected seasonings and unexpected flavor combinations.
Latest Visit: May.12th. 2015 (Lunch)
Address: 4/F, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, The Bund, near Guangdong Lu (中山东一路3号4楼 近广东路)
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm
Price: CNY 600+
Recommend? Not Really
Housed in the heritage building, 3 on the Bund, where 2 other JG's restaurants locate. Before entering the main dining room, we walked passed a very dim bar area. Quite different from the bar, the main dining room was much brighter, the light from outside the window was intensify thus made us feel the dining room was a bit dark. The decor of the restaurant is very elegant and high class. The view is no doubt stunning.
Two menus are served during lunch. The Prix Fixe Menu featured variety of dishes, diners can choose any of two dishes and a dessert from the menu (CNY 268), any additional dish costs CNY 98. If you don't feel like to pick from so many fishes, the 5-course Lunch special menu (CNY 498) is pretty good to discover the culinary at JG. We went with one Lunch Speical set and one Prix Fixe with one top up dish.
Two kinds of breads were served before starting the meal, as being told "sweet bread" and "savory bread", which sounds a bit wired and unprofissional to us.
I have been to JG Shanghai several times before and always loved the "sweet bread", which is a wholegrain bread with mixed nuts. It has a crispy outer-layer and a crunchy, fluffy center. The naturally-sweet dried cranberries made the bread pretty delicious. The butter on the side was disappointing, the wedges were hard and dry, seems like explode in the air for a long time.
The beginning of the meal was horrible. We waited 10 minutes for water, another 10 minutes for breads. The worst part was, another 40 minutes for our first appetizer!
The first course of the lunch special menu was the signature Foie Gras Brule with Slowly Roasted Strawberries. The foie gras was smooth and has a deep flavor, the straberries on the side nicely balanced the rich foie gras.
I picked another signature appetizer, tuna tartar, which is also served in JG NYC. The tuna itself was refresh, accompanied by the creamy mashed avocado and crunchy radish, the texture was lovely. The spicy twist from the radish and ginger brought a nice balance to the entire dish.
The sweet pea soup was creamy and smooth, the pea flavor and the parmesan foam works well. It was refreshing and comfort.
For me, i picked the Foie Gras and Strawberry Granola as an additional course from thePrix Fixe Menu. My previous visits to Jean Georges Shanghai were not really pleasant, while this dish is the only reason i came back for.
The foie gras itself was quite similar to the previous foie gras dish, it was rich and smooth. While the combination of the crunchy granola and toasted nuts, and sweet-sour berries was simply indulgent. The basil brought a touch of refreshness to the entire dish.
The first main course of lunch special set was steamed black cod. The cod was tender and umami, the flavor of the dish has an Asian twist because of the black bean vinaigrette. It was delicious but nothing really surprising.
The roasted black cod was another chef's recommend dish. It was wonderfully roasted, the top part was very crispy, underneath was melt-in-mouth tenderness. The almond milk with chili oil reminds me of the thai coconut milk somehow, but the entire combination was lovely.
The roasted beef tenderloin was the second main dish of Lunch Special Menu. My partner picked medium rare, but does it looks like medium? Definitely not. The beef was overcooked, it tastes a bit tough and not lean enough. The side of roasted potatoes made the entire dish quite 'cheap'.
Jean Georges is also famous for its chocolate desserts. We were quite excited about the chocolate dessert tasting, which consists of four chocolate desserts: hot chocolate, the signature chocolate fondant, chocolate millie crepes and chocolate ice cream.
The hot chocolate was not too bad, but the signature chocolate fondant was really a disaster. As you can see from the picture, it was not oozing at all. It was over-baked, and the skin was too thick and hard. The one i had in JG New York was not perfect but much much better than this one. The chocolate crepes has a strong chocolate flavor but a bit hard. The last one, chocolate ice-cream with crashed peanuts was probably the best among all.
I was craving for something more refreshing, thus i skipped the signature chocolate desserts and picked the raspberry tart. It was indeed pretty and made us mouthwatering, but, that's all about it. The tart base was really hard, it took me over 15 seconds to cut even an edge down. Nothing special about the fresh strawberries and sorbet except refreshing.
Usually petit fours was served for whole party size, so how can we divid this for two of us? Each people take a bite? We were quite disappointing about the petit fours. Usually before serving the petit fours, the server will come and ask for coffee or tea, but no one came asking for coffee or tea even until we paid the bill.
Jean Georges Shanghai has large room to improve in all aspects. The first impression, the service doesn't fit its name. The service was quite slow, we have to ask for the server, have to wait for the food. The server didn't smile and we neither feel we were welcomes. When food came to our table, 2-3 servers came and served the dishes. The whole team seems a messy, i think the company need to improve their management and service quality.
Moved on to the food, nothing really surprised us on the taste side. The quality of ingredients was above average, definitely doesn't fit its name. The menu featured most of the signature dishes served in NYC, but the quality is much lower...
For the price, the service and the quality of the food, i would rather like to go other restaurants even at a higher price. I don't want to waste time and calories for such overrated restaurant. Jean Georges, the French restaurant itself was a shame, but its sister restaurant, Marcato is one of my favorite Italian restaurant in town. The Korean BBQ restaurant opened by JG's wife is also a great place to go. Anyway, Jean Georges Shanghai is not my kind of restaurant.