[Shanghai] The Commune Social (食社) by Jason Atherton

The Commune Social is the latest creation of Chef Jason Atherton after his successes with Table No. 1 in Shanghai, 22 ships in Hong Kong, Pollen and Esquina in Singapore. The Commune Social is yet another exciting dining concept aimed to breathe life into a historical and charming neighborhood with authentic Tapas. The ‘No Reservations, No Service Charge’ restaurant provides its diners an opportunity to experience what Atherton describes as “the deformalizing of fine dining”.



Visited: July. 23.2015 (Lunch)

Address: 511 Jiangning Road (near Kangding Road), Shanghai, China

Hours: Tue-Sun 12:00-14:30, Tue-Sat 18:00-22:30, Closed Sunday evening & Monday all day


The interior of The Commune Social was design by the award winning firm, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office of Shanghai. The restaurant is divided into three distinctive areas: Tapas Bar, Dessert Bar, and Cocktail Bar. The design approach emphasizes raw materials to accentuate the “freshness” of visual encounter and associating to the rawness and freshness of food. DSC04094




The Tapas Bar and Kitchen is currently helmed by Chef Scott Melvin (the man in the middle), who is also the Executive Chef of Table No. 1. Scott joined Jason Atherton and the Gordon Ramsay Group in 2006 as a Senior Sous Chef with Maze Restaurant. Chef Scotts travels a lot in earlier years, thus developed a deep passion for exploring local food cultures, ingredients and culinary traditions.


The Commune Social offers lunch sets, Tatsing menu, Vegetarian menu, as well as tapas and dessert menu with a wide range of drinks. Tmenu was design for sharing but also good for solo diners. I came during lunch time and decided to have lunch set with serveral a la carte dishes from the tapas menu. Lunch set menu is reasonably prices at CNY 178 for 3 dishes to CNY 228 for 5 dishes, with a cup of lemon tea or soda included.DSC04100

Iced Lemon Tea


Slow cooked egg, avocado, tomato and squid 低温慢煮有鸡蛋配牛油果泥, 番茄和香煎小鱿鱼

The first dish was from the set lunch menu. I loved the perfecly poached egg with a beautiful runny yolk, which was creamy and umami. It paired well with the crispy squid on the side, while the tamato and mashed avocado on the bottom balanced the dish very well. It was a mouthful of creaminess and crispiness.

Sea urchin, pepper butter on Ciabatta 海胆配夏巴塔面包抹山羊芝士黄油,西班牙甜椒 (58 CNY)

No doubt my all-time favorite dish at the Commune Social. The ciabatta was toasted to crispy, topped with creamy and flavorful pepper butter and fresh sea urchin, the combination of different textures and rich, umami flavor was seriously enjoyable. A MUST-TRY!DSC04134

Tomato salad, olive crusted ricotta, smoked toamto drssing 番茄色拉配乳清芝士裹黑橄榄粉, 烟熏番茄酱 (CNY 68)

The tomato salad was a very healthy and balanced dish to the table. Used different types of tomatoes to create different flavors of sweetness and sourness, side with fresh ricotta, olive soil and herbs, the whole dish has a clean flavor and very refreshing.

Scallop ceviche, crushed avocado, corn 腌扇贝配蜂蜜牛油果酱和脆玉米粒

The scollop ceive was also from the set lunch menu. The scallop was very fresh, juicy and natually sweet, side with avocado to enhance the refreshing flavor and creamy texture. Popcorn nicely added a slight grilled flavor and makes the dish more textural.

Iced Popcorn 冰爆米花

Iced popcorn – the classical snack at The Commune Social, is complimantery for each table. The cute dish came with some dreamy white smoke (from its ice). Every single popcorn was evenly dressed with caramel, the iced cirspy texture and moderate sweetness was very lovely.

Peanut ice cream, red fruit, salted peanut caramel 花生冰淇淋,红果,咸花生牛奶糖 (CNY 58)

The signature dessert at The Commune Social was the peanut ice cream with peanut caramel. The peanut crumble was quite strong in peanut (butter) flavor, the sourness of raspberry puree brought a refreshing hint to the dish. I loved the real peanut texture, but i still found it a bit heavy for my liking.

Goat’s cheese, yogurt sorbet, honey combe, sweet walnuts 羊酪,酸奶冰糕,蜂巢糖,甜核桃 (CNY 58)

The second dessert was made of goat cheese and hydrated honey combe. Grilled banana nicely added more creamiess and the honey combe was quite crunchy, and yogurt sorbet brought some refreshment. I loved its textural but in general a bit too sweet because of the honey combe.


I alway enjoy eating at The Commune Social. The food was nicely portioned, most dishes are very light and refreshing, used the highest quality ingredients and processeed well. The warm relaxing ambiance and efficient service counted more credits to the entire experience. The Commune Social is so far my favorite tapas bar in Shanghai and i definitely would like to recommond it to everyone.

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