In the heart of Jing’An’s bustling commercial and business district sits the Sukhothai Shanghai, the hotel group’s first foray into China. Yet instead of mimicking the ancient enclave sensibility that’s signature to its first hotel in Bangkok, the Shanghai outpost is decidedly serene but contemporary. And housed within the modern sanctuary’s premises is La Scala.
The Italian restaurant has Michelin-starred master chef Theodor Falser as guest chef, who works alongside chef de cuisine Stefano Sanna. Like the hotel, the eatery places sustainability at the forefront of their practices. For La Scala, this translates to responsible sourcing, low waste, and zero frozen and processed ingredients, which is why its “fresh-to-order” menu is primarily anchored in nature and the changing of seasons.
The Sukhothai Shanghai
One of the dishes from La Scala’s spring menu that features sustainably sourced Hokkaido scallops, purple balsamic-cabbage cream, crispy buckwheat and pancetta.
In late March this year, the restaurant revamps its menu in time for Shanghai’s spring season. Sustainability is, still, at its core: the dishes are made of wholesome ingredients — organic fruits and vegetables — and locally sourced produces. The new menu’s arctic char, for instance, is fished from the springs of Chengdu and grilled with Jerusalem artichoke and cabbage leaves.
Preservation, too, is done the all-natural way and becomes an unpredictable twist to a dish. Vegetables are pickled using a technique derived from chef Sanna’s traditional Italian family recipe. The tangy pickled greens make for garnishes to a slow-cooked wagyu beef steak. The pickling technique, however, takes centre stage for the burrata cheese and lettuce asparagus trio. Particularly inspired by Chinese ingredients, the dish is made by roasting and then pickling the stem and leaves of lettuce asparagus, of which are seasonal ingredients available for a limited period of time yearly. The peel of the lettuce asparagus is then cooked to a creamy texture, and then paired with burrata cheese; a colliding of diverse textures and flavours.
The Sukhothai Shanghai
Other experimental highlights include a carnaroli rice-based dish, named “my way”, that’s blushed by the rosy tint of organic beetroots; and a parmigiana, an Italian baked eggplant dish, that comes paired with red gurnard, served with glazed mulled wine and eggplant foam.
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