318-2 Julu Lu / near Maoming Nan Lu
/ +86 21 6216 2019 / dinner Tue-Sun
New to Shanghai’s Julu Lu, Japanese kaiseki Maison Asano is so-called after the Asano clan, descendants of Emperor Seiwa and rulers of strategic port of Hiroshima in feudal Japan. But the Taiwanese owners, brother and sister duo Judy and Jimmy Wu, have done so not merely as a doffed cap to Japanese culture but as a declaration of their own claimed blood ties to the feudal lords via their Japanese grandmother. Quite how a family tree can be accurately traced back to the 1500s is unimaginable, but lest we get tangled up in the semantics – we’re here for the food, after all, and not a history lesson...
Serving only a prix fixe seafood-centric omakase, chef Kevin Lin’s sashimi and sushi skills are well and good, but its the quality of the ingredients that will impress, varying by the day’s market offerings such as mackerel, flounder, scallops, amberjack and red snapper, to name a few. Past plates have included a briny sea urchin tofu with a yuzu vinegar jelly; braised abalone in a ‘secret’ sauce (no doubt passed down from the Asano themselves); and slow-cooked beef short rib. The décor too is worth a mention, from the silver and bronze antique-effect mirrors lining the ceiling, and the dimly intimate lighting, down to the mod-industrial black stone floors, the Wus have successfully coined a new look – feudal chic!