2/F / 20 Donghu Lu (near Huaihai Zhong Lu)
/ +86 21 5404 7866 / dinner Mon-Sat
Hey There, Cutie
Do one thing and do it well, so the old adage goes, and in the case of Shanghai restaurateur Naoya Hirano, his ‘thing’ certainly seems to be hitching his wagon to standout chefs and amplifying their talents through cleverly constructed joint projects. After all, he collaborated with Willy Trullas Moreno (aka elWilly) at Med-fusion hotspot elEfante, Nobu-disciple Yohei Terada at Kappo Yu, and, as of this past August, Chinese-born, Japanese-trained chef Sun Jianguo at his latest offering, Ochobo.
Housed in the same Donghu Lu villa as elEfante, Ochobo, meaning ‘little’ or ‘cute mouth’, focuses on delicate details and small novelties throughout its exclusive kaiseki menu, which simultaneously highlights Sun’s particular talents for charcoal grilling and the art of tempura. Course after course (20+, in fact) of tiny morsels are turned out from the open kitchen – where lucky counter-perched guests have front row seats – and are placed upon individual wooden pedestals designed to raise the fare closer to the diner’s mouth. Creamy sea urchin and tofu float in a light cabbage soup; premium shrimp and tuna sashimi are sliced paper-thin, to the point of translucence; sweet scallop, corn and okra, and horse mackerel all achieve delicately battered excellence; and premium seafood is seared and succulent. Though the cuisine is sophisticated, the ambience is relaxed and accessible – perfect for novices and aficionados alike.