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Dramatic Dining

February 15, 2016
Atto Primo

Theatrical Venetian interiors set the scene for sublime seafood pastas and succulent veal saltimbocca at Atto Primo (aka First Act), Shanghai’s most dramatic Italian eatery. The real showstopper here, though, is the glimmering skyline n’ river vista, to be ogled via generous windows from its primo perch over The Bund.
Eye-catching Atto occupies a large space on the second floor of historic Five on the Bund. Spooky carnival masks hang from the ceiling alongside bold theatre art, but otherwise decor is a sleek affair, with a mix of sassy bar stools and blue-hued banquettes lining the windows for Huangpu views, tactile wood tables, black-and-white geometric flooring and pristine parquet.
Italian chef Gianluca Serafin (formerly of Palladio at The Portman Ritz-Carlton) mans the pans, serving simple, flavourful food from across Italy. Expect classic starters such as tomato and basil bruschetta, cold cuts and rustic trattoria-favourite chicken liver terrine. 

Authentic pasta and risotto rule (try the seafood linguine), although pizza gets a look-in too, with warming meat- and cream-based mains influenced by the country’s north. Desserts include comforting apple strudel. Negronis are trending and star on the drinks list here, along with Italian-inspired cocktails.
Choose between balcony seats, the intimate ‘drama’ corner, or views of the open kitchen. And although AP is the brainchild of American fast food player Yum! Brands, this fine diner is a stylish spot to be savoured as slowly as possible.

2/F / Five on the Bund / 20 Guangdong Lu / Huangpu / +86 21 6328 0272 / 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm daily

© Photos courtesy of Fred Lin / The Shanghai Kid