Mesa, Kathleen’s Waitan, El Willy and Laris Hong Kong
For new restos to unwind and refresh your palate, check out these venues from some of China’s leading restaurateurs, from flavors of Americana in Beijing to fun Spanish plates in Shanghai and more:
Beijing’s popular Sanlitun Village, home to international names like American Apparel, Apple, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, and Lanvin, has made room for newcomer Mesa (not to be mistaken for chef Bobby Flay’s similarly named Mesa Grill), a western-inspired two-story restaurant offering continental dining in an ultra-modern setting. Specializing in a seasonal collection of highlights such as a signature beef carpaccio, grill selection and pavlova, Mesa seems to fit right in alongside its expat clientele and international neighbors.
3/F, Building 3
Sanlitun Village North,Chaoyang District, Beijing
Self-proclaimed “accidental restaurateur” Kathleen Lau, owner of Kathleen’s 5 (K5) and former partner of Blue Frog and Kabb, has recently opened her newest (and sixth) restaurant, Kathleen’s Waitan, atop Victor Sassoon’s legendary former opium warehouse overlooking the Huangpu River in Shanghai. Designed by Layan Design Group, creative masterminds behind the PuLi Hotel, the space exudes global sophistication that reflects the owner’s eclectic past and pairs with the varied yet focused menu offering the best of international classics, which run the gamut from Thai mussels to Wagyu beef and strawberry soufflé.
200 Huangpu Lu, near Qingpu Lu, Hongkou, Shanghai
El Willy, Bund 22
After four years nestled in an 80-year-old colonial-period house in the heart of the former French Concession, El Willy, the “happy Spanish restaurant” from Spanish chef Willy Tullas, is stretching its legs in a new venue located within the reinvented South Bund 22 complex in Shanghai. Although a dramatic change in location, El Willy at Bund 22 will continue to serve approachable, modern Spanish food at affordable prices in a quirky environment bursting with color and comical details, such as custom pig snout plates and glass walls festooned with hand-painted sea creatures.
South Bund 22, 5F
22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, Near Jinling Dong Lu, Shanghai
Laris Contemporary Dining
For over a decade, chef David Laris (previously on Jing Daily) has challenged and pushed the Shanghai dining scene in new, daring directions, gaining strong marks on The Miele Guide in 2010 as well as ranking as one of Asia’s Top 50 this year. Following The Purple Onion, The Fat Olive, and 12 Chairs, Laris recently expanded his epicurean empire into Hong Kong with Laris Contemporary Dining, which soft-opened in December on Wyndham Street, peering over the old Central Hong Kong Police Headquarters. Serving a wide range of small plates and entrees categorized by ingredients rather than course or style, Laris Contemporary Dining mirrors the chef’s well-trained, globe-trotting past in the most elegant of ways.
2/F, 77 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong