Add: Shop 106, 123 Xing Ye Road, Shanghai 兴业路123弄5号，新天地新里106单元
Tel: +86 021 63339233
Hours: [1st floor à-la-carte] Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm; [2nd floor prix-fixe] Wed-Sun 2:00pm-9:00pm
Price: [à-la-carte] RMB58-98; [3-course prix-fixe] RMB188+10%
Visited: February 2016
Will return: When I’m in the mood for sophisticated desserts
– See my second visit for more dishes! –
I have long wanted to visit Chikalicious Dessert Bar in New York, so I couldn’t be more thrilled when I heard that it opened in Shanghai. I planned a visit as soon as I got back from Europe.
The latest branch of this famous dessert bar occupies the first and second floors of 88 Xintiandi Boutique Hotel, which has been renovated recently. The first floor offers an à-la-carte dessert menu, while the second floor serves their famous 3-course prix-fixe menu. Wanting to experience in full of what Chikalicious has to offer, we decided on the prix-fixe menu.
A million thanks to my favorite partner in
crime food Jenny for some of these amazing photos!
We were lucky enough to get seats at the bar where we could watch chefs Maya and Mauro perform their magic.
Chef Maya working on a dessert for downstairs: chocolate ganache cake with coffee cream and hazelnuts. The cream was piped to order.
The 3-course prix-fixe menu consists of amuse-bouche, choice of dessert, and petit fours. The dessert choices change seasonally. Wine pairing is offered for an extra charge (RMB108 for wine, RMB178 for champagne). Tea is also available for purchase.
On the day of our visit, the amuse-bouche was Sage Panna Cotta and Lemonade Sorbet. A wonderful combination of the smooth and creamy panna cotta with subtle herbal notes from the sage, and the bright and refreshing sorbet.
The waitress offered us some sage for smelling.
There were 5 options for the “main course”. I opted for the Fromage Blanc Island “Cheese Cake”, a signature from their East Village flagship, paired with Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve champagne. This dessert is so named because with the bed of ice underneath (for keeping the cheesecake cool to preserve its texture), it looks like a floating island. The cheesecake is made from a white cheese from Normandy, served with a special house-made cream. Delicate and airy, this dessert was elegant in its purity and simplicity of both flavor and texture, with a touch of variety from the very subtle acidity from the cheese. The champagne built on that acidity, adding to the dimension of the dish.
My friend chose Fruit, Flower, and Herbs of Chef’s Choice, which for our visit was green apple sorbet, brown-sugar-roasted pineapple, and pineapple agar agar, paired with Pelissero Moscato d’Asti from Barbaresco, Italy. This dish had its highs and lows. The sorbet tasted exactly like green apples, and the flavor combination of apple and pineapple worked very well. On the other hand, we thought the pineapple was roasted too lightly, and we couldn’t taste the brown sugar, so the pineapple lacked a depth of flavor that would have made this dish better. And the apple matchsticks garnished on the sorbet presented some difficulty for eating elegantly…
My friend said that the wine was light, sweet, and very easy to drink.
Petit fours: coconut marshmallow, white sesame shortbread, and chocolate cake with espresso cream and hazelnut. The marshmallow tasted like a pillow of cloud. The shortbread was buttery and crumbly, though I didn’t pick up any taste of white sesame, which is rather strange because white sesame has such a strong flavor. My favorite among the three was the chocolate cake. The crunch of the hazelnut contrasted nicely with the light texture of the cake, and the espresso in the cream came through boldly. A perfectly complex bite.
I would recommend calling in advance for a reservation, especially if you want the 3-course experience. On the day of my visit, those without a reservation had to wait for at least an hour to get into the second-floor dining room. I highly recommend booking seats at the bar so you can watch two amazing chefs at work. But I would like to point out that the bar stools are not particularly comfortable. Especially for girls in heels…