Enshrouded in a lush rooftop garden stolen straight out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Botanik is nothing like Shanghai has seen before. The wholehearted exploration of locavorism that Chef Elijah Holland and his team have embarked upon is so exceedingly rare in China that it would deserve a fair share of limelight in its own right, even if the cooking weren’t remarkable. Yet Botanik’s food proves to be vivid, robust, and almost invariably satisfying.
The younger sibling of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, Bo Shanghai tries to interpret the ingredients, flavors, and cultures of Chinese cuisine through a global lens.
Over the course of an evening at Florilège, I witnessed a truly fearsome combination in Chef Kawate’s cooking: a clear and precise vision of what each of his plates is meant to evoke in us, an astute understanding of what flavors to call upon to evoke those feelings, and the impeccable skills to make each of those flavors do exactly what he tells them.