Great food is produced long before it ever gets to the kitchen. Soil, sunlight, clean air and water, and scrupulous farming practices are essential ingredients for any quality dish. Quality and authenticity are especially true for steak. It’s why CHAR in the Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund serves Wagyu, Black Angus, and grass-fed beef from some of the world’s most renowned cattle ranches. Diners can explore this further starting in January 2016, on the last Thursday of every month, when CHAR will host a Beef Appreciation Steak Masterclass. The class will be from 1-3pm in CHAR for RMB 350 per person, which also includes a light lunch. Reservations are highly recommended.
CHAR Indulgence is Blackmore Wagyu served with seared foie gras and grilled lobster
The CHAR Steak Masterclass begins with a classroom style lecture available in English or Chinese and presented by one of Shanghai’s largest and most reputable Australian beef imports. Topics covered will be on animal husbandry, why the diet is important, the various cuts of beef, the types of cows, dry aging and ultimately, how to select a quality beef product. This will be followed by a practical demonstration by Chef Willmer Colmenares himself where he will point out visual indicators of quality such as marbling, color and texture. Participants will sample some of the beef and then be able to use this knowledge when enjoying beef in the future. Lastly, Chef Willmer will discuss various means of preparation from the oven to the pan to the grill and which one is preferred. So what are some of CHAR’s 11 different steak offerings?
David Blackmore beef is, without question, the crown jewel of CHAR’s menu. It is the Rolls Royce of beef. This Australian ranch only raises cattle with bloodlines that can be fully verified and traced back to Japan. It’s grain-fed for 600 days, using traditional Japanese farming methods. The end result is an exceptional marbling score of 9+. This means a steak that tender, succulent, and devastatingly rich. A slice of it will melt on the tongue like a pat of butter. And as if that weren’t indulgent enough, CHAR serves their Blackmore fillets with foie gras, lobster, sautéed wild mushrooms, and shaved truffles.
Tajima Wagyu is another exemplary beef on offer at CHAR. This unique strain of cattle is what made Japanese beef famous. Its luxuriant marbling produces a luscious texture, and excellent flavor. CHAR sources beef from full-blood Tajima cattle raised in the Australian countryside. 500 days of a traditional Japanese cattle diet gives this beef a marbling score of 7–9. Guests can savor a 220g Tajima eye fillet or 300g rib eye, both seared to tender, juicy perfection.
Australia is also renowned for world-class certified Black Angus beef, and Jack’s Creek is one of the most respected names in the business. Top-quality cattle are fed a proprietary, high-energy grain diet for 150 days to produce beef with a 3+ marbling score. It’s tender, succulent, and can be experienced at CHAR with a 250g eye fillet or a 300g sirloin.
Grass-fed beef has built a strong reputation not only for its unique flavor but for its nutritional benefits, too (a grass diet produces a leaner meat than grain diet). Cape Grim has struck a perfect balance between leanness, tenderness, and flavor with its famous grass-fed beef. Their cattle are raised in the pristine pasturelands of Northern Tasmania, where they graze on an all-natural diet of grass. Guests can enjoy this premium beef as a 250g eye fillet or a 500g bone-in rib eye.
But it doesn’t stop at world-class steaks. Chef Will Colmenares has created a menu of creative gourmet indulgences inspired by the cuisine of Asia, the Mediterranean, and Latin America to complement the steaks. He puts an intriguing twist on that steakhouse staple, lobster bisque, by infusing it with lemongrass and adding mussels, scallops and a lime cream. His coconut-and-lime-marinated lobster and salmon ceviche brings an unexpected freshness to the menu. Avocado and jalapeño give the dish a zesty flair. His creamy roasted bone marrow with seasonal mushrooms, smoked octopus, and potato flan is a fun and inventive exploration of taste and texture. And of course, there is no shortage of fresh seafood, with a selection of imported live oysters and CHAR’s “Seafood Harvest”, a sharable shellfish tower, featuring half a lobster, king prawns, a crab claw, Irish king razor clams, mussels, oysters, and Amur Caviar.
Then for something sweet, there is a bevy of creative desserts, like Colmenares’s “Piña Colada”, a tropical treat made with caramelized pineapple, rum, honey jelly, and coconut ice cream. Or guests can take a decadent escape with a spicy hot chocolate fondant with tonka bean ice cream and rum ganache.
Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, 585 Zhong Shan Dong Er Road
For reservations please call +86 21 3302 9995