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New chef, new menu – Seasonal specialties at Char

Indigo Hotel Shanghai's award-winning steakhouse unveils its new seasonal menu.

SHANGHAI – The mercury has already started to drop in Shanghai, and nothing warms the soul like a top-quality cut of beef grilled to succulent perfection at CHAR. The award-winning steakhouse in the Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund is the city’s premier destination for great steaks and chops. But steaks are only the start. For the winter season, CHAR Head Chef Willmer Colmenares has put together a menu of fresh, seasonal selections specially designed to complement CHAR’s world-class beef.

An utterly buttery cut of fresh Wagyu beef is gently smoked before it is thinly sliced and presented with freshly-flaked Parmesan and rocket to accent the ultimate Smoked Wagyu Beef Carpaccio. However, it’s the black garlic puree that truly enhances this appetizer with its complex notes of sweetness and umami.

Keeping it fresh, CHAR’s all-new Lobster and Salmon Ceviche, is served marinated in a tangy coconut and lime emulsion, which slightly cures the lobster and salmon, so it remains fresh and tender like sushi. Together with an avocado sorbet, some coriander and jalapenos, this dish gives off a zesty Latin flair.

Colmenares demonstrates just how versatile a flavor smoke can be with his Smoked Octopus Salad, which is without question a highlight this season. He smokes the mollusk at a low temperature until it is fork tender. The deep smoky character pairs beautifully with creamy, ripe avocado and a sauce made from smoked chilies. Coriander, watermelon and red onion bring freshness and subtle sweetness.

Seared Scallops are another delectable addition to CHAR’s fall/winter menu. Colmenares sears them until slightly golden brown on the outside, leaving them supple and succulent on the inside. This creates a perfect match for the delicately sweet and nutty flavor of the Jerusalem artichokes. With the addition of an almond-ginger puree with Chorizo oil, there’s a spicy bite that’s offset with a sweetness and fun texture provided by tasted white almonds overtop.

An homage to the towering Shanghai skyline reaching into the clouds, the decadent Roasted Bone Marrow is served with a potato flam and an exceptionally flavorful ragout of smoked octopus and robust fresh winter mushrooms.

And as ever, CHAR’s signature classic cuts, like The Stockyard Tomahawk of 250 days grain-fed beef, are still available year-round. This massive 1.2 kg grain-fed Australian bone-in beef rib fillet is a feast in itself, easily satisfying two hungry guests.

Not to be outdone, the sides definitely won’t disappoint, like the Double Roasted Baby Potatoes with bacon and garlic butter or the Sauteed Green Beans over crispy shallots, roasted almonds and blue cheese crumble. Choose from one of 10 sides to round out the perfect CHAR meal.

Truly home-style, Chef Willmer presents a completely new series of desserts, meant to awaken the playful side in every guest. Watch for the flames of the Apple Tarte Tatin flambeed tableside being doused with calvados ice cream. For chocolate lovers, CHAR’s new Spicy Hot Chocolate Fondant is served with Tonka bean ice cream, coffee and rum ganache for a rich treat. CHAR’s answer for a sweet finish to a cozy winter’s night dinner with the family is the Berries & Apple Crumble presented fresh out of the oven with a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream alongside.

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