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Under Development: Jason Atherton's New Restaurant
By Dec 4, 2012 Dining

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Jason Atherton of Table No. 1 is primed to double down on his Shanghai bet. The former Gordon Ramsay lieutenant has a new restaurant in the works. We don't have a name just yet, but Scott Melvin, Table No. 1's chef de cuisine, tells me "it'll be a very different concept to Table No. 1 and ... a first for Shanghai."

If it is indeed "a first for Shanghai," I'm assuming that rules out anything resembling 22 Ships and Esquina, the two tapas restaurants that Atherton has opened in Hong Kong and Singapore. Shanghai, after all, is no stranger to Spanish cuisine.

Details on the location are patchy as well. I know this much, though: It will be near the intersection of Shanxi Bei Lu and Kangding Lu. With recent openings like Uva, Patachon and The Shed as well as Kaiba and Burdigala a couple of blocks south, it's fast becoming a happening little neighborhood.

Melvin wouldn't give me an exact address, but I did some exploring in the area yesterday. On the southeast corner of the intersection, 319 Kangding Lu to be exact, there's an empty space that's begging for a restaurant renovation. If Google Maps is to be believed, it once housed a branch of that cheap Chinese "Western-style" restaurant chain Hao Xiang Lai.

The building's exterior is ugly as sin, but so was the Waterhouse before designers Neri & Hu got their hands on it. And I've heard from a separate reliable source that Atherton and Co. have enlisted said firm to design this restaurant. The shoe fits; this seems like their kind of project. So, if I were a gambling man, I'd say watch that spot.

When does it open? Melvin wouldn't divulge much on that either. The most I could get out of him was "the very near future," which, at this point, means "sometime after Chinese New Year."

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  • Chen Ruiquan

    Neri & Hu recently launched a new branch of their Design Republic lifestyle store on Changping, near Kangding, which is a stone's throw from where this restaurant might be.

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