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New Italian Restaurant SENSO Serves Horsemeat and Ciccheti

There's a brand new Italian restaurant on the corner of Zhaohua Dong Lu called SENSO. It's by the same people behind SEVE, specializing in ciccheti (basically Venice's version of tapas) and, oh, the o...
Last updated: 2019-10-15
Photos: Brandon McGhee

There's a brand new Italian restaurant on the corner of Zhaohua Dong Lu called SENSO. It's by the same people behind SEVE, specializing in ciccheti (basically Venice's version of tapas) and, oh, the occasional horsemeat steak. Clearly labelled!

Curled around the corner with ample terrace seating, SENSO is bright, clean and attentive.

Senso Shanghai

The first page of the leatherbound menu is dedicated to fifteen ciccheti for 40rmb a plate. I came for the horse, this being the only non-Japanese restaurant in the city to serve an equine steak. Horse! Not just the final resort of Napoleonic soldiers fleeing Moscow, horse meat is eaten all over Europe and parts of Asia. Senso's single horse meat dish is tagliatta di filetto di cavallo (178rmb), a tender 220 grams of Mongolian horse under a bed of rucola and shaved Reggiano cheese. Delicious. Can't believe it's not beef.

senso Shanghai Senso Shanghai

Asked if there were any more horse meat dishes forthcoming, a manager said that one was probably enough. I disagree. Where are my horse meatballs? Where's my spaghetti with horse bolognaise?! The rest of the menu is perfectly acceptable. The cicchetti includes little fried calzones, little sandwiches, fried mozzarella, bruschetta and so on. Like Spanish tapas, you order a few to nibble on or make a meal of them. A tray of four goes for 130rmb.

SENSO Shanghai

SENSO. I was hoping it would be a smorgasbord of rural Italian riffs on equinophagia (not to be mistaken for equinophilia), but it ended up just being a decent Italian restaurant. With horse steak! Update: See the comment below! Senso confirms that there are, in fact, more horse dishes incoming! Be still, my beating heart. * SENSO is at 161 Zhaohua Dong Lu, near Caojiayan Lu / 昭化东路161号, 近曹家堰路

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