Monday, February 5, 2024

Weekend Brunch American Style

There’s definitely a modern American chophouse vibe at Stonesal, the Shenzhen restaurant we stopped by for lunch on the second day of my weekend trip. The 2-level structure on the ground level of a commercial building in Nanshan District featured a large meat aging room, a well-stocked centerpiece bar in the center of the dining area, a spacious patio with the perfect view of the park right outside, the open kitchen laced with state-of-the-art equipment, and a few private rooms carefully decorated in various themes… all of these spelt upscale and quiet luxurious, something I didn’t quite expect to see in our neighboring town up north. 

They seated us in one of the private rooms at the back with the classic wooden panels, avant-garde crystal chandeliers, long clothed table and large leather chairs in classic steakhouse style. Menu followed the same style and served in American, family-style portion. Freshly baked sourdough pastry with Billat-savarin was a good start – I am more used to having cheese towards the end of the meal, but this one was a nice one as appetizer, with the super creamy cheese topped with sweet jam and nuts. Both the beef ham and smoked salmon was done in-house and both were excellent. The beef has the perfect texture and slightly smoky flavor, while the salmon was juicy with a hint of sweetness, having cured in salt and sugar and acai powder. 

Somehow I thought the soup has an Asian touch, with the chicken consommé cooked with pear and stuffed morel (with minced chicken meat). I love its clean yet rich flavor with the subtle sweetness from the seasonal pear. The whole pomfret was presented whole, cooked in a salt dome wrapped with seaweed, before it’s carefully carved into individual portion with sauteed vegetables and beurre blanc. The texture was just perfect, juicy with nice umami flavor.

Main course was the whole piece of Australian Mayura Wagyu Tenderloin, dry-aged then grilled and finished over charcoal fire. Beef was perfectly cooked with nice charred crust, served with jus reduction and freshly grated black truffles. On the side was Gratin Dauphinois served family style with the creamy slices of potatoes served in a large baking dish to share. Our last savory dish was their namesake rice – an unique creation partly inspired by paella for which rice was cooked in broth on a shallow pan with bits of black truffles and topped with sea urchins. But unlike the traditional paella where the focus was on the soccarat at the bottom, this is about the rich and umami flavor from the fresh sea urchins mixed in with the rice at our table. It truly was decadent. 

Dessert was done in true American style, with the large Strawberry Charlotte Cake served among the few of us. That made a perfect weekend brunch venue in a fine sunny day like this – and oh yes, they also have a well-stocked wine cellar above the bar and we were served a nice flight of wines too. We started with the nice bottle of Agrapart followed by a German Riesling and a big red from the Rhone Valley, all well-chosen to go with the dishes. Well done, Stonesal team for giving us a good time.

When? January 14 2024
Where? Stonesal, Jindi Weixin Center, Gaoxin South Ring Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Menu Highlights? Roasted Mayura Tenderloin with Gratin Dauphinois
Champagne Agrapart & Fils 7 Crus Extra Brut NV
2019 Battenfeld Spanier Molsheim Riesling, Rheinhessen, Germany
2019 Famille Perrin "Domaine du Clos des Tourelles", Gigondas AOC
Web: (Instagram)

No comments :