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August 1, 2021

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Home » Sunday » City Scene

Mediterranean flair without leaving the Bund

PERUVIAN restaurateur Eduardo Vargas has opened his latest project, Azul Italiano, in North Bund’s Sinar Mas Plaza, serving Italian-inspired casual cuisine with Mediterranean flair — a great spot to enjoy antipasti, seafood, pasta and pizza.

Although the restaurant is located inside the shopping mall, it has a high ceiling and sunlit windows, decorated in azure blue and vibrant red colors with an open kitchen. In addition to casual dining, Azul Italiano can host events and parties for up to 150 people, with five VIP rooms and flexible menus to accommodate group dining.

A must-have is the red crab pasta for 128 yuan (US$19.68), a recipe of which Vargas is particularly proud. It’s a sumptuous staple composed of gluten-free squid ink spaghetti, tender crab meat and roasted cherry tomatoes, with spicy prawn oil, shiso leaves and nori to add different textures and flavors.

For a main entree to share with a group, the flavorful cioppino (248 yuan) is a dish that embodies the sea. A rich seafood stew served in a vibrantly painted bowl, the base is an intense tomato soup simmered with shellfish and lobster head. A selection of fresh seafood is then added to absorb the flavors, including tiger prawns, scallops, halibut, black mussels and clams. The dish is served with garlic sourdough bread. Don’t forget to dip the bread in the soup for the great flavors.

For dessert, if you are looking for a more traditional treat, go for the cannoli (58 yuan), filled with caramel, pistachio and chocolate cream. The cannoli platter is perfect for sharing, as each mini cannoli is bite-sized.

If you’d rather end your meal on a high note, a fancier option is the house special tiramisu called “The Fallen Garden,” (88 yuan). The smooth tiramisu is served in a chocolate pot with edible soil, and decorated with meringue mushrooms, berries and gelato to present a delightful garden full of sweetness.

The antipasti menu is perfect for pairing with wine and cocktails, including crowd favorites like burrata, melon and ham, wagyu beef carpaccio, crispy squid and mushrooms and polenta.

Opening hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30-9:30 pm, daily

Tel: 6525-1636

Address: L3-A-01-03, Sinar Mars Plaza, 588 Dongchangzhi Rd

Average price: 230 yuan (US$35.37)


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