Pelham's Restaurant in Shanghai

A Study in Contrasts

Chef Spotlight

Chef Bruno Bruesch launches traditional dishes into the modern era with unexpected flavor

Like this dynamic city of Shanghai, chef Bruno Bruesch's menu at Pelham's Restaurant reflects a refined blend of global influences. After earning acclaim in his native Switzerland, Bruesch became chef de cuisine at the Conrad Hong Kong, where he cultivated his signature style by combining restrained Western techniques with bold Asian flavors. Stints in the United States and Europe followed, but in 2012 Bruesch was lured back to China's Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, to delight diners with his innovative execution of modern global cuisine.

"I love the contrast between old and new Shanghai," says Bruesch. Echoing the city itself–where modern high-rises and 19th-century shikumen townhouses form the skyline–Pelham's abounds with nuanced contrasts. The opulent neoclassic decor, replete with intricately carved moldings and grand chandeliers, offsets the sleek glass-walled exhibition kitchen that anchors the center of the dining room.

A devoted fan of succulent braised Shanghai-style pork belly and xiaolongbao (steamed buns), Bruesch draws menu inspiration from the marketplaces of Shanghai, while his European training ensures a classic core to each dish. For example, Pelham's panfried sea bass has a traditional Mediterranean touch of aioli and pine nuts, but, with an unexpected spark of ginger, Bruesch brings the dish into the global present. "Our clientele is primarily Chinese, but most have traveled and eaten at the very top restaurants all over the world, so their palates are refined–and they know great food."

Like the restaurant's namesake, Sir Warren Pelham (founder of the original Shanghai Club), Bruesch has a vision of enduring influence. "This year we laid the foundation for Pelham's future. Now we can take it to the next level and make it one of the best restaurants in China–even the best in Asia.".

Chef Bruno Bruesch
of Pelham's Restaurant in Shanghai