931 West Nanjing Road
AT JIA SHANGHAI
the entire second floor of the JIA Shanghai and
also accessible from its own street level entrance
in the heart of Shanghai's business, shopping
and entertainment area, Issimo serves a truly
authentic home-style Italian cuisine in an invitingly
warm and rustic ambience.
60 in the main dining area, 30 in the lounge
and bar, and up to 35 in the private rooms.
private events, Issimo can cater up to 80 for
dinner and 300 for cocktails. Issimo is also
ideal for intimate fashion shows as the wooden
walkway that leads through the different areas
creates a natural catwalk.
Yenn Wong, founder and
owner of the JIA boutique hotels, has partnered with Italian-Japanese grand
chef Salvatore Cuomo, a well-known personality in Shanghai
and Japan, to conceptualize the menus and kitchens. Cuomo is known for his
Shanghai restaurant, The Kitchen Salvatore Cuomo, which is a big hit with
the Italian community for its truly authentic Italian cuisine and ambience,
and in Japan for his chain of 50 restaurants and pizzerias specializing in
authentic Neapolitan cuisine. His signature pizza D.O.C. has won Napoli's
Pizzafest, the ‘world cup' for pizza-makers, for three years running.
The Italian culinary team at Issimo includes
Cuomo's Shanghai-based business partner and Executive Corporate Chef
Asia Pacific for the group, Enzo Carbone as resident cuisinier,
hailing from a family of trattoria owners in Naples; and executive chef William
di Nardo, who has worked at notable restaurants throughout Italy and the United
A sexy and playful space, Issimo
is rustic and cozy with eclectic accents and bursts of colour throughout.
Created with mostly natural materials - bricks, wood, leather and copper
- the space is described as a modern
chalet by interior designer Darryl Goveas of Pure
Creative International who honed his design skills in Paris before setting up Pure Creative in Hong
Kong ten years ago. Pure Creative International is responsible for several
award winning restaurants and bars in Asia and also for flagship store concepts
for luxury fashion brands Dior, Dior Homme and Fendi.
A diamond-cut mirrored
staircase with copper features leads from the understated street level entrance
into the chalet-influenced bar – with comfortable leather seating, logs
for the wood burning ovens and antler-shaped sculptures. Rustic furnishings
are juxtaposed with contemporary pieces from noted designers, including Tom
Dixon's Copper round shades and Jaime
Hayon's Josaphine lamps
and lights. A highlight of this space is the Anti-Bar area which features
a unique mother of pearl bar. An adjacent bar serves a variety of delicious
chilled and grilled antipasti. Behind this is an authentic wood-burning pizza
oven and a grill oven, both clad with hand-beaten copper and inlaid with bricks
imported especially from Naples.
A striking wooden walkway leads guests
past an intimate glass-walled private dining room into the main dining area.
Here, an impressive 12 meter long Olive-wood counter with a show kitchen adds
drama and action to the main dining room, where guests can choose to sit at
tables or at the show kitchen counter watching the chefs at work.
Corridors and arches are the key design
element of the restaurant and define the various sections of Issimo, with
moulding wall panels which blend into the historical building and windows.
The solid wooden floors throughout Issimo are made from restored wooden boards
interestingly used on its flip side to create a particularly unique design
detail to the flooring. The bar and dining areas each feature European-style
Issimo features interesting works of modern
art such as the sculpture of antlers in the entrance lobby and private rooms,
a hammered copper curved wall, copper inlaid overhead lighting shades and
a series of specially commissioned black and white photography with a ‘woodsy-nature' theme
by New Yorker Michael Weber. For more intimate dining, two private rooms at
the back of the main dining room can be divided into three and offer flexible
seating spaces for dinner or cocktail parties of up to 35. There is an additional
cosy dining room just off the lounge area which seats up to 8 people, where
guests can enjoy privacy while viewing the activity of the lounge and anti-bar
area outside. Dramatic floor to ceiling drapes can be drawn to provide drawing
room-style lounge seating and complete intimacy.
menu features a range of authentic Italian
chilled and grilled appetizers, deliciously
crunchy bruschette, hearty home-style soups
and garden-fresh salads dressed with premium
extra virgin olive oil. A selection of outstanding
pizzas are baked in an authentic Neapolitan
wood-fired oven, and topped with imported buffalo
mozzarella cheese from Italy. Pasta dishes
are freshly cooked “a la minute” and
served in sparkling copper pans, adding to
the rustic theme of the restaurant. Dishes
from the grill include jet-fresh seafoods and
choice meats from around the world – Australian
grass-fed beef, Veal ossobuco, New Zealand
lamb chops and a selection of the freshest
seafoods including Mediterranean P Pacific
Snapper, yellow fin tuna, king prawns and Australian
scallops. A highlight of the selection of side
dishes selection is the fragrant roasted Rosemary
are an inspiration, with Italian ice-creams
and sorbets along with specialties including
home-made Tuscany cookies served with a glass
of Vin Santo wine D.O.C., Chocolate profiterole,
Disaronno ice cream cake with home-made amaretti
and espresso sauce and Tiramisu with double
of Issimo's menu is to offer family-style
portions for sharing, however single portions
are also available if preferred. Issimo also
offers Pranzo set lunches from Monday-Friday
with a choice of 3 or 4 course menus inclusive
of house pour wine, spirits or soft beverages.
list of exciting regional Italian wines and
iconic selections from around the world complements
the cuisine and a sensational cocktail menu
has been put together by Issimo's Girl
about the Bar, Erica Fedrigo,
who ensures the bar is stocked with everything
from genuine Absinthe, French Agricole Rhum,
hard to source Italian Amari, boutique cocktail
bitters and of course only freshly squeezed
juices, in order to satisfy the most discerning
SCHIAFFONI WITH TRADITIONAL TOMATO SAUCE,
AND IMPORTED BUFFALO MOZZARELLA CHEESE
|70g Schiaffoni pasta
50g cherry tomatoes, halved
100g tomato sauce
50g buffalo mozzarella cheese, broken into pieces
Parmesan Cheese, grated
|10 basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2Tbs olive oil
In a pan, sauté garlic with olive oil until
heat, add the cherry tomatoes and let them cook for a few minutes until
soft, add salt and pepper.
Add the tomato sauce, basil leaves and let it
cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, boil schiaffoni in salted
water until “al dente”.
Drain the pasta and add into the sauce, add some
pasta water if necessary (to make the sauce smooth)
With half of the mozzarella
cheese, saute for a few minutes.
Plate the schiaffoni, top with extra mozzarella
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle parmesan cheese.