Stefan Stiller : Shanghai’s Secret Restaurant
- 3* in Shanghai + 2* in Guangzhou
- German chef in China
- #75 @Asia’s 50 Best 2021
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“We wanted to be a surprise”
You approach through one of the more modest streets in western Shanghai, past the commercial section and into a strictly residential one, passing houses in various states of disrepair, some covered in bamboo. This can’t be right, you think. But then at the end of the street, past an open gate is a bright white building with a subtle black sign. To gain entry, you ring the doorbell and wait. And then enter the cool, creative, very dark environment of the Michelin starred Taian Table. “We wanted to be a surprise” says chef-owner Stefan Stiller. And truly it is.
The German born Stefan Stiller came to Shanghai in 2004 when there was very little Western food being served. Things have changed over the years, though, and there was a market for his 14 course tasting menus of labor intensive, exquisitely detailed, richly flavored dishes when the restaurant opened in April of last year in the city’s street named Taian Lu. Soon after opening, regulations changed at his location and he was forced to close. In December of last year, he reopened the restaurant at this hidden location, a warehouse transformed into an open kitchen surrounded by a long counter and a few booths.
The Michelin star came quickly and so did the locals; the night I was there, I was one of the few who were not Chinese, a typical occurrence according to Stiller. And even though diners strolled in at different times, the veritable army of black uniformed line cooks, many doubling as servers to explain the dishes, worked calmly and quickly, delivering the different courses around the room.
German chef Stefan Stiller made his name in Shanghai with his up-market Stiller’s restaurant at South Bund, pushing boundaries further still with Taian Table. The experienced chef has nearly 3 decades of culinary experience spanning the world from west to east.
Taian Table is the vision of Stefan Stiller. Stefan always wanted to open a small dining location with an open kitchen and a single, seasonal tasting menu only.
To prepare what’s in season, inventing new dishes with the team, bringing like-minded people together and breaking the boundaries of traditional dining- that’s our vision and goal.
Interactive and intimate dining – a real fun project.
The guests are seated at the kitchen counter and Stefan and his team will welcome the guests with some bubbles and tasty nibbles and the dinner will unfold.
Taian Table was opened on Tai’an Road in April 2016. In September 2016 they have received a Michelin Star and relocated to a new venue where they have a larger kitchen and more space to work.
We got his second star with the Michelin Guide release in Shanghai in September 2019. In 2021, he received another 2* for his new restaurant in Guangzhou.