Shanghai native Austin Hu is out to prove that when it comes to Western food, “made in China” can be a good thing. His restaurant Madison may have only opened in May 2010, but the 30-year-old chef, who cut his gastronomic teeth in the kitchen of New York City’s famed Gramercy Tavern, is already at the forefront of Shanghai’s burgeoning locavore movement, with up to 95 percent of his ingredients locally sourced. Hu’s dedication to local produce is clear from Madison’s menu, from the selection of domestic beers—try the Sinkiang black beer from Xinjiang—to dishes such as bacon-wrapped Chinese sturgeon and mushroom ravioli with chrysanthemum greens. Guests tuck into Hu’s creations in the restaurant’s warm, modern dining room, which features dark wood, mirrored ceilings and a window to the kitchen—a view that goes both ways. “I like watching people and seeing how they react to the food,” says Hu. It’s no surprise, then, that he often emerges to chat with diners and discuss his latest finds, whether milk-fed veal from Beijing or a special breed of black-and-white “panda” pig from Zhejiang.
3rd floor, 18 Dongping Road,
between Wulumuqi Road and Hengshan Road,
Telephone: +86 21 6437 0136