Making your mark as a new restaurant at Three on the Bund isn’t easy. Firstly, because the place is already packing some of the finest eateries in Shanghai; and secondly, because those eateries are some of the most beautifully designed in the city to boot. So what’s a newbie nosh spot in one of the city’s most iconic architectural landmarks to do? Well, if you’re coastal Italian restaurant Mercato, you raise the stakes and blaze a trail, that’s what.
Conceived by architectural studio and interior design wizards Neri&Hu, Mercato’s interior is an industrio-rustic masterpiece—three high-ceilinged private dining areas are sequestered from one another by a dynamic mix of metal meshing, recycled wood and vast glass panes. The menu and atmosphere, meanwhile, are altogether less pretentious than the other places that Mercato shares its digs with.
That’s not to say there’s a deficit in quality, though. Hell no. The family-size portions of seafood, homemade pastas and wood-fired pizzas that come out of the kitchen under the watchful eye of Chef de Cuisine Sandy Yoon are the epitome of understated excellence.