Prolific restaurateur/hotelier Loh Lik Peng must have run out of room on Singapore, having set up projects including Esquina and Keong Saik Snacks, and has made the move to mainland China for his latest restaurant The Commune Social. As before he’s partnered up with top British chef Jason Atherton, and this Shanghai tapas restaurant is part of the Social group which includes Atherton’s acclaimed London venue Pollen Street Social. So The Commune Social should be pretty darned good then.
It’s got another big factor going for it as far as we’re concerned: the design is by Neri&Hu, the Chinese design duo who continue to confound with their stellar interiors projects. It’s a purposefully unpolished interior that we find at The Commune Social in the Jing-an district, with reclaimed wood left looking distressed, metal left bare, unfinished concrete and exposed brick. This approach in a restaurant is a bold one, creating a memorable look which is linked to the food philosophy of freshness, to the point of raw.