Let me just start by saying that you absolutely must order the oxtail gnocchi! If anything, this review will have served its purpose already. You’ll thank me. Trust me.
Now, lets talk more about this new addition to Hangzhou’s vibrant culinary scene. When I’d heard that the folks at ‘Hello 27’ were opening a place that in all intents and purposes offers a better dining experience I was a little confused, bemused even. Hello 27 is a fantastic spot and I wasn't sure how this ‘super’ version was going to work out. Better in what way? So I rolled up for opening night with friends in tow to find out… And boy do I get it now. ‘Super 27’ is less of a place to pop in for a quick bite like it’s sibling, and more of a full on dining experience. Again, both offer great food, but at ‘Super 27’ you’ll book it for your birthday and other special occasions, maybe even a birth.
As we entered the restaurant the first thing you’ll notice are the hunks of dry aged beef lit up like something in an art gallery (or Amsterdam)… The T-bone steak with its marbling had me pursing my lips for fear of drooling like my French bulldog often does. The entrance gets you ready to eat, that’s for sure! As a bunch of expats, it was nice to be welcomed by a friendly host who spoke perfect English. So far so good.
As we entered the main dining area I had to double take what I was seeing; there, slap bang in the middle of the restaurant was a food truck in all its polished steel glory! It became abundantly clear that this place is also going to be a fun place to eat. The food truck serves as the bar, with a selection of premium IPAs and lagers to boot. I like the idea that you can stand and order a cold one if you so choose, memories of music festivals abound. It just adds to the dining experience, you can still have the beer ordered to your table… but I liked the idea of getting up for a stroll, especially when the place is busy and you’re thirsty.
As we took our seats, our hostess made us lift our plates to discover a Super 27 casino chip underneath, she then went on to explain that we could all visit their tapas bar for a free tapas! I loved the fact that you could start eating immediately and the kids found it fun to pick their own tapas, just don't forget to look under your plate as they told us they will continue this quirky offer indefinitely. Yet another tick for this place!
After the tapas had been picked each of us received a large paper menu. The menu has just the right amount of dishes to keep you coming back to try new things without sacrificing the quality of each dish. I’m not a fan of menus with hundreds of dishes. The selection included pastas, fantastic salad options, gourmet burgers, steaks, soups, shakes, breakfasts and drinks. You circle what you want and hand it to the waiter so no need to point and grunt. Clean, simple and efficient.
So, how about the food? And what damage does it do to your wallet? All in all, the prices are very good for the quality you get, and not forgetting that every single thing we had was, as the name suggests, ‘super’.
We started off by ordering from the salad bar. You have a choice of one salad for 38RMB or three for 88RMB, perfect for a group of friends. We had a plate of Arugula Salad with Prosciutto & Melon, Roasted Pumpkin Salad and Pesto Penne salad.
For our mains we started greedily with some steaks, each cooked to perfection and presented in cast iron dishes with fresh herbs. At 178RMB for a 220g Australian Angus 180 days Grain-Fed Sirloin, the price matched and beat most other spots in town.
We then moved onto pastas, and that’s when I was introduced to the best gnocchi dish I have ever had in my life! The oxtail ragu and gnocchi miracle! The most tender oxtail, matched only by the most tender gnocchi all combined in a hearty Italian ragu sauce that transported me back to the rolling hills of Tuscany. This will no doubt become Super 27’s signature dish! I was back there within 24 hours for another fix the following day… that’s how good it is. And (68RMB) for a serving big enough for two! We were equally impressed by the Carbonara (58RMB) and the Macaroni Bolognese (68RMB). Their chef has nailed pasta.
The drivers amongst us washed it all down with freshly squeezed juice (35RMB), while the rest of us headed to the bar for pints of goose IPA 48RMB. It’s worth noting that the bar has chalkboards with cocktails on for those of us that prefer a little more adventure. I get the feeling that this place could easily roll into more of a bar as the night goes on… not a bad thing!
For those with a sweet tooth there is a dessert bar, much like you’d find in a buffet with a selection of in-house baked cakes and tarts. They will change the desserts daily to keep things interesting and seasonal.
All in all ‘Super 27, is a fantastic, fun, family friendly restaurant that ultimately serves fantastic food! It certainly lives up to its name!
And don't forget to try the gnocchi.
The More team visited a few days later and we just want to add that the Tuna Tatare Burger (98RMB) is amazing! Fresh and firm chunks of tuna marinated in a light soy sauce with a hint of ginger and maybe sesame which makes it taste similar to a poke bowl, then you have creaminess from the avocado and mayo. What pushes it over the top and makes this tuna tartare drool-worthy is the organic egg yolk and salmon roe on top. Mix in the egg yolk with the tuna and you’ll have a rich sauce to balance the saltiness of the soy marinade. There is enough salmon roe that you can get some in every bite and they pop in your mouth in lovely, savory bursts. We were sharing the burger with a few people so we cut it up and ate it with a fork therefore I can’t comment on how easy it will be to handle if eaten like a burger. Nonetheless, no matter how you eat it, this is one tasty and addictive tuna tartare!
One final note, Super 27’s bread is supplied by Bio Breadness, a bakery that uses original Dutch recipes to bake up delights such as Gouda Croissants (22RMB), Amsterdam Duverkater Lemon Bread (35RMB) and Organic Sunflower Seed Bread (16RMB). There is a small bakery area at Super 27 where breads are displayed and for sale to take home.
Ok, one more thing! We love that they use reusable metal straws in the milkshakes (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) instead of disposable plastic straws that ruin our environment, big bonus points for that