Raw Eatery And Wood Grill

  • Restaurants
  • Western
  • Contemporary/Fusion
98 Yanping Lu

Don’t go to Raw Eatery and Wood Grill if you’re after foams or sauce smears. This newcomer is keeping things simple by focusing on fresh ingredients prepared or cooked in a way that best preserves their natural flavour. The result is honest and hearty food, and dishes that are easy to enjoy.

Taking over the second storey of the building formerly home to La Stazione, Raw has been fitted out with a large bar in the dining room’s centre and a dry-aged beef cabinet that evokes love at first sight. The atmosphere is friendly and warm.

The menu is separated into two main categories: raw and Josper charcoal oven dishes, plus sides, sweets and bread. It’s a short list of offerings, with the option to eat light or hearty, not that this makes deciding any easier.

We opt for a sample from all corners of the menu, starting with a bread basket (priced at 28RMB, although offered complimentary to all diners on a recent visit) which is served with a moreish and smooth smoked salted and black pepper butter, and a savoury and rich seaweed and garlic butter. Both are addictive.

From the raw offerings, a highlight is the Icelandic codfish ceviche (98RMB), which is topped with coriander, a few pieces of (not raw) seafood tempura and leche de tigre (‘tiger’s milk’, a citrus-based marinade). The ceviche is balanced, with the mild fish having enjoyed some time soaking in the zingy and peppery citrus juice, and teaming well texturally with the fried corn kernels and slivers of chilli.

The beef tartare (128RMB) is another raw hit. The 120 grams of Chilean wagyu is presented in a tin on a bed of crushed ice. Our waiter offers to mix in the smoked egg yolk and the shallot and onion garnish, which is no mean feat considering the size of the tin. The finely sliced tartare is soft, rich and smooth, offset by the hint of smokiness from the egg. Accompanied by bread crisps (which feel superfluous) and a side of fries, it’s large enough to share between two or more as an appetiser.

Raw boasts a Josper oven – good for grilling meat at high temperatures and for enhancing natural flavours with charcoal – and as such, steaks play an important role on the menu. Although the selection is small (only Chilean free-range Wagyu and Argentinian Aberdeen Angus are on offer), the focus is on quality over quantity – perfect for meat fanatics. Prices range from 1,388RMB for a 1.3kg dry-aged rib-eye (accompanied by three sides, recommended for three to four people) to a far more affordable 298RMB for a 300g rump cap (accompanied by two sides, recommended for two people).

We opt for a mid-range cut – the 250g Chilean wagyu thin skirt (358RMB) – that arrives pre-sliced on a wooden board with fried onion, a garlic bulb and salt. The meat is mostly cooked to our preference of medium-rare and is juicy but chewy; each bite is packed with the real meaty flavour that’s often absent in easier or softer cuts.

The simple but authentic food and warm and welcoming ambience look set to make Raw Eatery and Wood Grill a Jingan dining hotspot. This is definitely one to check out – especially if you enjoy stepping away from fine dining and eating honest (and not to mention damn tasty) food.

By Victoria Brownlee

Venue name: Raw Eatery And Wood Grill
Opening hours: 5.30pm-midnight Sun-Thu; 5.30pm-1am Fri-Sat
Metro: Jingan Temple
English address: Second Floor, 98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu, Jingan District
Chinese address: 延平路98号, 近新闸路2楼