2 New Nordic Fine Dining Meals – Promise & EHB


By Sophie Steiner


The New Nordic Cuisine movement – spearheaded by Noma, one of the world's top restaurants, as well as one of Denmark's most intriguing concepts – emphasizes celebrating the seasonality of ingredients, and the ultimate goal of eating more sustainably.

It is a philosophy that went on to inspire chefs around the globe, including Shanghai's two newest Scandinavian restaurants, Promise and EHB, which boast dishes in line with the movement.

We recently visited both venues (in the same week, nonetheless) for a side-by-side comparison, and to share which splurge-worthy dining experience is worth springing for.  

Promise

Jim Löfdahl studied under renowned chef Björn Frantzén at three Michelin star venue Frantzén in his native Stockholm, before opening the first international Frantzén outpost, Franztén Kitchen, in Hong Kong.

There, he eventually launched his own restaurant, the equally lauded Embla. And his first foray into the mainland came this March, with the opening of Promise in the Donghu Lu Grand Mansion. 

Chef Sebastian Carl Johan, Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Here, the everyday kitchen operation is helmed by chef and sommelier Sebastian Carl Johan, the previous Head Chef of Embla.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Together, the duo is leaving a noteworthy Nordic footprint on the Shanghai dining scene – reaching beyond the plate to drinks, décor, service, and the entire holistic experience. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Designed by Nothing Studio in true Nordic fashion, the interior is minimalistic, a Scandinavian, comfort-driven hygge aesthetic – light wood tones, cobalt-hued velvet barrel seating contrasted by an off-white Bulgari stone countertop and contemporary artistic touches by modern art aficionado and restaurant manager Shirley Chen.