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Take a leg of acorn-fed Spanish Iberico pig and cure it for 48 months. Hand carved and serve it with chunks of baguette drizzled with olive oil and let the magic unfold. de Bellotas offers plates of Pata Negra heaven in a small and relaxed tapas bar that will leave you in a spin.

At RMB200 for a small plate and RMB360 for a large of the Major de Espanya Bellotas, it’s costly. The price, however, faded into obscurity almost as quickly as the slices of ham melted in our mouths. They also offer a less refined, not acorn-exclusive Iberico jamon (RMB125 small, RMB225 large), which is honestly close to perfection.

The rest of the simple tapas menu luckily is a tour de force as well. An ample mushroom tortilla (RMB50), a new twist on a warm spinach salad with pancetta and orange (RMB42) and lip-smacking wedges of patatas bravas (RMB45), all were great, and our garlic-drenched tender rings of alamari (RMB45) and chunks of rich cheeses served with bread and honey (RMB120) followed superbly.

Wash it all down with some good conversation and a bottle from their short but detailed wine list (starting at RMB220), and the package is complete. We only wish this wasn’t in the off-Xintiandi neighborhood with its customarily lofty prices. Otherwise, this would become a regular go-to for a slice of Europe at its best.

  • De Bellotas
  • 021 6384-1382

  • 68 Taicang Lu, near Shunchang Lu [map]
  • 上海市太仓路 8号

  • Spanish
  • ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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