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Dr. Fab is the story of two friends from a small European city doing what they love: presenting regional Italian cuisine to the best of their ability.

A concept originally introduced by Fabrizio Pizzioli a couple years ago, their seafood-centric menu evolved from Il Nascondiglio, one of Shanghai’s most treasured secret supper clubs. Joined by chef Andrea Cancani, who cycled from their hometown of Trieste in order to join him, they expanded, signed permanent premises and have managed to retain the homegrown magic that made Il Nascondiglio popular.

This small restaurant faces onto the petite kitchen where both Cancani and Pizzioli prepare every dish from scratch. The pair’s attention to fresh preparation means they seem constantly against the clock. It manifests as gaps between courses, which are filled with curious getting-to-know-you conversation at the secret supper events but verge on stomach-rumbling chasms here.

Dr. Fab’s traditional Italian four-course offering (prix fixe RMB358 or à la carte) manages to feel like a true spark of creative culinary flair and comfort food at once. A starter of mixed seafood (RMB128) offers a trio of fish to be spread atop their in-house Ciabatta. Finely blended salmon tartare, zestily seasoned salted codfish and herbed ribbons of delicate cuttlefish all carry a distinct and delicious tone and virtually render the salmon tartare appetizer (RMB98) obsolete.

Primi and secondi courses also drive a line down the middle between safe zone and creative genius. A courgette and prawns pasta (RMB188) lacks punch when pitched against a delicate black ravioli filled with redfish and halibut (RMB198). Even more delicious are the baby squid (RMB168), stuffed with a sultry anchovy and porcini puree.

But then came the chocolate cake (RMB40) and homemade raspberry liquor, and the genius dimension deepened. If this is staple food in Trieste, we’re packing our bags. If this is gastronomic magic, then we’re staying right here.

  • Dr. Fab
  • 021 6312-8290

  • 48 Sinan Lu (near Fuxing Zhong Lu) [map]
  • 上海市思南路48号(近复兴中路)

  • Italian
  • ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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