The upper level parking lot of Huanglong shopping center, right at the corner of Shuguang Road and Qiushi Road on top of Flower City KTV, is one of the least likely places you’d expect to find a fine-dining restaurant. That car park is a kind of no-man’s land that you would never venture to unless you were specifically looking for something. That something now has a name – VC Gastro Lounge.
Opened by two energetic young Chinese ladies – Vivi who has a talent for marketing and Cici who has a passion for eating well – VC offers something fresh for the Huanglong/Baishaquan area. The culinary team is transplanted from Shanghai and the chef had worked at Table No. 1, currently one of the hottest restaurants in Shanghai.
By day, the restaurant is filled with light and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer views over Shuguang Road. By night, the illuminated bar takes center stage and serves up tempting creative cocktails.
There’s a selection of bar snacks like the Mini Foie Gras Beef Burgers (68RMB) - little morsels of foie gras stuffed inside premium beef patties cooked rare, stacked between buttered buns with thinly sliced pickles and caramelized onions, or the Crispy Baby Squid (48RMB) – bouncy bites of squid spiced with chili and lime.
The food here is modern and international with a classy spin. The Caesar Salad (42RMB) was made with fresh, crunchy romaine lettuce, garlicy Caesar dressing, soft boiled quail eggs, bacon bits, tender chicken and well dusted with parmesan cheese.
We had seafood and meat dishes and though both were good, the meat definitely won. The VC 24-hour Short Rib (318RMB) was so tender that cutting it was like a knife going through butter. The presentation was also attractive– two cleanly cut rectangular bars of beef, interspersed with a bar of creamy truffled potato gratin.
I had come back to VC later and tried the Angus Ribeye (318RMB), a superb, juicy steak served with a rich black pepper sauce good enough to drink straight. Accompanying the steak were potatoes, grilled tomatoes and some Chinese dough strips fried in butter that reminded me of German spätzle.
The baked Cheesecake (48RMB) is one of the best in Hangzhou. The texture was smooth and creamy with a tangy cheese flavor, served with a dollop of softly whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.
This is new restaurant worth visiting. English speaking service, smoking is permitted and parking is available.