Shaping up to be Nanjing’s swankier, slightly posher and newer version of 1912 is Catherine Park. The new development sits adjacent to Nanjing’s tallest building, the Zifeng Tower, and is just off the Gulou roundabout near the square, diagonally across from Jiangsu TV.
Until not so long ago, the long awaited fun park was home only to Starbucks, Decathlon, Momentum and some plastic children’s rides. However, taking a stroll through the park on a rather balmy afternoon this spring has knocked The Nanjinger’s socks off.
Not only has Pho Joy moved in downstairs, but the park is also now home to a plush new cinema, and somewhat of a culdesac that neatly packs in about seven restaurants and bars including Revolucion and Cherry, and situated above these is Australian restaurant Vision.
Owner Jerry took delight in informing the Nanjinger of his world famous chef, Japanese native, Kinsan, who has lived in Australia for over 30 years. Kinsan, or Ikuei Arakane, is the executive chief of Vision. Running restaurants in Melbourne and putting in regular appearances on the Japanese Iron Chef show; yep, you guessed it, his food at Vision stacks up.
Asking Jerry what he considers Australian cuisine to be, seafood was his reply. Steak and seafood certainly do feature heavily on the menu, with fresh local oysters topped with frozen grapefruit a fresh delight. Paired with crepe wrapped crab together with lightly toasted goose liver and you have yourself a first class starter right there.
Delighting The Nanjinger with a taste of the menu’s variety, we next sampled creamy mushroom pasta and spaghetti Bolognese, both to western standards in taste. For our mains, an Australian Angus steak and sea bass with vegetables, all washed down nicely with a bottle of crisp South Australian fine Sauvignon Blanc.
Call me old fashioned, but I expect to be asked how my steak should be cooked, especially if I’m paying over ¥300 for it. Furthermore, at a restaurant where, at the very least, my bill is to come to around ¥600, this would be considered rubbing shoulders with the finer dining experience one expects. Ergo, wait staff should know when to remove finished dishes and when to supply fresh cutlery.
Vision has set its sights high with its world class cuisine, and a Taiwanese award-winning cocktail maker. Its decor screams Chinese millennial glitz and glamour, which, to some, may resemble the inside of a KTV.
Its outdoor seating area is sublime with a 360 view of the city and comfortable seating. Staff are friendly and everyday menu options such as fish and chips at ¥55 and a beer are available. Vision is exactly what its name implies; step inside and experience first hand what post 90’s Chinese fine dining is all about.