Azul Tapas Lounge
Add: Ferguson Lane 8/F, 378 Wukang Lu, near Hunan Lu / 武康路378号8楼, 近湖南路
Tel: 5405 2252
Price: [brunch] 130~160 RMB [dinner] 200~300 RMB/person
UPDATE: Azul has moved to a new location (address updated above). I have not been to the new restaurant and cannot comment on it.
Azul Tapas Lounge is a modern Peruvian eatery by Eduardo Vargas, a brunch favorite among expats. The restaurant offers generous portions of brunch items ranging from salmon crepes to Spanish chicken to omelets to steaks. For us, the 130 RMB two-course sets were more than enough, but if you are extra hungry, opt for the three-course set at 160 RMB.
Comfy seats on the second floor
Brunch at Azul comes with a complementary drink (sangria, smoothie, juice, etc.) AND coffee/tea, which is a great deal. Having said that, the smoothies here are all watery and are nothing compared to what Melange Oasis serves.
Complementary scones and muffins were served warm and fluffy with creme fraiche, strawberry jam, and a maple syrup flavored cream.
Scones and muffins
After polishing off the scones and muffins, we started on the appetizers. The tomato cucumber gazpacho was refreshingly zesty, the salmon crepes decent though not memorable, and the banana pancakes fluffy and drizzled with a lavish amount caramel and whipped butter.
Appetizers: Tomato cucumber gazpacho with avocado, Banana pancakes, Smoked salmon crepe
Now the main dishes. I ordered the Spanish chicken with risotto, which was recommended by the rather friendly and helpful manager. The hearty dish was a perfect second course to the gazpacho. The char-grilled chicken, topped with a tomato corn salsa, was very tender and flavorful, which compensated for the somewhat bland saffron risotto. Stay away from the steak, but try the Spanish omelete.
Main courses: Spanish Chicken with Saffron Risotto, Minute Steak, Gourmet Omelete
Food at Azul is just ok, and the presentation is anything but meticulous (expect some roughly put together dishes on chipped plates). However, I can see why this is a popular brunch spot – the generous portions, reasonable prices, plus a bright and spacious interior easily lure guests back again.