Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Organ

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Add: 66 Ziyunxi Lu, near Loushanguan Lu 紫云西路66号, 近娄山关路
Tel: 5206 5937
Hours: 11:30am-10pm
Price: [lunch] 40~50 RMB [cakes] 25~35 RMB
Visited: Mar 2011

NOTE: Organ has closed and reopened here.

“How do you find these places?” – asked my fellow luncher as we sat down at the table. It is true that Organ is not well-known outside of the Japanese community here in Shanghai. It’s not even listed on SmartShanghai or City Weekend, and has a mere 60 reviews on Dianping (versus 6000  reviews for popular Chinese restaurants). This discreet and unpretentious cafe, with its warm colors, eclectic decorations, and soothing music on the background, is instantly charming. From the handmade hamburger steak to the signature soy milk chiffon cake, everything at Organ taste fresh, healthy, and delicious. It’s one of those places where you can spend the whole afternoon basking in the sun next to the window, or curl away on the ultra-comfortable couch in an inner corner.

The 1st floor of Organ is an elongated space consisting of a bar and an open kitchen. Head up to the 2nd floor and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how spacious it is.

I absolutely love these handmade menus! Everything is handwritten and the pictures are pasted on – the cafe owner really puts her heart into everything she does here.

At the waiter’s recommendation, I ordered the chicken nanban (チキン南蛮, 40 RMB), a Kyushu-style fried chicken with sweet sour sauce and tartare sauce. At Organ, the chicken is first steamed to lessen the frying time, making it healthier than the usually oil-ladden fried chicken. The coating is also much thinner than your typical American fried chicken, and underneath the meat remains tender and succulent. Accompanied by a delicious homemade tartare sauce, the chicken nanban was an excellent choice.

We also tried the handmade hamburger steak with original tonkatsu sauce (45 RMB), which was much lighter in flavor and healthier-tasting than my usual favorites at Big Apple. I can’t decide which I like better, I guess it all depends on the mood. There are two other varieties at Organ – a Japanese-style vinegar based sauce, and a seafood mushroom cream sauce – both sound very tempting, no?

Both sets include a scoop of whole-grain rice, a salad with an onion dressing (not a big fan of the spiciness, and it made my breath smell horrible the whole afternoon), some pickles/pasta, and miso soup.

For desserts, I chose the soy milk chiffon cake (25 RMB), a sizable slice of fluffiness served with a fresh cream, slices of banana and strawberry, and caramel. In line with the main courses, this dessert is light and delicious. Highly recommended.

I didn’t expect much of the brownies a la mode (35 RMB), but was pleasantly surprised. Rich, dense, and supremely chocolate-y, it was like eating a chewy chocolate bar. I recommend sharing this between two people as it’s quite heavy .

An absolutely lovely combination of relaxing atmosphere and healthy comfort food. Tomorrow, I told myself, I will be back again.

NOTE: Organ has recently closed and reopened here.

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Written by sugarednspiced

March 5th, 2011 at 11:13 am