Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Cuivre

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Add: 1502 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu 淮海中路1502号, 近乌鲁木齐路
Tel: 6437 4219
Hours: [daily] 6-10:30pm [weekend brunch] 11:30am-2:30pm
Price: [dinner] 250~350 RMB/person [brunch] 188 RMB/set
Visited: Nov 2011

It’s hard to not notice the warm glow exuding from Cuivre’s windows if you pass by its storefront. This upscale French bistro, adorned with copper coils (very approrpiate given the name Cuivre, “copper” in French), leather chairs, woven wood/bamboo light fixtures, is a welcoming and slightly quirky place. Fill the space with Michael Wendling’s straight-forward and delicious Southern French fare, and we’ve got a winning combination.

Bikes converted into bar seating? They don’t look very comfortable.

We started with Soupe a la Truffe (118 RMB), chef Wendling’s signature dish from his days at Allure of Le Meridien. This emulsion of black truffle with white bean soup brought an amazing whiff of truffle aroma to the table – I was wrapped up in a haze of anticipation and appetite before anything hit even my tongue. It’s no surprise that this soup has been garnering oohs and aahs from patrons for years.

Terrine de Foie Gras (138 RMB) at Cuivre is prepared “au torchon” (in a towel), where a whole lobe of foie is wrapped in a towel and slow-cooked in a waterbath. The result, a satisfyingly thick slice,  is served with cherry chutney and toasted bread, the portion generous enough to feed 3 people. Excellent.

Next, Salade de Gesiers (78 RMB), a salad with warm duck gizzards and bacon in white balsamico and spicy dressing.

I’m not a big fan of baked snails, but Cuivre’s Les Escargots d’Antoinette (88 RMB) with garlic butter and tomato concasse was very well received by my fellow diners.

Then arrived the main courses. Le Cochon Noir (158 RMB), a 500g grilled black pig rack, stunned us with its sheer size. Even more memorable was its tender texture and flavor enhanced by a mustard and oregano juice – the taste still resonates in my head. If you have a group of three or more, be sure to try this dish.

Bavette a L’echalote (178 RMB), grilled Australian Wagyu beef flank served with shallot and red wine sauce, nicely done but less memorable than the pork.

Some dishes: seared lentil with the pork, and fries with the beef.

Homard (210 RMB) was a dish recommended to us by a foodie friend, and it did not disappoint. The lobster flavor was fully absorbed by the rice, each grain creamy and al dente at the same time. Next time I will have to try Cuivre’s other risotto, cooked with black truffles and shaved Iberico cheese.

In comparison to the appetizers and main dishes, Cuivre’s desserts were less impressive. The three desserts we tried were all decent, but none made a strong statement. First was Le Lingo (68 RMB), layers of black chocolate ingot and dacquoise biscuit topped with homemade vanilla ice-cream.

Then, Creme Brulee (58 RMB).

Lastly, Le Yaourt (28 RMB), homemade vanilla yogurt with fresh diced mango.

Desserts notwithstanding, I was very happy with our dinner at Cuivre. If you haven’t tried it already, make a reservation for your next dinner – it’s a place worth frequenting.

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 28th, 2011 at 6:51 pm