Manne et Sante’
Add: 96 Shaoxing Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu / 绍兴路96号, 近陕西南路
Tel: 5465 6297
Price: [afternoon tea] minimum spend 50 RMB/person, [lunch/dinner] approx. 100 RMB/person
Visited: Mar 2012
It’s been a long while since I last visited Manne et Sante’, and I’m feeling very fortunate to have rediscovered this hidden gem. Take a look at this post, which will hopefully convince you to venture up its shabby and twisting staircase (be careful not to hit your head on the way up). Comfortable leather sofas, natural light streaming in from large window panes, Ella Fitzgerald in the air, and most impressively – affordable and delicious dishes! I wasn’t expecting much given the tiny size of the cafe and the presumably small kitchen, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Our lunch started with a basket of warm bread, accompanied by salted butter with parsley.
Then, a thick slice of chicken and pork Meat Paté (88 RMB) served cold with pickles and a mound of fresh greens. Not a connoisseur of meat paté, but I quite enjoyed the version at Manne et Sante’ and will gladly order this again.
When a fellow luncher picked the Classic Caesar Salad (58 RMB), I was expecting a boring toss of romaine lettuce in the typical Caesar dressing. Instead, we were served a delightful (and sizable) mix of greens, proscuitto, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and crispy bread slices. Yum!
Next came the Lasagna (58 RMB), a comfort dish that brought back some very fond childhood memories. Not the best you can find in town, but very nicely done. Thumbs up for the generous amount of cheese.
Wasn’t a fan of the Zeppoline (30 RMB), basically salted fried dough.
Equally unimpressed by the slightly watery Mushroom Soup (38 RMB).
But when Pizza Capricciosa (58 RMB) arrived at the table, I was happy to forget about the preceding disappointing dishes. Piled with Mozzarella, Parmigiano, salami, olives, and drumstick mushrooms, it was an instant hit.
For desserts, I loved the Mille Feuille (38 RMB), a gorgeous tower of fresh strawberries, pastry crust, and custard cream. Manne et Sante’ has changed the pastry crust of this dessert since my last visit, and I much prefer the current denser and crustier version.
Also very well received by our table was the Semifreddo di Banana (28 RMB), a classic Italian dessert with the texture of frozen mousse. It had bits of nuts of dried fruits in the mix, and came decorated with two sticks of bananas…
The Chocolate Pizza (48 RMB) was something I’ve been wanting to try since my last visit. I imagined a pizza crust lavishly drowned in melting chocolate, perhaps sprinkled with walnuts and hazelnuts, but what was brought to the table was a plain pita bread-like pie dotted with a few droplets of chocolate. I much prefer a Côté‘s Pizza Nutella, which is admittedly more expensive (75 RMB) but so much more satisfying.
On a separate visit, I also tried a piece of Homemade Chocolate Cake (28 RMB). Rich, perfect for chocoholics.
I heard Manne et Sante’ also makes a strong glass of Mulled Wine (40 RMB) with cinnamon sticks and orange peel – perfect for combating the winter cold. As I’m not a fan of cinnamon-flavored drinks, I opted for a glass of fruity Sangria (? RMB) instead.
Manne et Sante’ is full of delightful surprises. You will like it, I’m quite sure of it.