Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Racines

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Racines

Add: 41 Guangyuan Road, near Yuqing Road / 广元路41号,近余庆路
Tel: 6448 3851
Hours: 6-11pm
Price: 350-400 RMB
Visited: Oct 2015

French bistro by Japanese chef Kenji Ishibashi, who was trained in Marseilles and Nice before working as chef at Mardi Gras and La Queue du Chiot here in Shanghai. His most recent project, Racines, has been up and running for a few months now and gathering good reviews, so I dropped by earlier this week for a try.

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Racines (“roots” in French) is located on the first floor of an apartment building without apparent signage – it’s definitely not a place you’d notice if you just walk by. I suppose they don’t really want walk-ins anyway, as the place is small. There are three seats in front of the open kitchen, and the tables can accommodate about 18 people. There are only two people in the kitchen – Kenji Ishibashi and his assistant, and only one service staff.

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The menu is scribbled on a blackboard (very French indeed), the list is fairly short but there are many attractive options. It took us quite a while to get anything – I guess two people in the kitchen isn’t exactly a lot – but when the dishes did arrive, they were delicious. The meal started on a good note with bread and some very good butter and chicken liver pâté.

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Tia Marra oysters (50 RMB/pc).

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Ratatouille and Mozzarella (150 RMB), chunks of mozzarella cheese topping roasted and marinated vegetables. Excellent.

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Pan Fried Scallops (195 RMB), great flavor, though a bit dry. The condiments on the side, on the other hand, especially the potato purée, were very nice. We also tried the Pan Fried Snapper (200 RMB), I didn’t take a good photo of it but it was excellently done.

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Duck Leg Confit (200 RMB), crispy skin with tender meat, a bit gelatinous by the bone…probably my favorite main course of the evening.

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Beef Bavette (250 RMB), only took a bite of this one and can’t say much, though the friend who ordered it said it was too salty for her.

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Brown Sugar Pudding with Financier (40 RMB), I quite liked the financier with vanilla ice-cream but the brown sugar pudding was way too sweet for my palate.

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White Cheese Mousse with Rose Jam, Berries (40 RMB), again on the sweet side, but I liked the refreshing flavor combination.

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Dinner at Racines definitely felt like a French experience, both in terms of the food and the timing – our 3-course dinner took more than 3 hours. I didn’t much mind as I was with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, and we were happy catching up while waiting for the food, but this is not for people who are in a rush. For me, the food is good enough to lure me back, and I think next time I will try to sit at the bar so see some kitchen actions.

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Written by sugarednspiced

October 31st, 2015 at 1:14 am