Sugared & Spiced

paris, pâtissier in training

[SHANGHAI] Sunday Fried Chicken at The Public

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The Public

Address: Sinan Mansions, Block 2, 4/F, Lane 507 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Chongqing Lu / 复兴中路507弄2号楼4楼, 近重庆路
Tel: 3368 9419
Hours: [Wed-Sun] 6:00pm~late
Price: [food] 100~200 RMB/person [drinks] 65~80 RMB/cocktail
Visited on: 2012-02-26

I was so curious about The Public’s Sunday Fried Chicken that I came back within a week of my last visit - a very rare occurrence to see on Sugared & Spiced. The fried chickens here have been garnering great reviews since their Apothecary days, and many diners – despite bashing the place for its strict rules and unsatisfactory service (both have been effectively remedied since the restaurant’s rebranding) – reluctantly admitted that the chickens are a hit. What’s the deal?

The Public

Bar

Here it is, a glorious plate of Whey-Poached Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Biscuits & Coleslaw (half chix w/ 2 biscuits 125 RMB, whole chix w/ 4 biscuits 240 RMB). Free-range, organic chickens that grew up on honey-fermented grains are seasoned (they say it takes 24 hours), battered, then deep fried to a satisfying golden brown. Under the crackling crunch is fragrant, juicy, and tender meat filled with flavor. It is a memorable bird indeed.

Whey-Poached Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Biscuits & Coleslaw

On a separate plate came the coleslaw…

Coleslaw

…and buttermilk biscuits, which weren’t too shabby at all, but the restaurant staff still assured us that they are working on the recipe and will soon come out with a leveled up version of these buttery goodness.

Buttermilk biscuits

With the order of a whole chicken came a complimentary bottle of white wine (or 2 bottles of beer). I’m not sure if this is a regular thing or we just happened to be lucky that particular evening – check with the waiter when you visit.

Free bottle of white wine

Sweet Potato Casserole (50 RMB), a deep dish of seasoned sweet potatoes baked with pecans – purely hearty and down-home.

Sweet Potato Casserole (50 RMB) 

Equally satisfying was the Soft-Shell Crab with Ambrosia Salad (100 RMB), a mound of seasoned and deep-fried soft-shell crabs tossed with organic lettuce greens, toasted coconut flakes and tangerine wedges. FYI, this is on the main course page, so don’t go looking for it in the salad section.


Soft-Shell Crab with Ambrosia Salad (100 RMB)

Blackened Chicken Leg and Giblet Rice (90 RMB) - tender chicken thighs rubbed with spices and seared against hot metal, over a bed of giblet rice (not an expert on this, but it was quite tasty as far as I could tell).

Blackened Chicken Leg and Giblet Rice (90 RMB) 

Blackened Chicken Leg and Giblet Rice (90 RMB) 

I was too full by the time I got to the Australian Wagyu Beef “Juicy Lucy” Sliders on Sweet Potato Buns (60 RMB)…only had a bite and honestly can’t remember too much about it.

Australian Wagyu Beef “Juicy Lucy” Sliders on Sweet Potato Buns (60 RMB)

But there’s always room for dessert, especially when Dark Rum Beignets (45 RMB) is on the menu. Dusted with powdered sugar (we actually sent the dish back for more powdered sugar…why yes we do love powdered sugar) and served with whipped cream, these southern doughnuts employ Gosling’s Black Seal rum, lime, and nutmeg in its batter, resulting in crispy nuggets with a cakey center.

Dark Rum Beignets (45 RMB) 

We also tried a Sour Cream Cheesecake (50 RMB), a New York style cheesecake topped with a layer of sour cream to balance out the richness. Not bad, but nothing special.

Sour Cream Cheesecake (50 RMB) 

Sour Cream Cheesecake (50 RMB)

No one leaves The Public without a cocktail or two. My favorite from last time was “The Kind”, but I decided to try something else from the list of “Auspicious Eight”. Secret Earl Grey Cocktail (70 RMB), a variation of Audrey Aunders’ Earl Grey MarTEAni served as The Pegu Club, NYC, is made with Eary Grey tea-infused Beefeater gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites, grapefruit lavender bitters…Now my favorite cocktail here.

Secret Earl Grey Cocktail (70 RMB)

Here’s Dark and Stormy (65 RMB) with Gosling’s Black Seal rum, house-made ginger beer, lime syrup, lime wedge. “From Bermuda, the spicy ginger beer and caramely dark rum makes this rich, spicy and dry cooler enjoyable all year round.”

Dark and Stormy (65 RMB)

And Islay Whisky Sour (80 RMB) made from Famous Grouse Scotch whisky, lemon juice, Lapsong Souchong syrup, a lemon twist, and a “collar” of Laphroaig 10 years. “Like sitting in a peat bog being pelted with smoldering pine cones.”

Islay Whisky Sour (80 RMB)

The Public’s Sunday Fried Chicken and other Southern U.S. Creole dishes are well-worth the trip. There are a few other enticing items on the menu that I have yet to try: maple-smoked bacon-wrapped pickled quail eggs, fried shrimp and mentaiko sauce po’ boy, and house-made charcuterie cobb salad, oh my. I also heard they are starting brunch service soon…fried chicken with buttermilk waffles? Bring it.

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8 Responses to '[SHANGHAI] Sunday Fried Chicken at The Public'

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  1. [...] also heard some very positive reviews about The Public’s Sunday fried chicken night (RMB 125 for half bird with coleslaw and biscuits) since its Apothecary days, and perhaps [...]

  2. Way to invite me :-( !

    Ananth

    29 Feb 12 at 5:04 PM

  3. Brunch, very soon :)

    sugarednspiced

    3 Mar 12 at 10:56 PM

  4. I finally tried The Public last night for the Whey-Poached Fried Chicken. We ordered the Soft-Shell Crab with Ambrosia Salad as well for more greens. Both the chicken and crab salad were delicious, I haven’t had Fried Chicken like this perhaps ever. The drinks were a disappointment — I ordered a Bloody Mary, where it was not spicy or strong that what it should be at other venues. I’m going to wait it out until they get their cocktails better before going back again — unless I get a craving for the Fried Chicken where this time I order a Brooklyn Lager beer.

    Felix

    19 Mar 12 at 12:10 PM

  5. Good to know that you enjoyed theif fried chicken and crab salad – I need to come back for those myself. Haven’t had a chance to try their bloody mary yet, I heard they do a nice job of it so I’m surprised to hear your disappointment. Will order those next time and let you know how they are.

    sugarednspiced

    20 Mar 12 at 5:41 PM

  6. About the Bloody Mary, I was there quite late for this dinner — say about 10:30PM. They said that the Bloody Mary is a specialty of the daytime Brunch, where they had to gather all the assorted bottles out from storage. The bartender seemed to be familiar with how to mix the drink, it just didn’t come out properly. I love the Bloody Mary’s at The Roof — that’s my benchmark for comparison.

    Felix

    20 Mar 12 at 11:33 PM

  7. [...] Smart Shanghai, Shanghai Talk Magazine, Sugared And Spiced, City Weekend, [...]

  8. Now closed. So sad. Never got to all you can eat chicken night.

    MLT

    4 Feb 13 at 1:15 PM

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