Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

Archive for the ‘brunch’ tag

[Shanghai] Käfer by The Binjiang One

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Käfer by The Binjiang One

Add: Fucheng Lu, Shi Bu Jie, You Long Garden / 浦东富城路拾步街由隆花园, 近滨江大道
Tel: 5877 7500
Hours: 11:30am-11pm
Price: [brunch] 358 RMB [lunch] 148 RMB [dinner] 400+RMB
Visited on: Jun 2012

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

Käfer by The Binjiang One is a collaboration between two entities, namely the BLN Restaurants & Caterings (most known for their Paulaner restaurants) and Germany dining brand Käfer. It’s located in a corner of Lujiazui that I’ve never ventured to before, and upon entering the airy restaurant, I was surprised to find it abuzz with a mix of local and foreign diners. The brunch deal here, 358 RMB for a free flow of wine and other drinks, an appetizer and dessert buffet, in addition to an all-you-can-eat a la carte menu, has apparently attracted quite a following.

The theme is contemporary European dining, though there are some Asian dishes on the a la carte menu as well as on the buffet table, presumably to cater to different types of guests. Green bean soup for dessert? It’s got to be a request from Chinese patrons.

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June 17th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

[Sydney] La Renaissance

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La Renaissance Café Pâtisserie

Add: 47 Argyle Street The Rocks Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 2 9241 4878
Hours: 8am~6pm
Website: www.larenaissance.com.au
Price: 15~25 AUD/person
Visited on: 2012-04

La Renaissance wasn’t really on my list until someone casually mentioned that it’s got Sydney’s best macarons. Uh, did you just say “best macarons”?

So there I was, the very next morning, lining up behind the crowd for a taste of La Renaissance’s pastries. This small cafe has a cozy courtyard in the back, which would be lovely on any sunny day.

Ordering at La Renaissance is one of those hectic experience where you try to eye everything on display before deciding which of these good-looking things you want on your plate, and you don’t want to take too long either because the customer next to you is growing impatient.

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June 11th, 2012 at 7:49 pm

[Sydney] Bourke Street Bakery

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Bourke Street Bakery

Add: 633 Bourke Street Surry Hills
Tel: 9699 1011
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 7am~6pm [Sat-Sun] 8am~5pm
Website: www.bourkestreetbakery.com.au
Price: [food] 3~10 AUD [drinks] 3~4.50 AUD
Visited on: 2012-04

Before my trip to Sydney, I asked an Australian friend for some dining tips, and here’s her note on Bourke Street Bakery: “Drink their coffee, eat a pork and fennel sausage roll (yes even as a vegetarian I still advocate this), drink their Belgian chocolate milk (it’s in the fridge), eat a dark chocolate and cherry chunk cookie and buy all of their pastries!”

And so that’s what I did.

As you can see from the pictures above, Bourke Street Bakery is quite the hot spot. This tiny corner shop is stuffed with beautiful artisan breads, pastries and gourmet goods that keep its patrons hooked. There was a long queue of people when we arrived at 11am on a Saturday, and, seeing that all the seats are occupied, I was assigned the important task of snatching a table while my friends joined the queue for food.

The line moved rather quickly and we had our food in hands for about 5~10 minutes before a table cleared up. It was slightly awkward to stand there, plates in hand, and stare at other diners to figure out who will move out of their seats first. If you’d rather not wait for a table, you can choose to take everything to a nearby park for a picnic too.

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June 5th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

[Shanghai] The Waldorf Champagne Brunch

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Waldorf Astoria

Add: Waldorf Astoria, Heritage Building, 2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu / 上海外滩华尔道夫酒店 中山东一路2号
Tel: 6322 9988
Hours: 11am~3pm
Website: www.waldorfastoria.com
Price: 688 RMB + 15% or 888 RMB + 15% (includes free-flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and wine)
Visited: May 2012

The recently upgraded Waldorf Champagne Brunch is just about the most lavish (read: expensive) way you can spend a Sunday morning in Shanghai. As with the previous “Waldrof Brunch Tour”, brunchers commence at the Long Bar with flutes of Veuve Cliquot champagne and freshly shucked oysters, then waltz to the Grand Brasserie for its grand buffet and a la carte dishes from the Chef’s Specialties menu. Come hungry, and don’t expect to leave the place until a good 3 hours later.

A few words on Long Bar. The space used to be the gathering place for la crème de la crème of Shanghai back in 1920s, and, interestingly, is also where the first KFC in Shanghai was located. The current decor is all dark leather and dark wood, with an impressive 34-meter-long bar that was reconstructed exactly according to old photographs. Take the time to soak up up the unique charms of this legendary space, but resist the temptation to overdose on oysters – you will need that stomach space for a latter part of the brunch.

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May 29th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

[Melboune] The Hardware Sociéte

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The Hardware Sociéte

Add: 120 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Tel: (03) 9078 5992
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 7:30am~3pm [Sat] 8:30am~2pm
Price: 20~25 AUD/person
Visited on: 2012-04

Ok, I can now say that I’ve eaten at the most popular brunch spot in Melbourne. When we arrived at Hardware Sociéte at 8:46am on a Saturday morning, only a mere 16 minutes after it opened, it was already full. At 8:46 in the morning, on a Saturday! What’s the charm?

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May 7th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

[Melbourne] Hobba Coffee & Kitchen

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Hobba Coffee & Kitchen

Add: 428 Malvern Road, Prahran
Tel: (03) 9510 8336
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 7am~5pm [Sun] 8am~5pm
Webiste: hobba.com.au/Hobba
Price: 15~25 AUD/meal
Visited on: 2012-04

Through a string of serendipitous events, we arrived at the doorsteps of Hobba Coffee & Kitchen on a sunny late morning. We took a quick glance at this cafe, housed in a huge converted garage with an open-air design, lofty ceilings, bare bricks, and exposed wooden beams, and decided that this is a place to stay. As we eased ourselves into one of the wooden booths, I took note of its laid-back atmosphere, brought alive by friendly waitstaff and Melbourne’s early Autumn breeze. What’s on the brunch menu? Simple, comforting dishes made with fresh, local produce from “the most accomplished people in the industry”. Perfect, just what we were in the mood for.

First, flat white (3.80 AUD), latte (3.80 AUD), espresso (3.50 AUD), so smooth and aromatic, I was starting to think that it’s impossible to get a bad cup of coffee in Melbourne.

Here’s a friend’s fried egg, bubble & squeak, farmhouse slab bacon, roast tomato, brown butter hollandaise (16.50 AUD). What is “bubble & squeak”, you may ask? This traditional English dish, named after the sound made whilst cooking, is a mix of mashed potatoes and chopped cabbages (though carrots, peas, brussels sprouts or other vegetables can also be added), shallow-fried in a pan until browned at the sides. It’s that yellow thing is the second picture below, and it’s delicious. I was also very in love with the brown butter hollandaise, its creamy texture and nutty aroma made it a heavenly match with the crusty bread.

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May 1st, 2012 at 8:59 am

[Melbourne] Friends of Mine

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Friends of Mine

Add: 506 Swan St, Richmond, Melbourne, VIC 3121
Tel: (03) 9428 7516
Hours: 8am~4pm
Website: www.friendsofmine.com.au
Price: 15~30AUD/meal
Visited on: 2012-04

Friends of Mine is bright and sunny like Van Gogh’s sunflowers. Nothing describes this breakfast and lunch cafe better than what’s written on its own website (which, by the way, has the lovely Java Jive as its background music so don’t forget to turn on your speakers): A place to meet, ponder over a glass of wine, read a great book, get your daily fix of caffeine, laugh with friends, devour a perfect hangover breaky, celebrate with a bottle of bubbles, sing songs if you want…or a place to just kick back and just “be”.

The decor is lovely, a mix of raw bricks, concrete floor, chalkboards, and industrial lighting. I perched on a cheery yellow stool by a large window pane, feeling sunnier than ever.

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April 27th, 2012 at 8:33 am

[Shanghai] Brunch at Jing’An, The PuLi Hotel

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Jing’An Restaurant

Add: 2F, The PuLi Hotel and Spa, 1 Changde Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu / 常德路1號2樓, 近延安西路
Tel: 2216 6988
Hours: 11:30-2:30pm, 7:00-10:30pm
Price: [brunch] 398 RMB + 15%/person
Website: www.jinganrestaurant.com
Visited: Mar 2012

PuLi Hotel’s Jing’An Restaurant – adorned with dark woods, bamboo screens, lotus flowers, and huge plate-glass windows overlooking Jing’an Park – is one of my favorite places in Shanghai. Brunch here is a lavish affair, with two buffet tables in addition to a la carte orders of main courses and desserts, plus the optional free flow of Moet & Chandon Brut or Moet & Chandon Rose. What more can you ask for?

I usually don’t like buffet food, but the Jing’An version is quite nicely put together. What they entail: a fresh seafood station, charcuterie selection with dressing, roasted meats, freshly baked breads and pastries, imported cheeses, pickled station with pickled eggs, cucumbers onions and marinated mushrooms, fresh salad selection, a variety of homemade condiments, and fresh fruits.


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March 20th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

[Shanghai] Ming Court 明閣 at The Langham Xintiandi

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Ming Court 明閣 at The Langham Xintiandi

Address: Langham Xintiandi, 5/F, 99 Madang Lu, near Taicang Lu 马当路99号5楼, 近太仓路
Tel: 2330 2428
Hours: [lunch] 11:30am-2:30pm [dinner] 5:30-10:30pm
Website: intiandi.langhamhotels.com/restaurants/ming_court.htm
Price: [weekend brunch] 128 RMB/person [lunch] 250~300 RMB/person, [dinner] 300~500 RMB/person
Visited:  Jan 2012

With its 2 Michelin star standing in Hong Kong, Ming Court at The Langham Xintiandi raises expectations. To test it out, I gathered a group of 5 hungry dim sum lovers to try their 128 RMB/person all-you-can-eat dim sum brunch.  The verdict? It’s not 2 Michelin stars, but it’s an excellent deal.

We were seated in one of the nine private dining rooms, a pleasant space complemented with smooth and considerate service.

The 128 RMB price tag covers everything on the menu except drinks, and tea comes at 25~35 RMB per person. Among everything we ordered (all are of satisfying quality), my favorites were 鮮蝦炸腸粉 (deep-fried rice rolls with shrimps), 明閣四喜餃 (steamed dumplings with shrimps, fish roe, crab meat, and dried scallops), and 鮮蝦雲呑湯 (shrimp and vegetable wonton soup).


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January 8th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

[Shanghai] Xindalu 新大陸 at Hyatt on the Bund

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Xindalu China Kitchen 新大陸

Add: Hyatt on the Bund, 1/F, 199 Huangpu Lu 黄浦路199号, 外滩茂悦大酒店1楼
Tel: 6393 1234 ext 6318
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30-10:30pm
Website: www.shanghai.bund.hyatt.com
Price: [brunch] 188 RMB/person +15% [dinner] 350+ RMB/person
Visited: Oct 2011

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

So…what is this pyramid on my plate?

Dongpo Pork 金牌扣肉 (188 RMB) from Xindalu China Kitchen at Hyatt on the Bund. What it is: one thin slice of fatty, fatty pork belly wrapped around in the shape of a pyramid, towering over dried vegetables and mushrooms braised in pork sauce. What to do with it: sandwich a piece of pork with accompaniments in between a soft, fluffy pumpkin bun. The fat melts beautifully, a luxurious sensation in the mouth.


While you are here, also try the drunken duck liver in Shaoxing wine 紹興鵝肝 (128 RMB), a delicious alternative to the typical Western way of cooking foie gras.


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Written by sugarednspiced

October 23rd, 2011 at 8:23 am