Archive for the ‘restaurant’ tag
Address: 8/F, 35 Shanxi Nan Lu, near Changle Lu / 陕西南路35号8楼, 近长乐路
Tel: 6215 8777
Hours: [La Table] 5:30-10:30pm, [Studio Bar] 11:30am-11:00pm
Price: [La Table] 700 RMB+/person, [Studio Bar] 300 RMB/person
Please note that this is an arranged tasting, so my experience is possibly more positive than a regular visit.
Jacques and Laurent Pourcel’s newest venture, Maison Pourcel, is a sleek, starkly elegant restaurant with spectacular vista of the French Concession area in Shanghai. The setting is luxurious, the service is smooth, but there is one major problem with this place, and that is deciding what to eat. When faced with a choice between “compressed lobster and vegetable terrine with duck ham and mango” and “duck liver and cepes ravioli with puree of baby pumpkin and foamy porcini mushroom soup”, ordering can take a very, very long time.
Jacques & Laurent Pourcel greet guests with a whimsical video on the 8th floor of Maison Pourcel
But before I get started on the food, let’s talk about the twins and their newest venue choice. After launching the 3 Michelin starred Le Jardin des Sens back in France at the age of 24, the Pourcel twins have since expanded their culinary empire to Bangkok, Tokyo, Casablanca, Geneva, Marrakech, Algiers and Dubai. For the recent opening in Shanghai, they chose the historical Red House, which was home to the most celebrated Western restaurant back in the 1930s. The refurbished dining room is posh, elegant, delightful during the day with ample natural light, and equally charming after dark with sparkling French Concession as its backdrop.
Maison Pourcel in day light
Maison Pourcel in day light
Christofle silverware, naturally
Maison Pourcel as the sun sets
Maison Pourcel as the sun sets
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Address: 20 Dong Hu Road, Near Huai Hai Road /東湖路20號, 近淮海路
Tel: 5404 5757
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 11:00am~3:00pm, 6:00pm~11:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
Price: Brunch 150 RMB/person, Dinner 250~350 RMB/person
It’s been almost a year since I last dined at El Willy, so I decided to drop by again for its popular Saturday brunch. The restaurant was packed – apparently people are still loving what’s served here – but my brunch experience was a combination of mediocre food and horrible service.
Let’s start with the service. We were seated near the doorway leading to the patio, and as it was very windy, we requested to be moved to an inner corner. The waiter refused to move us (a party of two), insisting that the table was reserved for a larger group, but 5 minutes later he seated another couple at that exact table. A very bad start.
Then commenced the procession of passable but rather unimpressive dishes. First came the asparagus soup with crispy suckling pig and herb cream, which was not too bad except it was served lukewarm.
Asparagus soup with crispy suckling pig and herb cream
The organic salad was a real downer. The descriptions reads: “organic salad with salmon croque-monsieur, fresh apple, nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette“, but I totally missed the salmon “croque-monsieur” before the waiter pointed to the pathetic pieces of crisps sandwiching bits of smoked salmon. How can you call this “croque-monsieur”? I could’ve let this go – it’s not uncommon for food descriptions to sound more appetizing than the actual execution – but the waiter sneered at us in a “how dare you question the integrity of our kitchen” or “we do not cheat our customers” kind of manner. Now that was unacceptable.
Organic salad with salmon croque-monsieur, fresh apple, nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette
Organic egg with cauliflower puree, foie gras, and sweet wine reduction was pretty to look at, as the yellow egg yolk contrasted beautifully with the blue bowl. The foie gras was a bit stiff, otherwise this was a fine dish.
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Address: 1/F, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu 永嘉路570号, 近岳阳路
Tel: 3461 1775
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 6:00pm~10:30pm, closed on Mon and Sun
Price: 350~450 RMB/person
Chef Marc Johnson at Fulton Place has been accumulating good reviews since the restaurant opened in July 2010. After hearing a few more words about the place from a foodie I met at the Jean Georges cooking demo/luncheon, I decided immediately that I should give it a try.
Fulton Place is not so big, but the room does not feel crowded thanks to the high ceilings, calculated lighting, and comfortable space in between tables.
We arrived at 7:00pm to an almost empty restaurant, but the space was quickly filled at around 8:00pm when the crowd started trickling in.
The wall paper is rather interesting. You see the lizard and the bird, but can you spot the man having dinner with a sheep, or the woman holding a baguette while dancing on a chunk of cheese?
I also love the business card design.
The menu is focused and concise. Starters, main courses, and side dishes all fit on an A4 paper, while desserts go on another.
A complimentary bowl of spiced almonds was brought to our table as we perused the menu.
Amuse-bouche of the day was a shot glass of pumpkin soup with toasted pumpkin seeds. Smooth and aromatic. Like!
Table No. 1
Address: 1-3 Maojiayuan Lu, near Zhongshan Nan Lu / 毛家園路1-3號1樓, 近中山南路
Tel: 6080 2918
Price: [Lunch] 158 RMB+15%/person, [Dinner]300~400 RMB/person
I had an instant good feeling about Table No. 1 as soon as I stepped into The Waterhouse. It’s chic in the unusual way of broken tiles, exposed bricks, and rough edges, charming especially during the evening with elusive candle lights adorning the tables. This contemporary European restaurant is ran by Jason Atherton, one of Gordon Ramsay’s protégés, and offers some very interesting dishes with intriguing texture and flavor combination. Yes, it’s got one of those menus that have you perusing for twenty minutes before deciding what to order.
Table No.1 by Jason Atherton
Interior, spare and simple
While the dinner a la carte menu is difficult to choose from (I remember perusing it for at least twenty minutes last time since too many dishes looked tempting), the lunch menu is likable and succinct: 2 appetizers, 3 mains, and 2 desserts, at 178 RMB (+15%).
The first appetizer, a rabbit rillette, was topped with a satisfying layer of duck fat and encircled by a beautiful mix of pickled vegetables, gelée, and toasted walnuts. Though not as smooth and creamy as the usual rillette, what’s served here was very tender and the texture went nicely with the accompanying pieces of bread, themselves aromatic after being drizzled with olive oil and then grilled to perfection.
Address: 166 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu 富民路166号, 近长乐路
Tel: 5403 8110
Hours: 10:00am – 2:00am (kitchen closes at 10pm)
Price: 30~36 RMB/appetizer, 42~68 RMB/pho or cold vermicelli
You can’t miss Pho Real when you walk down Fumin Lu. This small Vietnamese eatery shines bright in the dark night, its catchy name and hip decor – all those wicker baskets filling the ceiling – easily attract passerby. On a cold and extremely windy Thursday evening, I decided to give the food a try. Unfortunately, I did not make a reservation and even though there were empty seats inside the restaurant, the waitstaff insisted that I must wait OUTDOOR until my fellow diner arrives, even after I assured them that he’ll be here in 5 minutes. The manager/owner was there too, and did not try to remedy the situation. Not a good start.
Pho Real interior
When I was eventually granted a seat, I decided to brush aside the ridiculous service for now and focus on the food. Our appetizer, summer rolls with roasted duck and foie gras, was quite enjoyable. It was mostly lettuce, and the slivers of duck meat and foie gras almost got lost between the greens, but the flavors were evident and appetizing when dipped with the accompanying fish sauce.
Vietnamese style summer roll with roasted duck and foie gras, 42 RMB
Summer roll close up
The signature pho was typical. Thinly sliced rump steak, beef brisket, chewy beef meatballs with Vietnamese rice noodles served in the house slow simmered beef broth topped with onions, green onions, cilantro, and accompanied with bean sprouts, thai basil, chili and green lime. Not a bad choice for such a cold day in Shanghai.
NY Style Steak & Burger
Address: No. 22, Lane 155 Jianguo Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu 建国路155弄22号, 近瑞金二路
Hours: [Sun-Thu] 11:30am-11:00pm, [Fri-Sat] 11:00am-10:30pm
Price: 48-65 RMB/burger
For an artery-clogging but truly satisfying meal, go to NY Style Steak & Burger and order The Manhattan Monster. The beef patty itself is made with not much else other than good meat, and is accompanied by crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, fried egg, firehouse chili, onions rings (a little mountain of ‘em), lettuce, pickles, and tomato. Served with a side of fries, this burger will fill you up no matter how hungry you are.
The restaurant is slightly hard to find. If you know where Q’s Coffee is, just walk down the small alley to the right of it and you’ll arrive at NY Style Steak & Burger.
We tried The Manhattan Monster (65 RMB) and The Brooklyn BBQ (55 RMB), which were very similar in their architecture. I loved both almost equally, but if forced to choose, I would opt for the Monster for the firehouse chili and fried egg. As you can easily tell from the portion and ingredient list of these burgers, they are not ideal for the calorie counters.
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T8 Restaurant & Bar
Address: Xintiandi North Block, Lane 181 Taicang Lu, near Madang Lu
. 太仓路181号，新天地北里, 近马当路
Tel: 6355 8999
Hours: [Brunch] 11:30am-3:00pm, [Lunch] 11:30am-2:30pm, [Dinner] 6:30pm-11:30pm
Price: [Brunch] 258-498 RMB/person, [Dinner] 500 RMB/person
I was determined to come back to T8 after having a lovely lunch here during Restaurant Week, but of course with the multitude of restaurants in Shanghai, three months has past before I finally made it back here. So here it is, the long awaited post on T8, round deux. Brunch here is a sumptuous affair – 258 RMB for two courses, 328 RMB for three courses, and 498 RMB for four courses, all inclusive of a glass Perrier-Jouet champagne and illy coffee or tea (extra 198 RMB for free flow of champagne). Worth the money? Possibly so.
T8 upstairs lounge
We were exhausted after a morning of non-stop Christmas shopping, and were glad to be led upstairs to the tranquil and spacious lounge where brunch is served. The space is delightful – huge windows let in an abundance of natural light, fresh cherries adorning the tables, and Christmas music floating in the air. We sank into the plush sofa at the innermost corner as the waiter brought two glasses of Perrier-Jouet to our table. A most agreeable start!
A bubbly start
The world through a champagne glass
Our first entree, the crispy skin suckling pig with mojo sauce and cauliflower puree, was exceptional. The skin was roasted crispy while the meat remained supremely tender and juicy. The mojo sauce, with its strong curry flavor, worked well with the pork but overshadowed the cauliflower puree.
Crispy skin suckling pig, mojo sauce, cauliflower puree
Our second entree, the mushroom and Gruyere tart with cauliflower puree and asparagus, was equally appetizing. The buttery flaky crust was stuffed with a hearty Gruyere and mushroom filling and topped with juicy mushroom halves. The cauliflower puree, again, served more of a decorative purpose as it was basically indiscernible next to the other strong flavors.