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December Dining

By ShanghaiFamily 2018-12-20 23:26:08

Lady Bund

Lady Bund can be found on the fourth floor of the historic century-old, six-story red brick building known as Bund 22, the former home of Swire Pacific and one of the more recently renovated buildings along the Bund. Acclaimed Shanghai-based French architect, Thomas Dariel, was brought in with a request to create a space that borrows from both Western and Eastern cultures to reflect the style of fusion cuisine the restaurant intended to serve. The result is a vibrant, luxurious, contemporary space that retains elements of both Western and Asian design influences .

It’s no coincidence that the food here reflects the design. The menu takes inspiration from Western and Asian cultures, so you will find dishes like Grilled Boston lobster (880 RMB) alongside Shanghai-style Braised Wild Catfish Maw (78 RMB). For those of you who enjoy more intense, fiery flavors, the sliced leopard grouper in a sour broth (328 RMB) comes highly recommended. And if seafood isn’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with the incredibly succulent, (slow-cooked for up to 3 hours) Australian Wagyu M7 steak. For dessert, we recommend the homemade rice cake with sweet Longan broth and lily bulbs.

There are a number of private dining rooms available with stunning views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline, ideal for business dinners.  After 10pm, there is also a KTV room available should you and your guests wish to let off some steam after the serious business discussions have been concluded. 

If you mention Shanghai Family you will be privy to a free dessert from the seasonal delights menu. 

Details:

Address: 4/F, No.22 Zhongshan East Er Road, 

Huangpu District, Shanghai 

Reservations: (021) 6333 1798

Price: High-end luxury

Good for: Business dinners, special occasions / celebrations

 

The Pine at Rui Jin

The Pine at Rui Jin, owned by the Light & Salt group, and awarded a Michelin Plate in the 2019 edition, is located within the sprawling 100-acre historic grounds that were once home to the Shanghai regional government. The site is now home to Rui Jin Hotel as well as The Pine at Rui Jin, named after the Pine trees located next to the red-bricked villa that houses the restaurant.

Chef Johnston Teo, originally from Malaysia, cut his teeth working in some of Singapore’s finest restaurants before relocating to China to launch The Pine at Rui Jin.  We sampled his weekend lunch four-course set menu (397 RMB per person) which comes with an optional wine or tea pairing for an additional 297 RMB. It’s worth pointing out that within the set menu, several options require an additional supplement and all prices are also subject to a 10% service charge.

The food here is unequivocally modern oriental in terms of ingredients and cooking style, but both the descriptions and the presentation could be mistaken for a more Western style of cuisine.  The first course consisted of lightly battered Atlantic Toothfish and Iberico Pork - which was served with a fermented chilli oil and a spiced smoked fish glaze as well as “flat bread” that resembled Beijing duck pancakes - and a variety of other condiments, so you can make your own little Asian taco to suit your taste. 

From the two middle courses, we particularly enjoyed the beautifully presented handmade egg noodles with Boston Lobster (197 RMB supplement). The noodles were perfectly cooked and the generous chunks of freshly steamed lobster paired well with the ginger vinegar dipping sauce. We also liked the duck confit – tender pieces of perfectly seasoned duck leg paired with Porcini mushrooms and warm hen’s egg.

The dessert options were all unmistakably Asian and included a sweet soup consisting of barley, medjool dates and dried longan, Japanese yogurt ice cream, puffed wild rice with cashew nuts, dried cranberries and honey, and finally a truffled sweet potato which came atop a couple of whole, raw sweet potatoes as a garnish that the waiter gently requested we did not eat.

Every dish was compact, delicate, and chopstick-friendly, in keeping with the fine dining concept. The plating was immaculate and a feast for the eyes, which certainly enhanced the experience. Service was attentive and unrushed, which was lovely but also meant that it took a couple of hours to get through the four courses, as we savored every dish.

Details:

Address : Building 11, 118 Ruijin Er Lu

Reservations : (021) 6015 9268

Price : 397 RMB (four course weekend set lunch) with 

optional wine / tea pairing 297 RMB

Good for : Slow, relaxed, indulgent weekend lunch

 

M on The Bund

M On The Bund was one of the first independent Western restaurants to open in Shanghai and the first restaurant to open on the Bund back in 1999, long before the Bund became a mecca for plush cocktail bars and fine dining.  We visited on a sunny afternoon to enjoy a sun-drenched weekend brunch on their 7th floor terrace overlooking the Bund, with spectacular views of the Lujiazui skyline.

Weekend brunch is offered at 298 RMB for two courses including a cocktail and limitless tea or coffee, or for an extra 30 RMB you can enjoy three courses (all prices subject to 10% service charge).  The options on the brunch menu, and indeed the dinner menu, are an eclectic collection of dishes that have influences from Europe as well as Australia and the Middle East. You’ll find Eggs Benedict and fish and chips alongside Ful Medames, an Egyptian dish of broad beans with cumin and lemon. There are also crowd pleasers like M’s weekend fry-up as well as a Venison burger.

For starters, we enjoyed the salmon Gravlax which came with dill potatoes that perfectly offset the hint of saltiness from the salmon as well as the blissfully fluffy Blueberry pancakes - essential to any Western weekend brunch menu. Other options for the more adventurous include the New Zealand venison carpaccio with truffle oil which we earmarked for our next visit.

For mains, we stuck with another one of the classics – Eggs Benedict, cooked just right and smothered with a generous helping of delicious Hollandaise sauce. The cheesy risotto was a cheese lover’s dream, cooked to perfection with fresh Burrata, Ricotta and Parmesan.

To finish, we unanimously opted for M’s signature Pavlova crammed with fresh fruit. The menu may have changed over the years (the view of the Pudong skyline most certainly has) but the Pavlova has been the one constant here for almost two decades. Other options include Turkish Delight and baklava, cheese with nuts and fruit bread, and a vegan pear tart with vegan cinnamon ice cream.

 

At 328 RMB for three courses the M brunch is  a great value, given the prime location and the spectacular terrace views. They also have afternoon tea starting from 3pm at 168 RMB per person. Dinner will of course set you back significantly more and so it’s best set aside for those reimbursable corporate business dinners.  They also have a vegan and gluten free menu which will be welcome news to many.

Details:

Address : 7th floor, 20 Guangdong Road, No 5 the Bund

Reservations : (021) 6350 9988

Price : Reasonable for the location and view

Good for : Opulent weekend brunch that won’t break the bank

 

Fogo

Tucked away on a small street just one block from the Bund stands Meilun Mansion, a building with big foodie appeal. In this building you’ll find fantastic eats such as Michelin-starred sister restaurant, Canton 8, as well as Light & Salt Backstage. But don’t let  that overshadow Fogo, a delicious little number that can proudly stand side by side with Michelin stars.  

Upon entering, you’ll first come across the bar, beyond which lies the lounge and dining room, both of which boast a chic, modern interior and muted lighting. Further on, you’ll find that Fogo has not one but two rooftop terraces to enjoy in the warmer months. 

Fogo doesn’t commit to one style of cuisine but instead takes a bit from everywhere, which could be disastrous, but Fogo pulls it off masterfully. The food is ideal for sharing, with the menu divided into “individual bites,” “oversized nibbles,” and surf and turf “big bites” including a 1kg bone in Australian Charcoal Grilled Ribeye (or a smaller cut for smaller groups) and on the sea side of the menu, they have a small but tantalizing selection of shrimp, lobster, and fish dishes.

We particularly enjoyed many of the playfully fun small bites like the Pig In A Tree - Spanish Iberico ham rolled around miniature “air baguettes” and presented in a small tree. The Green Olive Explosion was also a fun surprise which we won’t spoil for you (15 RMB for three) as was the Edible Cocktail (28 RMB), a whimsical take on the classic Campari and orange juice, consisting of orange soup, Campari jelly and carrot foam. The highlight for us though was the ribeye steak, which was cooked to a perfect shade of pink, with an array of side dishes that included a light potato mousse as well as seasonal vegetables and gravy.

It would be a crime to conclude a review of Fogo without mentioning their cocktails. The list is separated into gin-based, rum-based and other cocktails. We loved the Cocktail No1 made with five spice dark rum, passion fruit puree, lemon juice and pineapple juice (88 RMB) as well as a new introduction, Indulgence, which is made with lemongrass, coconut, rum, vodka, ginger, chili and fresh pineapple juice giving it a distinctly Asian flavor that had us all fighting to sip the last drop – it’s not on the current list but ask for it by name and I’m sure they will oblige.

All in all, Fogo is a great destination, whether you want just a few pre / post-dinner cocktails, a few light snacks, or a full-blown meal.

Details:

Address: 139 Nanjing Road East, 6th Floor 

(entrance on Jiangxi Road)

Reservations: (021) 6333 0878

Price: Surprisingly reasonable for the location and quality

Good for: Drinks, light snacks, full meal, dates