October Treats

By Michael Zee 2019-12-04 11:18:34

Our Bakery

Perhaps the most popular of all contemporary bakery chains, Our Bakery from South Korea is the creator of last year’s crazed Dirty Dirty buns. These extra chocolatey buns are so difficult to eat in a civilised manner that you can’t help but get yourself into a filthy mess. Now that the queues have calmed down, the skill of their pastry chefs has been applied elsewhere.

The spectacular tiramisu croissant, the superb canele and the delectable matcha soft serve have been put through their paces to perfection.

On the front door you will find their signature timetable. Throughout the course of the day particular pastries come out of the oven on the hour, so don’t be disappointed if you miss your favourite. The space is large and bright so it doubles up as a handy place to sit and write emails for a few hours.

Find it: 838 Huangpi South Road, Long Zhonghai Uni Fans L150 黄陂南路838弄中海环宇荟L150铺; Reservations: 021 6333 1818

BOR Eatery

With its effortlessly chic open kitchen in the middle of the room, walls covered with art works and family photographs from years gone by, you’d be mistaken for thinking BOR has been around for years.

Climbing the stairs up to this Scandinavian sanctuary is like entering the apartment of an extremely stylish friend that you have living in Sweden, who has suddenly decided to turn it into a restaurant for plebs like us.

Something as simple as smørrebrod is a prime example that the easiest things are the hardest to get right, but chef Kasper Pedersen absolutely nails it. The fried halibut filet with dill and shrimp salad (98 RMB) is like a perfect summer day spent at Louisiana Art Museum outside of Copenhagen.

Who knew that a chicken salad with butter lettuce, pickled onion, black sesame and anchovy dressing (78 RMB) could be so transformative? Pedersen says he eats one every day and I could do the exact same. The two day sugar cured, hot smoked salmon with grilled jiaozi skins and sweet mustard (188 RMB) are small bites of pure ecstasy, each one assembled to your own taste.

My only suggestion at BOR is never skip the desserts. My personal favourites are the honeycomb smash (60 RMB), now with better styling than it had previously at Pelikan but still as good, and the salted raspberry sorbet with pine nut oil (50 RMB) a spritely taste of summer on the tongue.

Kasper Pedersen has created something very special here, and even though it’s at the busy end of Anfu Lu it’s hidden in plain sight. Located above newly opened “Funk & Kale”, it serves as a magnet for those looking for fresh dining.

Find it: 2F, Number 11, 322 Anfu Road 安福路322号11栋2楼, 近武康路 Reservations: 021 6266 7909

You Le Da 友乐达台北精致面馆

A short walk from Our Bakery is the friendly neighbourhood Taipei style café more affectionately known as ‘Yolata’. I’d describe it as cosy rather than small, eclectic rather than chaotic. Whilst the lunch-time rush might mean a short wait, the prices are decent and the music - most often soft jazz - will ease you into island style living.

I am a big fan of the tofu roll (腐皮豆芽卷), a perfect substitute for the pork chop for vegetarian diners (I can’t confirm that its vegan) but beyond that the menu is heavy on the beef noodle and each bowl comes with generous chunks of slow cooked meat. With all the options available - tripe, tendons, hot and spicy, tomato flavour, wine flavour - there is plenty of variation on a theme to keep you coming back.

Find it:169 Mengzi Lu, 蒙自路169号; Reservations: 021 530 19038

Le Bistrot de Racine

Francophiles rejoice! There aren’t many places in Shanghai where you can feast on glorious Bouillabaisse, snail puffs, pate en croute that resembles the terrazzo floor at RAC, and truly wonderful homemade bread with canary yellow butter, your meal is sure to be pure hedonistic pleasure. My only criticism is that they don’t have any sides on the menu, no pomme frites or puree, ratatouille, a simple green salad, nothing to share with your comrades.

The best option and value for money in my opinion however, is the Dover Sole with a green sauce, the definition of elegant sophistication and will leave you with just about enough room for dessert. The lemon tart needs more acidity, but I’m here for the Mont Blanc. After such an indulgent lunch I could have ended with something lighter, perhaps an Île Flottante, sorbet or even just some fruit?

On ne peut pas avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre, as the French say.

Find it: 609-1 Changde Lu, 常德路609-1号; Reservations: 021 5271 5067

The Peacock Room

My first impression of The Peacock Room was, how is it so hard to find a restaurant in such a central and modern location? A discreet doorway behind the Nio car dealership outside the Taikoo Hui mall with a sign for a hair salon will lead you into one of Shanghai’s best dinner offers.

An experiential 24 course tasting menu charting a course through the complexities of Sichuan cuisine and its compound flavours for 350 RMB a head?! Not only that, the interiors are inspired by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room housed in the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the space is pure glamour without the usual more is more of other luxurious restaurants. It’s the perfect location to entertain and impress groups, entertaining colleagues, visiting family or double dates.

The rapid fire succession of dishes explore more than mala and lesser known strange flavour, but also Yan Xiang (Smoky aroma), Hu La (Scorched chilli), Zi Jiang (chilli and ginger) to name a few. Whilst the staff are on point, the sheer number of dishes that need ‘an introduction’ means it can feel like you’re constantly being interrupted. That being said they do offer an extensive a la carte menu too for repeat visitors.

Find it: S301, Taikoo Hui Mall, 288 Shimen 1st Road 石门一路288号香港兴业太古汇南园S30; Reservations: 021 5239 1999