Brunch at The Waldorf Astoria, Shanghai, China

After such a majestic high-tea, I was expecting Waldorf Astoria’s sunday brunch to be grandiose.

The feast starts at the famous Long bar. Yes, because at The Waldorf, they are bigger-than-life and you do brunch in not only BUT two different venues.

The Long Bar open the gluttony with oysters, finger foods and – of course – Champagne.  Once bored by too much oysters, we head to the main dining area to witness the food decadence.

As if the buffet was not enough, the Brunch set also gets you one starter, one main and one dessert. Champagne, juices and hot drinks all come along as well. I am a sucker for truffles so I decided to go for a fancy all-truffle set, with black truffle scramble eggs as a starter and truffle & mushrooms spaghettis for the main.
Already thinking how on earth I was going to be able to eat all this food, I tried to keep it reasonable with the buffet. EPIC FAIL but how can you resist? It would have been a real waste not to try a bit of everything; cheese, xiaolongbao, parma ham, veggies, pain au chocolat…
On top of this, my sweet tooth was beyond impressed by the mouth-watering desserts, all of them looking mighty good, which is, I think really uncommon for buffet style food. The Cherry on the cake were the Chocolate fountains (one with white and one with milk chocolate) in which you could dip fruits and marshmallows. A delight.

I think that the A La Carte dishes were not astonishing at all – fairly dull, in spite of the truffles.  The desserts were also tasteless and my waffle was almost to dry to be eaten. But who needs A La Carte when you the buffet is as tasteful as it looks?

All in all, the Waldorf Brunch is a delight but the price (RMB 888 + service fees) directly takes you back on earth.  Despite the oysters and the chocolate fountains, it will not outrank the Puli brunch in my heart – and in my belly- Yet,  for those willing to empty their pockets, it is worth giving it a try.

 

E.

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The Long Bar Finger Food

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Egg Benedict

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A La Carte Omelet

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Scrambled eggs & truffles

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Pan seared foie gras

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Salmon & CauliflowersMushrooms & truffle spaghettiImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

A la Carte Pancakes

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A La Carte French toast

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A La Carte Waffles

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A Sweet tooth debauchery

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel
1, Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, near Guangdong road, Shanghai, China
中山东一路,广东路,上海,中国

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Table n1 @ The Waterhouse, Shanghai, China

Hello Shanghairen!

Head to the south of the Bund to explore the unexplored.

“The Cool Docks” is Shanghai self-proclaimed latest trendy district where are located the Waterhouse Hotel and Table n1.

Table n1, by the British Chef Jason Atherton, is set in a bare yet modern dining room with large windows and a subdued atmosphere. Large tables, that you will share if you book for more than two people, manage to give the venue a convivial yet intimate touch.

The service is quick and discreet, with waiters anticipating your every wish; a quality to treasure in China.

The food is innovative and delicious, served in an elegant manner. Special mention to the sauce served on the side and to the mashed potatoes in the pan. The portions are big and there is no need to add sides to the main dishes. After the main, despite being stuffed, I could not have missed the desserts and opted for the Mille-feuille, which will literally turn your head over.
The small surprise arrived with the espresso: a homemade banana lollipop, which sparks in your mouth.

As a whole, Table n1 will impress people looking for new places and seeking something more original than the usual French or Italian restaurants abounding in the city. Not ruining anything, it is still a hidden and confidential gem in the Shanghai dinner scene. To be highly appreciated and without moderation.

Head to the terrace at the end of the dinner to share a few drinks while admiring the view on the Huangpu river.

E.

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IMG_4724 IMG_4726 IMG_4727 IMG_4728 IMG_4729 IMG_4730 IMG_4731 IMG_4732 IMG_4734 Marinated Hamachi Prawn with Gazpacho Garnish

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Tuna Tartar, Avocado, Sesame

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Roasted turbot on the bone, saffron mash, crab salad & salsa verdeIMG_4738

Beef Cheek, Oxtail, Smoked Mash & Carrots IMG_4740

Seared Sea bass, broccolini and spanish rice

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Passion Fruit Mille-feuille with grilled mango and pineapple

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Espresso & THE banana lollipop

Table n1
The Waterhouse Hotel
1-3 Maojiayuan road, zhongshan south road, Shanghai, China
上海市黄浦区毛家园路1-3号, 上海,中国
+86 21 60802918

Farine Bakery, Shanghai, China

Farine is the Bakery founded by Franck, yes the very same as in Franck, Le Petit Franck and A Côté. Maybe, “Franck Lane” is starting to sound more appropriate than Ferguson Lane. Farine’s main characteristic is that it uses flour (Farine in French) imported straight from France.

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. One word could fulfill my whole review. But let’s elaborate a bit.

What else to say?
Ok, to be honest, maybe it is the fact that I am painfully missing French bakeries, pain au chocolat and croissant, but having a real “goûter” at Farine was one of my best sweet tooth moments in China.
I just wanted to taste them all to have some reminiscence of France, just a bite and I would have been taken back to Paris. STOP.

So I “just” tried the chocolate cake, the greek yoghurt, the hazelnut and chocolate pain au chocolat and one croissant. To crown it all and to make sure that I would not be able to move for while, I ordered the Hot Chocolate Maison. All were beyond great, crunchy, fresh and not dry.

So now that Shanghai has Farine, who wants/needs to go back to France?

E.

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Ferguson Lane, 378 Wukang road, Tai’an road
378武康路,泰安路,上海,中国

 

 

 

High Tea at the Waldorf Astoria, Shanghai, China

What a better way to spend a cold saturday afternoon than relaxing in one of the majestic salon of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, peeking at the Bund while sipping green tea and savoring delicious English scones?

The Waldorf Astoria is hosted in a grandiose town-house right on the Bund. As soon as you entered through the imposing wrought iron doors, looking right at the huge Christmas tree surrounded by a whole Christmas village in Chocolate (!), you realize how good your time promises to be…

Served in a cosy and intimate salon, the high-tea is a feast mixing english scones, jams, salmon sandwich, quiche, chocolate cake, macarons and other tasty delicacies.
They refill the plates if you ask them to do so, what a delicate attention.

I could have stayed there forever, listening to the sound of harp, observing the mannered and refined guests, and thinking about nothing but the little lemon tart that was eyeing me up…not for long though…

E.

P.S: I kindly recommend to start the “Waldorf Experience” entering through the Bund entrance, as there is another one in Sichuan road.
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The Waldorf Astoria
1, Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, near Guangdong Road, Shanghai, China
中山东一路,广东路, 上海, 中国

Larder, Shanghai, China

A big fan of Mesa and Manifesto, I decided to test the freshly opened Steve Baker’s restaurant, Larder, an Australian Bar & Grill.

Its set lunch gets you one starter, one main and one dessert, which might have been a bit too much for a lunch so instead we ordered A La Carte, ending up with seabass and chicken. You also need to order sides as there is none provided with the main. We went for asparagus and green beans.
As for the drinks, white wine and freshly-squeezed fruit juice were our last choice. (In the end, I got myself a smoothie, as for some reasons, it was not possible to get some fruits mixed together.)
Not able to choose from the desserts menu, we asked for the Desserts assortment, made of a tasty crème brulée, a dry chocolate cake, some marshmallows and sugary donuts. Sweet tooth was not amazed here.

We also had the chance to be entertained by a pack of gentlemen  guys who were having some great gathering, singing loudly and drinking heavily, giving us the feeling of being right in the middle of a US TV-Show fraternity debauchery.

All in all, Larder is a place where i might go when in the neighborhood but not sure I will head there in purpose. For me, it cannot compete with late Mesa & Manifesto, which I trully miss on sunday.

E.

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171 Jianguo middle Road, Ruijing East Road.

泰康露台-建国中路171号3楼(瑞金路东侧)

Azul Tapas Lounge, Shanghai

Less than two years ago, during my first stay in Shanghai, (Oh Lord, time is flying so fast) Azul was rated one of the best brunch deal in Shanghai and I have to say that while the food was quite good (especially the burgers) the place was not.

Since Azul was “re-pimped” and treated itself with a brand new venue on the posh & trendy Ferguson lane alongside Franck Restaurant & Co, I decided to give it a second try.

First, the venue is beyond comparison with the old one. While the previous one, was a tiny place sharing more features with a corridor than with a real restaurant, the new one boasts a luminous and spacious dining room with an amazing terrace (which I did not try, because of the temperature which approximates -1000 degrees at the moment).

Azul is supposedly a latin/peruvian/spanish tapas – restaurant so I was quite surprised to find some Maghreb/ Moroccan style dishes such as couscous or chicken Tajine. Still a bit confused.

The brunch menu (saturday and sunday) gets you one starter, one main and one beverage (smoothie,  fresh juices, etc…) for 138RMB; a real good deal.

We started with the Salmon crepes and the Banana Pancakes and moved on with the Spanish Omelet and the Curry chicken, all quite tasty. Special mention to the omelet which was one of the most original I have ever tasted, yet delicious and a good saturday hangover cure. “Adventurous” foodie  friends give it a try!
As a drink I wanted to order a smoothie but for some reasons, they were not able to provide one and finally ordered a freshly squeezed  juice.
I am a bit bewildered by how it can become quite challenging to order either a smoothie or a juice. (cf Larder post)

Regarding the dessert part, I have to say that we were quite disappointed by what was offered and decided to stop our Azul experience there. [I have to confide : Having noticed the mouth-watering Farine bakery {Post to come soon} downstairs also pressed our choice not to order dessert at Azul and to keep some space to try their delicious french delicacies]

Altogether I would say that Brunch at Azul is a great experience. The food is tasty, the place is bright and relaxing and not ruining anything, it is good-value. I would definitely go back to Azul, maybe in order to try the terrace and their dinner menu.

IMG_4693 IMG_4694  Banana pancakesIMG_4695 Salmon CrepesIMG_4696  The Spanish OmeletIMG_4697 Curry ChickenIMG_4698 IMG_4699

Ferguson Lane
8/F, 378 Wukang Lu, near Hunan Lu
武康路378号8楼, 近湖南路

Tel: 5405 2252
http://www.azultapaslounge.cn

Shanghai Biennale/Reactivation & Tea time at the Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China

On sunday, after an astonishing and delicious brunch at Puli’s Jing’an restaurant (see post below), I decided to attend some cultural activities and headed to Shanghai’s Biennale at the Power Station of Art.

Stretched on six floors, the art exhibition displays nothing and everything; art sculptures, movies, paintings or performances from home and abroad. It took us almost two hours to get around the whole area at a quite normal pace. We are no art experts and were mostly wandering and looking around. The biggest part of the exhibition is free but for the last floor exhibition, “Electic Fields” you have to pay an entry fee.

Even if it cannot yet compete with NYC or Paris exhibitions, it is quite impressive to see such a display of art in China, especially for free. Great way to spend a sunday afternoon.
One remark though : The captions are really small and way too long, so prepare some magnifying glasses and to fight with people sticked to the captions if you want to read them all.

It is on until end of March.

 Lane 20, Huayuangang Lu, Near Miaojiang Lu, Huangpu district
黄浦区花园港路20弄, 近苗江路

Tired of strolling around, we went to the Peace Hotel for a well-deserved tea break. Still stuffed from the Brunch, we just had tea and no high tea, despite the fact that it was looking mighty good.
Savoring my Ginger Springer cup of tea in such a soothing atmosphere was everything we needed. The place is set in the golden era of Shanghai and the waitresses are wearing typical qipaos. You really do feel relaxed and lost in time.

One and only remark : For this kind of high-end hotel, one will expect every single detail to be perfect. Well, the hand towels in paper in the majestic bathrooms were a big miss.

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Peace Hotel Shanghai
Nanjing East Road 20, Zhongshan East one Road
上海市黄浦区南京东路20号,中山东一路

 

Shintori, Shanghai, China

Japanese anyone?

Well, Shintori is supposed to be one of the best in town (if not THE best) so no other reason needed to investigate.

The entry itself tells everything. With bamboo trees and white stones alleys, your expectations are already booming.

The restaurant is set on two floors in an old factory, and they kept the design simple and bare. There is an open kitchen where you can freely admire how they prepare their sushi rolls. They carry the dishes for the second floor-guests throughout a “lift”. The subdued lishts, building an intimate and trendy atmosphere, were a bit bothersome to read the menu and to see what we were eating.
The menu is really extensive which can prove difficult when choosing what to order even if you are not usually hesitant.

Overall I would say it is a great restaurant, which you will clearly enjoy around good dishes and one (or two) bottles of wine. State that is the best of Shanghai might be a bit overrated though…

One last thing, two things actually.
The kitchen staff yelled some mysterious greetings when customers get in AND out, which can show to be a bit scary. Heard it is a Japanese custom.
Second, we were a bit confused by the toilets signs, which results in getting in the wrong gender booth… twice… So if anyone has some clues about what are those signs, please shed some lights!

E.

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Brunch @ The Jing’An Puli, Shanghai, China

As everyone knows, sunday is holy day, in Shanghai it is Brunch Day. You can definitely observe that by browsing all the brunch offered  all over town.
Westin is a long time favorite and supposed to be one of the best in town. From now on,  I would give my vote for the Puli though. Without any comparison.

The Jing’An restaurant is located in the japanese-style and zen-vibes Puli Hotel. Boasting wooden furnitures and water fountains, the decor is to die for and this is indubitably the kind of place you are looking for to spend your sunday.

The restaurant is peaceful and quite, you do not even feel that there are other customers around. This is a big advantage compared to some other brunch restaurants with way too loud singers, kinky performers and 1000 people.

For 398RMB + 10%service fee, you get two A LA CARTE main dishes and one dessert  [either brunch type dishes such as Egg Benedict, Omelet or Risotto, Burgers…] AND the whole buffet. It is a total food debauchery and it is hard to refrain to eat everything and keep some spaces for the rest of the brunch.
I chose the egg Benedict with salmon and the Risotto as main dishes.

The service is also stunning and really discreet.

Althogether, Brunch at the Jing’An was a total success and I will make sure to go back, but next time I will head to the Spa right after in order to relax from a way too tiring brunch. Oh, life is hard!

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1 Changde Lu, near Yan’An Lu
上海市静安区常德路1号,延安路
+86 21 3203 9999

Fu 1039, Shanghai, China

Looking for a chinese restaurant to take some out-of-town family, I was always browsing the same results ; Din Tai Fung, South Beauty or Lost Heaven. Don’t misunderstand me here, I like those three places but I was looking for something more; a nice place yet with a real Chinese vibe and tasty traditional Shanghainese food.

Then I found Fu 1039.

First, the venue. Located in a small alley in the french concession, you enter in an magnificent old house right from Shanghai golden colonial era with a pianist entertaining guests with delicate music.
The interior setting is nice and kept simple (which might be for the best).

The service is also really good by all standards, friendly and professional. They also can speak english and provide good recommendations, which is quite helpful when seeing all the dishes they have. (And NO pictures friends!)

Now the food. Well, I don’t want to sound too ecstatic, but God that was good. It is typical shanghainese food.  The sweet and sour chicken, the beef, the xiaolongbao (Shanghai dumplings) the pork and the veggies were all super tasty and yummy.
But my biggest hit were the shrimps, HANDS DOWN. Might be the best I ever had… in my life…I have never tasted such a thing here in China because I am quite positive about the fact that the sauce was made of mustard, and since when do they use this in Chinese cuisine?

Even though we were stuffed, we were dying to try the desserts, the sago and the peanut ice cream, and they were not deceiving. Here was another surprise. As everyone knows, chinese food is not really highly recognized for its desserts (from a european point of view I mean).
On top of all, they have a quite long selection of wines, local and from abroad.

Totally recommending this place, without any hesitation, and trust me on this one : Order the shrimps!

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1039 Yuyuan Lu, near Jiangsu Lu / 愚园路1039号, 近江苏路
+86 21 5237 1878

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