Monday, March 5, 2012
We discovered this lovely place quite by accident while we were trundling past People's Square in downtown Shanghai and stopped mainly because (i) the lunch set was quite reasonable (in SGD terms at least), (ii) the menu looked good, and (iii) it was getting rather chilly on the streets. February in Shanghai is still a bit on the nippy side of winter.
But yes, the price - RMB168 for a two course set lunch or RMB188 for a three course set lunch. Have it with a wine, like we did, and that will set you back another RMB48. That said, I think it was well worth the RMB236 or so (yes, I got the 3 course - reward for cruel and unusual suffering of being dragged through Taobao).
In any case, you get to choose a main and two other courses. The lovely tuna nicoise salad you see below was my pick - and I really enjoyed it. The tuna is done just nicely, as you can see, still a touch of pink in the centre. The dressing is tart, the baby potatoes just on the right side of salty, and the cherry tomatoes very sweet. Really, really good.
My lunch mates had the soup of the day (cauliflower I believe) and the beef caparccio with parmesan cheese and arugula salad. They certainly had no complaints.
Next up - the mains. Definitely not a let down by any means.
The roasted lamb looked too much on the medium side for me (as opposed to rare of course) but that said, it was a mouthwateringly tasty morsel that I had off June's plate.
This was Rae's seared live sea bass with shelled clams, dill, baby carrots, potato mash and clam butter sauce. She cleaned it up totally and she's a bit more of a picky eater than I am. I'll take her word for it that it was good :)
This was my Australian wagyu beef bolognaise with fresh herbs and parmesan. I really liked this actually, although I could be a wee bit biased with my assessment. This bolognaise had just a touch of ginger you see, and I'm absolutely partial to bolognaise with some ginger in it. To me, it adds just that extra dimension to it. My own variation also has bites of ginger in it but one thing it doesn't usually have, I'll grant you, is the buttery melt-in-your-mouth taste of wagyu.
And so, after a deliciously slow main course - and we were savouring it - we rounded it off with our pick of desserts:
the vanilla creme brulee with raspberry jam and creamy coffee ice cream;
the flourless chocolate cake with mixed berry compote and vanilla ice cream; and
the orange pudding and grapefruit with raspberry sauce and lemon sorbet.
Guess which I had?
I'm not a fan of creme brulee nor flourless chocolate cakes in general, but I think both were fairly good. Of all of that, I'd specially mention the coffee ice cream though haha. As to my orange pudding, I was pleasantly surprised at how light it tasted, even though it retained its zing enough to balance our the tartness of the lemon sorbet. The light sweetness of the grapefruit was surprising not overwhelmed by all the rest as well so I'm fairly impressed. I'd recommend this as an alternative to the usual dessert choices.
All in all, it was a great lunch in a really pretty space on the roof top of the Shanghai Art Museum. Set in a glass house like structure which I think would be really nice in spring or autumn (perhaps a little too warm in the summer), was absolutely heaven in the winter. Warm and cosy but yet affording you a view of the busy Nanjing Road down below, gloomy and wet in the winter rain, this was definitely one of the highlights of the lunches we had in Shanghai.
I'd definitely recommend this place, at least for lunch, if you're in the area.
5/F, Shanghai Art Museum,
325 Nanjing Xi Lu,
near Huangpi Bei Lu,