Sunday, February 11, 2007

Des Lys Bistro

A small joint not too far from where we live, it is extremely popular during the week at lunch for its RMB48 lunch set, which gives you a main course and 1 drink (wine or soft drinks). We decided to check it out on Saturday - at 2pm the place was half full. Not bad I guess. The weekday set lunches were not available but there were still the daily specials (around 10 of them ranging from grilled sole to tenderloin all around RMB90), and then there was the bunch set.

The bunch set (RMB98) had the following items:
-a coffee (regular or espresso - can't swap it for tea though)
-a freshly squeezed orange juice
-a croissant
-a choice between scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, or the Provencal beef balls
-a choice between brownie or cheese cake

Our waitress nicely asked whether we wanted our coffee first, but she forgot to serve the milk. While we waited for our mains some bread came...although not piping hot it looked fresh enough. After about 20 mins (why the long wait? It wasn't busy certainly) the food came. The scrambled eggs looked a little over-cooked. My husband's verdict: eggs were a little dry (more like stir-fried then scrambled) but the salmon was nice and it was tasty overall.

Here is my Provencal beef balls. While they were not as nice as my legendary meat balls (haha) I totally enjoyed them. The sauce was really tasty and tangy and was perfect with the bread. I had a bite of the salad - not very inspiring.
We asked for salt and pepper and were given the server's pepper mill. A little awkward when we were sitting down. Note the orange juice: so 70s looking with the paper brolly - loved it. I wonder why they put ice in the fresh juice? It watered down the juice before I had a chance to finish it.
The croissants came some time during our mains. They were nice and hot and sinfully tasty with that full butter taste. Hmmm.....
The desserts came very quickly and our hearts sank. They looked pretty pathetic don't you think? I am not fussy with garnishing etc but surely they could make the dessert look a little more attractive. We dug in nevertheless and surprise! They totally tasted a lot better then they looked. The brownie was warm and moist and had the right sweetness. The brown patch was actually melted chocolate and it was yummy too.
My cheese cake was not bad neither. Rich and creamy. The blueberry syrup was blah though, it simply lacked taste.
Overall we were not unhappy with the meal. Service was efficient. It was stress free and laid back too, unlike some of the busy places in town where big families visit. I feel like you get much better value for its weekday lunch sets though. For example the beef balls is always on the weekday lunch menu for RMB48.
178 Xin Le Road, Shanghai. Tel: 5404-5077

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