Sunday, August 12, 2007

Frankie's Italian Bar and Grill

Frankie's, a relatively new addition to the Shanghai dining scene, is talked about so much we decided to give it a try. It wasn't until we sat down and looked at the menu when we realised it is part of the Frankie Dettori chain in the UK. Somehow I felt cheated a little.

My husband's gnocchi. He said it was nice. I didn't get any more detail from him because I kept thinking the whole time whether I got bitten on the leg in the taxi. So itchy!
My linguine with crab meat was excellent. I expected flakes of white meat but there was more: there were actually a couple of claws. They had that sweet fresh taste even thought they were small at a little over an inch. It was the nicest crab I had since February. Anyway to show you how much I liked the dish I think I would go back to Frankie's just to have it. The daily home-made linguine was firm and cooked to perfection too.

For main my husband ordered the sirloin. We thought the presentation was interesting: it was basically a pile of beef tossed with salad leaves. He called it lazy but I thought it was different (I asked if it'd be better if it's served flat with 2 veg on the side?). In any case the beef was very tender and nicely cooked.

My grilled halibut. Now I would call that lazy: my side dish was 2 artichokes with some dill thrown on top. The dry and chewy fried onion garnish was unnecessary also. The fish was moist and fresh but I was too distracted with my increasing itchy legs.

My husband's white chocolate souffle. It looked very different from what we had in mind but it was very good nonetheless. The "souffle" was more like a light eggy sponge but it was soft and sweet with melted white chocolate inside.

My chocolate and chestnut semifreddo. While we were waiting for our desserts I discovered my legs got bitten at least 20 times over by mosquitoes during our meal. And the count was increasing by the minute. I had to move my legs on the sofa away from the dark and mosquitoes infested leg space. Anyway. My semifreddo was nice with little bits of chestnuts infused in the semi-frozen cream and chocolate. It had a very interesting (in a pleasant way) texture.

Dinner came to RMB1600 with a bottle of wine. We were happy with the food overall but the mosquitoes put me off a bit. Pricing wise it's more expensive than a casual place, say Da Marco, but at the same time the food is slightly more gourmet and the quality of ingredients a whole lot better. Overall ambience: average and I now understand why other reviewers describe it as hotel lobby-ish. The music we had that night alternated from cheesy live-piano-with-synthesizer music to wannabe club music with loud vocals. I couldn't understand why piano dude played what he did. With his skills he could have done so much better with classier or jazzier stuff (I swear to god he played some Cher dance song - makes me want to vomit just thinking about it). It was all very odd, too loud and intrusive. Service wise - room for improvements for sure. We had to hear the constant scoffing, sorry, training the head waitress was giving the other waitresses. While doing so she forgot/didn't have time to take our wine order and we sat there sans wine when our starters arrived. Minus 5000 points!

Will we go back again? For the time being, probably. What would be considered slightly-above-average food anywhere else is probably the best you could get in Shanghai for now. We are still looking forward to a fine-dining place to come to town. How long will the wait be?

Frankie's Italian Bar and Grill
592 Feng Yang Rd. (near Dai Tian Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5228-7961

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