Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Des Lys

Lunch at Des Lys is pretty consistent and very reasonable. Most of the sets are RMB48 including a drink (even wine), with a number of gourmet sets at RMB78.

These are all the RMB48 sets: lagsanga - not bad.
Red beef curry - tasty but a little to the mild side. Meat was tender.

Roast lamb - a little fatty and could use a sauce.

U and C's apple and chocolate crepe. They loved it! Will go back for sure.
Des Lys
178 Xin Le Rd. (near Dong Hu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5216-0259

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Coconut Paradise

Some kind of fresh vegetable spring rolls. The vegetables were all crunchy and the rice paper wrapper firm and not too sticky. A refreshing dish but the dip was a little bland and could use more kick.
Thai BBQ beef salad. Not bad in terms of flavour but some of that beef was a little tough and hard. Maybe it's the cut but it was probably overcooked.
Green beef curry - the beef is very tender and the sauce rich and tasty. Excellent dish!

Grilled chicken in banana leaf. Not bad but very greasy.

Steamed fish in plum sauce. The sauce was soy base and a little sour - nothing special at all and it didn't add anything to the fish. The fish itself was some fresh water fish (carp?) and it was extremely muddy. Not worth it.

Pad Thai. Nice texture and consistency - a nice addition to the plain rice.
We also had tom yum soup and some coconut based soup. Dinner for 6 with beers came to RMB800.

Coconut Paradise
38 Fumin Rd. (near Julu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6248-1998

Moon River Diner

Taco salad. The actual taco shell was huge! It looked impressive. U said it's a little too spicy but nonetheless tasty.

My bacon burger, fried egg on top, and chili cheese fries on the side. Everything (including the toasted burger buns) was perfect. I wish they'd use back bacon instead of streaky ones. I spent a while picking all the fat out (I know it's ironic when I was having a big fat burger to begin with but hey).

Lunch with two very delicious strawberry milkshakes (best in town!) came to RMB200. I should add that while I ate everything on my plate I was not hungry for the next 2 days.

Moon River Diner (4 locations in town)
68 Yu Yao Rd. (near Xi Kang Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5213-5106

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fashion Police vol.12

Another fine demonstration of why you should not put your pants in the hot wash.

I don't know...what's going on there?

We have a mold problem! It's eating/invading her pants.

You will never have a problem finding your shoes in the dark. And they match with every outfit too!

Lace leggings. Need I say more. (Note: she was NOT pregnant.)

Let me borrow that top betch!

The intro is priceless!

Another juvenile yet hilarious clip from Kelly.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Xin Ji Shi

Xin Ji Shi re-opened about a month ago after a renovation project. We've been back twice since its re-opening and we couldn't help but to think perhaps the original chef has left? The usually excellent pork in sugar and vinegar sauce was nothing like it used to be unfortunately. What a disappointment! The usual tangy sweet flavour was gone and we had some pretty bland and slightly salty (and very oily) pork instead. Won't be ordering it again.

Good thing our other favourite dish beef in chili was excellent. Numbingly spicy it had all the right flavours.

Mandarin fish with pine nuts and we have yet to figure out what Mandarin fish is. The fish was small and not very fleshy but we liked the sauce. The batter was also very thin and for the little meat we got it was very nice indeed.

Some kind of sprouts stir-fry.

Shanghai fried noodles. Very tasty but sinfully oily.

Lunch for 2 came to RMB450 with the fish dish being RMB190. A bit pricey and perhaps it's time to explore the local restaurants in the city.

Xin Ji Shi (5 branches in town)
Corner of Huang Pi Rd and Tai Cang Rd., Shanghai. Tel: 6336-4746

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bubba's Texas BBQ & Saloon

I found myself back to Bubba's again sooner than I though - BBQ ribs are addictive.

We started off with margaritas and jalapeno poppers again. My husband's frozen margarita was not very good unfortunately. It was melted instead of frozen - the on-the-rocks version was much better.

The jalapeno poppers (RMB40) (see picture here) didn't disappoint: they were fiery and stuffed with delicious cheese. My tongue burned for 20 mins afterwards.

My husband's double combo (RMB120) with pulled pork and ham with fries and borracho beans w/jalapeno cornbread on the side. He liked the pulled pork a lot but he found the ham a little blah and too fatty. We had no idea what borracho beans were and we found them a little plain. On the recipes I found on the internet beans should be cooked in beer with bacon bits, cilantro, chili and tomatoes. This version didn't taste anything like it.

I decided to take the triple combo (RMB140) challenge this time. I picked ribs (of course), beef brisket, ham, borracho beans and fried hush puppies. The ribs were as nice as my previous visit: smoky and tender - could be leaner though. And then there's my new-found favourite: beef brisket! I couldn't believe how nice it was (my friends C and C loved theirs last time but still). I do think it's luck of a draw on how lean the meat is. For this visit my brisket was as lean as it could be but it's not always the case (see pictures here).
Like my husband I found the ham boring and it paled in comparison to the ribs and pulled pork. I think on my next visit I will get ribs, brisket and pulled pork for sure. I also didn't think much of the hush puppies - made of cornmeal they are a little too chewy and heavy for me. I will stick with the excellent coleslaw next time.

Bubba's Texas BBQ & Saloon
2262 Hong Qiao Rd. (near Jian He Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6242-2612


Slice, another David Laris creation in town, has got some mixed reviews. Most people feel that it's overpriced for what you get (especially at the dinky Times Square location where one sits in a small corner in the shopping mall). However I had heard more favourable reviews for the Jinqiao branch and it was exciting to be able to try it at long last.

The Jinqiao location can't be more perfect: overlooking the Dulwich rugby pitch, the view from the 2nd patio is refreshingly green, particularly for Shanghai.

Our ice-cold smoothies were perfect for the afternoon. My berry one was very fruity and smooth.

L's Egyptian chicken sandwich. We had no know idea why it was Egyptian but she liked the spices and flavours of the chicken a lot.

L's Caesar salad with prawns was tasty and nicely put together with big slices of shaved Parmesan.

I had a hard time deciding what to have from the rather big sandwich menu and at the end I settled for an open prosciutto cheese melt on sour dough. The sour dough was very hard and I could use more than 1 small piece of gherkin but other than that it was delicious. Very nice prosciutto indeed!

We saved room for dessert totally. We were all gasping with excitement when we saw L's raspberry meringues in a tower. It was so huge she couldn't finish it.

My molten chocolate cake looked less impressive but it was in no way inferior. It was soft and had that melt-in-the-mouth texture. Yum!
Lunch for the 3 of us with 2 coffees came to RMB400. Not bad at all especially with such pleasant surroundings!

688 Bi Yun Rd. (near Lan An Rd.) Jianqio, Pudong Shanghai. Tel: 3382-0653

Cajun meatloaf

I was cheating a little with this recipe as I used the help of packet seasoning mix..I have however added the Cajun flavour to give it a bit more spice.

-2 pounds minced beef
-1 chopped onion
-1 bunch chopped spring onions
-1 shredded carrot
-2 cloves of minced garlic
-1 teaspoon each of white pepper, black pepper, ground cumin, cayenne pepper
-1 table spoon each of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco
-1 meatloaf seasoning packet
-ingredients required for packet: usually eggs, breadcrumbs and cup water
-ketchup (optional)

First fry onion, spring onion, garlic, and carrot in butter until soft. Add all dry and wet seasonings (cumin, cayenne, black & white pepper; Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces). Mix well.

In large bowl mix together 2 eggs, breadcrumbs, water, and packet mix (see your packet for quantities).

In this case I used Lipton's Beefy Onion soup mix.

Add minced beef, fried vegetable and optional ketchup (1/4 cup).

Put the well-mixed mixture to a bread loaf tin. Bake uncovered at 180C for 1 hour.

Meatloaf should be slightly brown when cooked. Slice and serve hot.

I served mine with a fried egg. Somehow they go well together. You may have gravy on the side but I find if I cheat with seasoning packets the finishing meatloaf is usually salty enough.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Berry Garden

Berry Garden is one of the restaurants which opened up recently on the rather attractive (and cute) strip in Jin Qiao Pudong. A big thank you to C for arranging her driver + car for our excursion.

We immediately liked the Southeast Asian themed decor when we walked in to the 3-story restaurant. We were even more impressed when we spotted the meringues in the small bakery counter on ground floor.

We got served a plate of lovely looking bread right away, too bad all of them, with the exception of the bread sticks, were way too salty.

The bread came with tapenade, butter and balsamic olive oil.

Cranberry juice (RMB40). A bit pricey when the chocolate milkshake was only RMB38.

My shake wasn't bad although it could be thicker (I like the mashed up ice cream version).

U's caprese pizza (RMB42) arrived first. It looked and tasted very good with its super-thin crust.

C took the set lunch option, which is basically a salad and soup on top of any main course for an extra RMB20.

Soup of the day was cream of carrot and she said it was delicious.

I decided to try one of the starters instead. My calamari had a nicely seasoned batter on top and the bonus whitebait was nice too.

The aioli and cocktail dip which came with the dish. Cute.

C's ravioli set (RMB78 including salad and soup). She said it was very tasty but rich because of the ricotta stuff and the cream mushroom sauce on top.

For main I decided to be ambitious. My duck confit with blueberry sauce.(RMB55) proved to be too ambitious after all. It was tough as cardboard and I was having difficulties cutting through the meat. It also had no taste whatsoever it was like chewing a piece of fiber. A total disappointment.

U saved room for dessert as she set her eyes on the pavlova (RMB45) right from the start. This version didn't disappoint: the meringue on top was crispy and light. The real twist was the rather complex-tasting ginger-infused honey sauce, which made the dish even more interesting (I often find pavlova interesting).

I went for the creme caramel (RMB25) - it's cheaper than its regular RMB40-something price because it's part of a set of something. Not bad at all - very eggy.

Overall the food was not bad, except for my duck. Should stick with less challenging dishes next time. Service needs greasing - it was slow and dishes were arriving at wrong times.

Tip: the 50-cent piece meringue from the bakery is excellent in value and quality!

Berry Garden
346 Hong Feng Rd. (near Biyun Rd.), Pudong, Shanghai. Tel:3382-1170