Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fashion Police vol.13

STOP PRESS. Velour tracksuit pandemic still spreading wildly.


Many caught during their sleep when the emergency evacuation started.

Crossroad Cafe

Again I was out to try new stuff on the menu as this place is a hit and miss normally.

Malaysian platter(RMB45). It was a little disappointing as I was expecting real fish cakes and not the fish ball type. Then there was some kind of deep fried pork roll, which was quite greasy and it was stuffed with what I believed to be potato and water chestnuts. And while the satay was not bad the samosas were only average.

Hainen chicken rice (RMB35). Not the best in town but not bad. The dips were very garlic-ky though.

Crossroad cafe
8/F, Parkson, 918 Huai Hai Rd. (near Shanxi Rd.) Shanghai. Tel: 6415-2923

Xin Ji Shi

Ever since the pork in sugar and vinegar sauce turned bad in Xin Ji Shi we hardly go there any more. On this visit we were determined to explore the menu a little more.

Stir fried sprouts. Tasted like grass.

Ma Po Tofu. Very nicely cooked and flavorful. It was not too oily and had a nice consistency - loved it.

We decided to try the deep fried salt and chili pork and it paid off! The pork was lean and succulent. We liked the thin batter and to our surprise it wasn't too oily.

Fried Mandarin fish with butter and wine. It was crispy but as usual the fish was a little too thin.

Our all-time favourite beef in chili oil. We just love the way it's made here.
Dinner for 2 came to RMB410.

Corner of Huang Pi Rd. and Tai Cang Rd., Shanghai. Tel: 6336-4746

Otto Gourmet Cafe

We decided to give Otto's set lunch menu a try. For RMB68 you can pick between soup or an appetizer buffet plus a main course - a pretty good deal we thought. For another RMB20 extra you get dessert for the day.

We started with some pretty nice bread - I love that green basil dip especially.

I got a bit of everything from the appetizer spread: salad nicoise, pesto pasta salad, pate on melba toast, cous cous, buffalo cheese and tomato. They were all pretty tasty.

C picked chicken as her main. She liked it but to me that's too little food!

Other choices were pizza, prawns or pasta and I picked pasta. It was OK but not very memorable to be honest.

We skipped dessert because we didn't really like mango coconut mousse. It was overall a nice experience and good value for money. Will go back again.

85 Fumin Rd. (nr Julu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel:6248-9186

Finding Nemo

I finally said goodbye to my Finding Nemo sweets my friend K bought me in 2005!!

As cute as they look they somehow turned rock hard. :-(

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jamaica Blue

This was our first lunch visit to Jamaica Blue, and we had a lot of hope because breakfasts and coffees are pretty good there.

We got to pick between sandwiches and pasta dishes and we decided to give the pasta a try. My husband's chicken bolognese was a recommendation from the waiter. It was OK - pasta was way too soft.

I went for the sausage pasta, and it looked (and tasted) remarkably similar as the chicken bolognese sauce. Again I got overcooked pasta.

Apple cake.
Lunch and 2 apple carrot juice (watered down big time!) came to RMB170. Very pricey for what you get!

Jamica Blue
2/F Corporate Ave 1, Hubin Rd. (nr Huang Pi Rd.), Shanghai.

Bellagio

We liked the food in Bellagio so much we went back for some more.

To satisfy my egg craving I got some marinated eggs. The eggs were OK but the brown sauce on top was weird..it was like a BBQ pork sauce.

Black pepper beef on hot plate. Loved it! More beef would be nice.

Singapore noodles - it was average - not enough kick and almost too sweet.

BBQ pork. We asked for extra lean but it was still pretty fatty. The taste was not bad but by the time we cut all the fat out we didn't get too much left.

Deep fried pomfret. I was a little put off when I saw the whole fish - fillets would be nice. The fish was a bit disappointing anyway as it wasn't the freshest: it was slightly fishy.

Braised beef noodles. Loved the soup base and everything.

Fried 'olive vegetable'. We think it's some kind of beans - very good nonetheless.
Dinner came to around RMB 250. Will go back again.

68 Tai Cang Rd. (nr. Hu Bin Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6386-5701

Moon River Diner

Another pig-out session at Moon River.

The legendary milkshakes: Oreo on the left and strawberry on right. Both were delicious!!

Chili cheese fries - another one of our favourites. We love the chunks of meat you get in the chili.
My husband's burger. Appropriately greasy, it was much better than the one I had in Arugula. At least the meat was lean.
My soup which came with my main. It reminded me of school cafeteria soup and it was very very salty.

Underneath this pile of cheese was a hot dog - chili cheese dog to be exact. While the chili cheese was nice the dog was a total disappointment. It didn't even come close to its description on the menu, i.e. a ballpark Frankfurter in a toasted bun. Instead what we had was a very soggy wiener, like it had been left in the bottom of the steamer for about 3 months. Perhaps I'd stick with burgers next time.

Moon River Diner
68 Yu Yao Rd. (nr Xi Kang Rd.) Shanghai. Tel: 5213-5106

Arugula

A block down from where we live, we somehow never considered making a trip down to Arugula. Turns out we haven't missed much really.

The restaurant is set in a cute lane house with a small and cozy dining room on the ground floor and a comfy lounge on the second floor. Too bad the food didn't really match up to the setting. First of all we didn't really think much about the hotel-room-service inspired menu: it's got a bit of everything with all the popular items. Yarn.

My husband's chicken quesadilla. It didn't look bad actually and he said it was OK.

My German cold cut platter. I'm not quite sure why it was German..maybe the little sausage at the top? The selection was nothing special, and I was actually scared of the dark red one - I think they were some kind of black pudding. I tasted a small bite and the texture was very weird and worrying.

My husband's pasta dish. He said it was OK - nothing special.

My burger with bacon (see what I meant by room service menu??). Topped with bacon and processed cheese it had a nice flavour but the cut of meat was too fatty and gritty.
The service was pretty good but we think they'll have to work on the food for sure if they want people to go back. On our visit (Friday 8pm) there were only 3 tables including us. To be honest no one is going to make a special trip to the place for its average food and it's clearly not doing very well with just the neighbourhood traffic. Good luck!

Dinner for 2 with 2 drinks came to about RMB350.

Arugula
Lane 49, House 2, FuXing Rd West (nr Wulumuqi Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6433-8577

Friday, November 16, 2007

Haiku by Hatsune

Another visit to Haiku. We ordered a whole bunch of stuff as there were the 5 of us but I was too busy eating I didn't take pics of everything.

The always-excellent motorolla.

Butterfly roll with snow crab and avocado.

Amy roll with salmon. We also had sashimi (tuna was excellent), tempura, Engen roll, and beans. We loved everything!

Some red bean cake - free dessert. I don't like red bean and I kept thinking I could taste the wooden spoon more than the cake itself. Yuck.

Dinner for 5 with 2 drinks each came to just under RMB900. I'm getting hungry again just looking at the pictures!

Haiku by Hatsune
28B Tao Jiang Rd.(nr Wulumuqi Rd.) Shanghai. Tel: 6445-0021

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bellagio

My second visit to Bellagio. It was almost 10pm but the place was still pretty busy with people having desserts (and smoking at the same time!).

We were so hungry we ordered a whole bunch of stuff.

Our cod steak in miso sauce (RMB69). We loved the texture of the fish and it went well with the miso sauce. We thought it was a bit stingy in the quantity department: for RMB69 you think you'd get more than one fillet.

The legendary Taiwanese beef noodles (RMB28). It was so good I'd go back just to have some more. The broth was packed full of flavours and miraculously we did not get thirsty after! The marbled beef , thickly cut and braised to perfection, was not as lean as my husband would like so I got to eat all of it. I too hate fat normally but in this case it was so good I didn't care.

The menu describes this as 'olive vegetable' but we think it's some kind of string beans. Finely chopped and fried with minced pork the dish was very tasty (RMB29).

Sichun beef in chili oil (RMB45). The dish looked fierce with all that chili and it was hot hot hot! I can normally take spicy but my mouth was literally burning and I felt like it had taken the joy of enjoying the dish and its usually complex flavours.

Ma po tofu (RMB26). Perhaps it was all the strong tasting dishes we ordered which made the normally punchy tofu dish paled in comparison. It probably wasn't bad but it tasted very blend amongst the rest of the stuff.

Last but not least we got our roast crispy chicken (RMB46). We assumed the chicken was roasted on the spot as it took a little while to arrive and it came very crispy ad warm. The meat was very moist and fresh we wished there was more.
The big feast came to RMB248, which we were very happy about. We liked the cheerful service too. Too bad the place has not got a non-smoking area. Somehow everybody chain-smoked and at the end of our meal we smelt like we had been in a smoky bar for 5 hours. Yikes.
68 Tai Cang Rd.(nr Hubin Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6386-5701

Face Bar

Our visit to Face was in the middle of the afternoon - it was also the first time we managed to use the huge day bed.

The snack menu is pretty small: 4 items from the Thai restaurant upstairs and another 4 or 5 from the Indian place. It would have been fine for us except the Indian doesn't open till 5:30pm. Thai food it is!

Prawn cakes. They were pretty nice and not too greasy.

Chicken spring rolls - also pretty nice.

Squid rings. They were chewy in a nice way - very nicely seasoned as well and the dip was fierce.

I think each of the snack was about RMB80 - a little pricey but it was a nice treat to be able to chill and look out to the beautiful garden. An afternoon tea and dessert menu are also available.

118 Ru Jin 2 Rd. (nr Fuxing Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6466-4328

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shanghai Hotel Equipment Corp.

Shanghai Hotel Equipment Corp. is our favourite kitchenware store in the world. As it's catered to restaurants you can find pretty much everything there. Our favourites: straw dispenser (just like the ones in fast food joints), wooden sushi boats (as big as 5ft!!), fajita plates, lazy suzy, everything from bar to coffee house to restaurants - you name it, they've got it.

IQ question: what's the difference between a deep round cake pan and a pizza pan? Scroll down for answer.

Look at the size of this meat tenderiser!!

Items I spotted on this visit that are on my wish list:
- a meat slicer, like the ones they use in deli shop. This way we can slice cheese and ham at home!
- a rotisserie. Just think how cool it'd be when you can just throw stuff in and voila!
- a popcorn machine - the real thing with the clear display box and a hanging basket in the middle. I don't even like pop corn but it'd be fun looking at them pop.

Now to answer the IQ question: there's no difference between the 2. the person responsible for product naming was very cunning!

345 Au Men Rd. (nr Jiang Ning Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6266-9988