Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shanghai furniture

We had seen some pretty nasty stuff before but this shop left us speechless still. Why????

Friday, June 20, 2008

Simply Thai

We have rediscovered Simply Thai recently. We had never thought it was anything special but we recently decided that it's actually pretty good. Perhaps they changed the chef? Or perhaps our standards dropped after being in Shanghai for too long? I wonder....

To start we had prawn crackers(RMB20). They were just regular prawn crackers but we loved them nonetheless. The dip, with bits of unidentified shredded white stuff, was a bit weird.
Tom yum(RMB45). Could use more prawns and mushrooms. The soup was pleasantly spicy though.

Lab gai(RMB45). We discovered that a spoonful of this minced chicken on a piece of prawn was a match in heaven. Our only complaint: it was not at all spicy and as a result a little dull.

Green curry chicken(RMB55). We wished there were more chicken pieces because the sauce was absolutely delicious. The eggplants which soaked up all the sauce were very enjoyable also.

A pleasant surprise for the evening - Thai BBQ chicken leg(RMB55), de-boned and marinated. The meat was succulent and tender, it was so much better than we thought. This will become our regular dish from now on.

Pad Thai with vegetables(RMB45). Not too sweet nor greasy it was a nice dish to have to soak up all that curry sauce.

Dinner for 2 with drinks came to RMB360. RMB40 for a bottle a Singha! A bit much to be honest.

5C Dong Ping Rd. (nr. Heng Shan Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6445-9551


I think the most impressive thing about Mediterraneo is its huge garden. Hidden away from a rather dreary neighbourhood, it's like stepping into a time machine when I walked into the big and tranquil garden.

We looked through the relatively pricey lunch menu and decided that we would have a main and save room for puddings. Here's B's risotto. She said it was tasty but really really rich and creamy.

L's gnocchi. The portion looked small but looks would be deceiving. Like the gnocchi it was also very rich and stodgy.

Since I had a huge breakfast I decided to have a snack and ordered the club sandwich. It was very nicely cooked with lean bacon and chicken. I liked that fact that the bread was crispy and it wasn't drenched in mayo like most club sandwiches. Plus it came with a basket of fries too! Bonus!

At the end I was the only one with room for dessert. I went for the homemade strawberry ice cream. Not very inspiring and it could be creamier, but the fresh strawberry taste was good and refreshing.

Lunch came to about RMB500 for the 3 of us.

1317 Wu Ding Xi Rd. (nr. Jiang Su Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5238-9633

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our first roast chicken in SH

There doesn't seem to be a lot of places where you can buy whole chickens in Shanghai. And we don't think the live ones they sell in the markets would work for a roast....too scary anyway. Then we came across a semi-decent looking one at the Sheraton deli and we decided to give it a go. The verdict: not bad at all. The breast meat was still very moist and tender - will do it again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wash-off Face Masks

The long-overdue mask review. Prices are estimates.

Suisse Program Renewing Cream Mask (~HK$600/200ml)

I would give it 2 out of 10 at most. I was told that this mask is similar to the Valmont renewal mask but I don't see any similarity at all. I don't really know what this mask does other than leaving a tangling sensation on the skin while it's on. In fact my skin feels a little fried afterwards. I don't think I will try another Suisse Program product ever again because the eye cream I got sucks big time also.


Isomarine Intensive Moisturizing Mask (~HK$450/50ml)

My rating: 8 out of 10. I actually think it works! Skin is very soft and supple after use. Can be used around sensitive eye area as well. My only complaint: it's quite pricey...I wonder if I should buy another after I finish this one.


Origins Drink Up (~HK$180/100ml)

My rating: 7 out of 10. I love the price and the refreshing apricot smell and that's why I am giving it a 7. In terms of moisturising it's not as effective as Isomarine but my skin do feel refreshed and rejuvenated after each use. I leave it on for more than 10 mins usually - until the mask turns transparent - around 20 mins. It's not a corrective mask to be used in emergencies but it's a very nice everyday maintenance. Will keep on buying more.


Biotherm Aquasource Emergency Hydration Mask (~HK$280/75ml)

My rating: 5 out of 10. More expensive than the Origins Drink Up but not as effective. It doesn't even do anything to my skin on a normal day and I have no faith whatsoever that it would act as an "emergency hydration mask". A bit of a waste of time and I have piled it up with one of my better-than-nothing masks.

Vichy Rehydrating Thermal Mask (~HK$250/50ml)

My rating: 6 out of 10. It works better than the Biotherm one but the result is not really significant. It does replenish moisture slightly but with this price tag I'd rather go for the Origins Drink Up once again.

Yves Saint Laurent Hydra Feel Gentle Rehydrating Mask (~HK$280/75ml)

My Rating: 1 out of 10. I don't usually hate a mask - even if it's not overly effective I will still use it since I have a daily mask ritual and the better-than-nothing masks are still somewhat useful in my case.

I absolutely hate this mask however. It's impossible to wash off as it leaves a film of oily substance on skin after. I think that's what they meant by "leaving skin soft and smooth" but it's extremely annoying. The fragrance is very artificial also. Disappointing!


Bioderma Hydrabio Mask (~HK$350/75ml)

My rating: 5 out of 10. Again it replenishes moisture but it's no miracle. Another day-to-day maintenance mask. Nothing special.

Coreana Nokdu Pure Pack (~HK$50/100ml)

My rating: 4 out of 10. Recommended by a salesgirl in Seoul I thought I'd give the brand Coreana a try. It is supposed to cleanse but I have yet to see any evidence of cleansing. It doesn't do a bad job moisturising but I have to say the smell of dried/stale seaweed is too much for me, especially first thing in the morning.

The Face Shop Chinese Herb Mask (~HK$80/120ml)

My rating: 2 out of 10. I didn't have any hope on the products from The Face Shop but while I was in Seoul I thought I'd give it a try. This mask was the most expensive one and allegedly the star product. From what I gathered there's Chinese herbs as well as ginseng in the mask. The result: a complete waste of time. I seriously don't know what it does.

Da Marco

It's extremely difficult to get a table for dinner at Da Marco so we headed there for lunch instead. The place was still pretty busy but at least we got a table right away.

Our bread basket. We loved the bread sticks especially.

We had the antipasto to start. Everything was good - loved the big portion also.

My husband's pasta with fresh tuna. He said it was tasty but there were only 2 or 3 pieces of very thin tuna in the dish. It was a bit of a let down. He wanted me to mention that he was given a serving spoon when he asked for a spoon.

My angel hair pasta with seafood was jam-packed with all sorts of shell fish and there was even half a crab! I have to say the crab was difficult to eat and the razor clams were too funky looking for me but I liked the rest of the ingredients: calamari rings, mussels, clams, white fish chunks, and cherry tomatoes. I tried my very best and I finished just about half of what was on the plate. It was massive!

Lunch for 2 came to just over RMB200. I can see why this place is busy - we all like cheap honest food!

Da Marco
103 Eat Zhu An Bang Rd. (nr. Zheng Nin Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6210-4495

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Element Fresh

Another meal at Element Fresh. Cobb salad(RMB78). It looked like my kind of salad with lots of cheese and chicken. Yum. The portion was pretty big even my husband couldn't finish it.

My spicy beef stir-fry(RMB58). It looked so different (much worse) than the one C had at the branch in Super Brand Mall. The beef looked watery and the sauce just didn't have the same shine and consistency. A little disappointing. The fresh and crunchy bamboo shoots and poached pak choi made up for it though.
Somehow both of us got incredibly thirsty afterwards. Was there MSG I wonder?

Element Fresh
4/F, KWah House, 1028 Huai Hai Rd. (nr. Donghu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5403-8865

Friday, June 13, 2008


Chartres is right at our doorsteps and yet we never wanted to go and try it. There's just something about the place which makes us believe that it's not going to be very good.

The opportunity finally came and we thought we'd give it a go. The place was relatively busy for a week night around 8pm, so the food couldn't have been bad?

The menu was not really inspiring at all, it had all the usual items which you'd find in an old "western restaurant". It actually reminded me of places I went to when I was a kid in the 70s. We both decided to pick from the set dinner menus, mine had 4 courses at RMB178 (I didn't realise it at the time) and my husband's got 3 at RMB108.

He started off with a salad. It was very simple and nothing special.
My escargot was more sensational and created more of a stir than the salad for sure, not in a good way should I add. First of all why were they so big? I was frightened when I took a first look. Upon closer inspection the shells didn't look right either...they did look like the stuff you see in the garden. I freaked out even more. For science I took one out and debated whether I should try one. I felt like I was on Fear Factor. at the end I cut a tiny piece out and had a bite, just for the sake of it, and left the rest there. It was scary. Never again.
Then a soup came and I guess that's the extra course I didn't know about. It was very plain and it honestly didn't taste of anything. I called it the cream of blah.
My husband's roast duck leg. He said it wasn't too bad actually, although the pile of mushroom sauce was a little odd.
My grilled lamb was actually more like a lamb stew. It was actually quite tender and nicely cooked, with the meat easily falling off my fork.
Then came the best dish. The chocolate cake was fluffy and moist, too bad it didn't come with ice cream.

Dinner came to RMB286. We thought it was a little pricey for what we got- for that amount of money one can get excellent Chinese food. I guess it is the problem with eating in Shanghai: non-Chinese (or non-Asian for that matter) food is usually over-priced and mediocre.

855 Hua Shan Rd. (nr. FuXing Rd. West), Shanghai. Tel: 6212-8085

Peter's Tex-Mex

It was my first visit to Peter's Tex Mex and I knew instantly that I would be going back. I'd say the food was slightly above average but it beats eating at the smelly and sometimes rather seedy Zapata's.

We decided to pig out and ordered a few things to share for our lunch visit. Little did we know even snacks were pretty big in portion.

Our nachos with beans and cheese. Loved it!
Waffle fries. Pure evil but tasted so good.
Extra guacamole....the healthier choice for the day.
Potato skins with bacon bits..not really tex mex but hey.
Chicken strips. The fries were a little lame compared to the waffle fries but the strips were OK. Lunch for 2 came to just over RMB200.


Three days later I was back again with my husband this time for dinner.

The nine-layer nachos looked quite disappointing. We were expecting the works with melted cheese but instead we got some flattened dip which definitely didn't have 9 layers. It tasted more promising than it looked though and we polished off the dip and the chips in no time.

I ordered chicken strips again from the main course menu. The difference between this version and the snack version is that you get a honey mustard dip or a gravy on the side. In this case I asked for both and they were happy to give me both. I think you get more pieces for the main course version as well.

My husband's carne asada. The side dishes were OK but the beef was dreadful. It was bashed to heck in an attempt to tenderise but the meat was still very tough.

We got more nachos since the nine-layer thing was not all that satisfying. This time we got jalapeno with cheese and they were smashing!
Dinner was around RMB250. Remember to try the home-made lemonade!

Peter's Tex-Mex
Unit 7, Lane 3911 Hong Mei Rd. (nr. Yan An Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6261-2505

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Park Tavern

A newly opened pub right across from the XuiJiaHui Park, this pub has 3 floors and completed with a large garden. Good atmosphere and pretty lay-back, the only thing lacking is the smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke to give it the realistic pub feel. I am sure it will improve over time.

On the night of our visit we settled on the roomy roof top with nearly 20 of us. The menu had all the usual pub grub. I didn't go around taking pictures of all our food but here are a few of the things we ordered:

Veggies with dip. The cucumber was actually pickled. Nice!

Chicken pot pie.

Veggie burger.

Fish and chips.

Bangers and mash.
Things we tried that night include shepherd's pie, Aussie burger, steak sandwich and roast lamb sandwich. Prices range from RMB60 to RMB90 for each. Not bad at all and we were all pretty satisfied with what we got. My bangers for instance were not the best sausages one can get but for what they are charging (around RMB60) it was acceptable.

TIP: RMB25 Tiger pints till 8pm

Park Tavern
840 Heng Shan Rd. (nr. Tian Ping Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5465-9312

Haiku by Hatsune

The free starter for the day was some kind of fried preserved fish which looked too funky for me. U took a bite and decided that it was too bony.

We wanted something with salmon on top and were told that the salmon skin rolls were the only one. We didn't really like the sound of eating skin but decided to give it a try anyway. It was actually not bad as the salmon skin inside was very crunchy.

The usually excellent moto-roll-ah rolls were not very good this time. There should be spicy tuna, snow crab, maguro and avocado and the concoction is usually delicious, but on this particular day it tasted really bland. There was no snow crab neither? Instead we got something which tasted like was weird.

California rolls without the fish roes. They tasted as plain as they looked.

Some kind of vegetable roll with lots of avocado, tofu, lettuce and some kind of twiggy thing. A bit blah.

Engen rolls with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, tobiko, avocado, eel and green onion. We didn't taste any spicy tuna as the fishy eel was over-powering . Not nice at all.

Dessert was some kind of cake with a sweet tofu scent. Strange.
I wondered perhaps the chef doesn't work lunch? The food had always been good when we went for dinners so what gives?

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