Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sunday brunch at Laris was a very pleasant surprise.  When we decided to go we were expecting to splash out a little as a treat to our sleepless baby nights.  Then we saw the very reasonable brunch menu and wished we had known about it sooner.

Our 3-course brunch was RMB228 per person.  We got to pick from a pretty big menu with starters, eggs, mains and desserts.  I was tempted to do a 4-course but I guess it'd be a little odd to have a starter, then eggs as well as a main and a dessert.  maybe next time.

My husband's slow cooked eggs.  They looked like they were very carefully and slowly poached.  Even though he doesn't normally eat runny eggs he said they were not bad, as the pate tasting sauce added life into the dish.

As Laris has always been known for its excellent seafood  dishes I decided for a more conservative approach and had cod cakes to start.  They certainly didn't disappoint.  They had a perfect consistency: not too flaky and not too pappy.  The fish tasted really fresh and full of flavour - I didn't know cod can taste so good.  They were so much better than crab cakes! 

For main my husband got a duck confit with risotto.  He was very happy with it.  I tasted the risotto and surely it was rich and bursting with flavours.  

My pork loin was very tender and the jus was a nice complement.  I wish I could make my pork loin taste like this at home.  What is the secret I wonder?  Where did they get their pork?  The ones we buy from the supermarket are usually tougher than shoe leather.

Now the real reason to come to Laris: the dessert.   Here we have the brioche doughnuts.  We didn't expect them to be like regular doughnuts but they tasted very nice nonetheless.  As if they were not sweet enough they came with sweet jam and cream.  My husband said he felt pudgy before the meal  and he had probably put on another 5 pounds after his dessert.

My chocolate marshmallow tart with chocolate sorbet was to die for.  The "tart" was more like a brownie with melted marshmallow on top.  It was sooo rich and sweet I am most certain that I felt a rush afterwards.

The petits fours.  I was overloaded with chocolate I couldn't make myself eat anymore of the stuff (I never thought I'd say that).  My husband sampled the truffles and said they were OK.  Not nearly as nice as the ones in Godiva's.
We will definitely go back again!

6/F, 3 on the Bund, Shanghai.  Tel: 6321-9922

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Park Tavern

My last visit to the Park Tavern was quite a pleasant one and on this Sat afternoon I decided to take my husband there.  It was a nice long walk with the Little One in her stroller - too bad the pollution was pretty bad and we all got a bit of a nose congestion afterwards

It was almost 2:30 in the afternoon and the garden was pretty quiet with 2 other tables.   As I seem to remember the burger there was pretty nice my husband decided to give it a try.  Funny enough he went for the vegetarian version and it's basically like a fried bubble and squeak ball.    Too bad the mashed potato was a bit dry and the ball was quite crumbly and was falling apart.  We liked the chips very much though and it's the only place in Shanghai where they brought over a bottle of malt vinegar after we ordered.

My bangers and mash.  I remember it being so-so last time but I thought I'd give it another try.  The verdict:  skip it.  The sausages didn't taste too bad but they had bits of gristly stuff in them which I had to spat out (pardon me).  I didn't want to think about what they might have been.  The gravy was too thin without a whole lot of taste.  I think I will be better off with a pie or a burger next time.

Although Tetley's was on the drinks menu it wasn't available.  We got a pint of Boddingtons instead but it looked very much like it was from a can.

It was still a pleasant afternoon even though the garden is not as nice as Paulaner's.

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

Peter's Tex Mex

We had another visit to our favourite Tex-Mex restaurant with my in-laws.  It's a good opportunity to order a table full of food! 

To start we had nachos with bean and beef. Loved the melted cheese and sadly it was my last bite of cheese as I am cutting out all dairy once and for all for my 4-month old baby. :-(

Quesadilla with chicken and cheese.  It was so good I even ate one when it got cold.  It tasted just fine even though my husband was pulling a face.

My father-in-law went for a spaghetti Bolognese to be safe.  I don't think Tex-Mex is in the UK and they were a little apprehensive about the dishes.

Another safe choice for my mother-in-law:  spaghetti and meatballs.  Both spaghetti dishes were very nice I was told.

My husband's burrito.  I think burrito is a man dish as the fillings are almost too dodgy.

My chicken burger.  On the menu it mentions something about a secret batter with spices and boy was that batter nice.  The seasonings were perfect and the chicken was moist and meaty.  I think I will get my husband to go back with us this weekend.

Since I am eating for two I got a serving of chicken fingers as well.  They were fried nicely as usual.  I have to say they could probably do better than using frozen fries but hey.   I wish they would make chicken fingers with the same batter they use for my chicken burger!
We saw freshly made cinnimon rolls but we did not have room.  I know my friends C and C (who are now back in teh States sadly) would love to have one.  We miss you here in SH!

The scrumptious meal for four with drinks came to around RMB400.  Not bad at all!

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

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Slice in Pudong is so much nicer than the one in Puxi, both food and layout wise.   The patio on the second floor overlooking Dulwich's rugby field makes you forget about actually being in Shanghai!  I love the little deli shop on the ground floor too.  Service is always friendly and efficient.  If I have to nitpick I would say the place (especially the bathrooms) isn't very pram and baby friendly.  Good thing we can always change our Little One at the back of our car.

We find ourselves back at least once a week when we go to Pudong.  Here are a few things we tried during our visits:

Parma ham melt on sourdough.  Loved the bread, and extra points on keeping the ham lean.  

Chips with rosemary and sea salt.  These days you often get fries for chips but here at Slice they got it right.

My beef burger with chips.  It was a very burger indeed.  I wish it could be bigger.  The salsa/dip had a spicy kick to it and it was perfect for the chips.  I believe all the ingredients are organic.  

Slice's version of lasagna with slices of tomato in it.   I was told it was very nice, light, and refreshing indeed.

Steak sandwich with chips.  This is the one dish that looks better than it tastes. The beef didn't taste of beef at all.  It was like chewing on a piece of fiber.  The sauce helped wash it down but didn't save the dish.
688 Bi Yun Rd. (nr. Lan An Rd.), Jinqiao, Pudong.  Tel: 3382-0653

Friday, November 14, 2008


The tagline for Shiro is "where Sushi is Fashion".  I found that out after we had the meal.  Had I known I would have proceeded with caution.

The lunch menu was relatively small with a few items to choose from and they all seemed pretty pricey.  Bentos were a;sp available for around HK$200 each.  Since I was not clear whether the bentos were for take-away only or not and the waitress was no where to be seen I chose from the menu instead to save time and hassle.

My negi toro (HK$178) looked very fancy indeed.  Too bad it had no taste!  If I was blindfolded I would never have guessed that I was eating toro, or should I say fish for that matter.  Somehow the pile of mashed up fish didn't taste of anything.  The raw quail egg was pretty scary too.  A total disappointment and for what they are charging I would expect more!

Since there was not a whole lot of things to choose from we got an eel rice (HK$138) even though it was expensive.  Well at least we got 2 huge pieces of eel and they were actually quite nice, still we thought it was a bit over priced.
Lunch for two came to HK$370.  We had to pay for our tea and the non-existing service.

I think while sushi is fashion it should also be decent.  It's easy to forget that when you have a fancy/pretentious joint.

Level 1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong.  Tel: 2155-8066

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Da Marco

Another late Sunday afternoon, another visit to Da Marco.  It's the only time we can go without having to book a table.  Now the place was only half full (if) and we fail to understand why they ALWAYS have to cramp everybody right next to each other?  It's plain lazy from the waiters' side perhaps and it's really frustrating when we have a stroller and a car seat with baby.  Anyhow.  Back to the food.

Perhaps we were really hungry..the bread was pretty tasty!

The antipasto platter was quite substantial for one person.  We liked the selection and everything was fresh.

I decided to be adventurous and ordered the octopus salad.  It turned out to be a little too funky for me.  I thought there would be stewed baby octopus but it was actually thick slices of rather chewy stuff without a whole lot of taste.  A little disappointing I have to say.

My husband had the beef sirloin once again.  The presentation was a little different:  the beef was sliced this time for some reason but it was as nice as usual nonetheless.

My spaghetti bolognese was average at best.  Will stick with something non-tomato base next time maybe?
Da Marco
103 East Zhu An Bang Rd. (nr.Zheng Nin Rd.), Shanghai.  Tel: 6210-4495

Only in China

Taken at Century Park Pudong.

Paulaner Braeuhaus

The beer garden is now officially my dad's favourite place in Shanghai.  I guess you can't really ask for more: home brewed beer, large garden with parking, all in the middle of the city.  It's quite a good and quick escape from the busy Shanghai scene.

Our bread basket wasn't bad at all.  Loved the spreads.  I often wondered what the bottom one is made of.  It couldn't be lard, could it?
My dad had the goulash soup (RMB42) to start.  He said it was pretty tasty.
Braised smoked pork neck(RMB118).  The cut of meat was so tender it melted in my mouth.  There was a very subtle smokey taste which added flavour to the already very tasty dish.

My dad was convinced that he wanted cold pickled herring(RMB145) even though we warned him that he might not like it.  The moment he looked at the dish he knew he had ordered the wrong thing.  For some reason he thought it was going to be raw (apparently he had it somewhere in Germany and really liked it).  It's highly unlikely that they'd have raw herring in Shanghai (and even if they do I'd probably stay away from it).  Anyway this version was rather fishy according to him and he did not like it one bit.  Then again he never liked fish usually.

My grilled pork knuckle (full portion RMB168, mine was half).  I should have gone for the full one as there was no much to eat by the time I picked the crackle and fat off.  I know I know I shouldn't be having pork knuckle if I don't eat the crackle but I honestly can not do it.

I think the food is average and a little expensive.  Still I will be back as there isn't a whole lot of other options now that Dan's Farmhouse is not very good anymore.

Visit during the week for a much more relaxing (and quiet) atmosphere.

Paulaner Braeuhaus
150 Fen Yang Rd. (nr Fu Xing Rd.), Shanghai.  Tel: 

Wang Jia Sha

We had our two firsts for the day:  Marks and Sparks in Shanghai, and the legendary Wang Jia Sha right next door.  I knew Wang Jia Sha is famous but I failed to remember what the signature dishes are.  The waitress wasn't all that helpful so I picked a few things randomly from the menu.

Some kind of prawn dumplings (RMB12).  They weren't bad but I didn't really taste prawns.  Perhaps they were mashed up?

Stir-fried beef with Hangzhou peppers (RMB22).  It was probably the best dish of all the others we got.  The sauce was slight sweet and thick it coated the beef nicely.  The peppers were not spicy at all but then they didn't really have a distinctive taste to them.

Lion head(RMB15).  I have to say I prefer the braised version with the thick brown sauce like the ones in 1221.  This version was quite soft and smooth, which made me think that there must have been a lot of fat in the meat.  Not the best I've had.

Fried noodles with beef on hot plate (RMB18).  I know Shanghaiese food is generally rather greasy but this thing was swimming in oil.  The taste wasn't bad but the oil was too much for us to handle.  as hungry as we were we were not able to finish it.
Our verdict:  very reasonable prices, so-so quality, very crowded and no service whatsoever; typical for local famed eateries (especially the part with bad service).  I am sure there are neighbourhood places with much better food with similar prices.

Wang Jia Sha
805 Nanjing Road West (nr. Shimen Rd.), Shanghai.  Tel: 6258-6373