Sunday, November 29, 2009


The excellent value set lunches at Issimo. The 3-course (RMB138) and 4-course (RMB168) set menu had a fair selection covering starters, pizzas, pasta and desserts.
We dig into our starters after the very delicious bread. Antipasto platter for my husband and marinated salmon with caperberries for me.

His second-course pizza with ricotta, mushroom and arugula was huge!

After my spaghetti with clams, cherry tomatoes and garlic I was almost full. I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to try out the oven-roasted seafood skewers. I was pleased with the decision to stretch my tummy. Both the variety and the quality were great.
Included in the set are coffee or tea, plus a drink of your choice for your meal. Choices include wines, juices and soft drinks.
Traditional Neapolitan chocolate cake with vanilla cream. Ice cream would have been better.
We will be back again for sure!

2/F, Jia Shanghai, 931 Nanjing West Rd. (nr. Tai Xing Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 3302-4997

Shanghai Uncle

We like Shanghai Uncle but dinner time is always so busy (plus its famous ribs are often sold out by dinner time) lunch seemed like a good option.

Malaysian beef curry. Nice sauce with tender beef it was more like randang beef more than a curry. Nonetheless it was yummy!
Shanghaiese noodles. Very rich and greasy but sinfully delicious. I don't know how they made the noodles but the texture was gluten-y and sticky which made it very interesting.
Braised lion's head - a must for a Shanghaiese meal. The huge meat ball was seasoned and braised in a rich broth. It wasn't bad at all but I do prefer the dry version with the thick sweet dark soya sauce.
Now the reason for the visit: Shanghai Uncle's signature dish - spareribs! Portion was so huge that it easily fed 4. Meat was so tender it fell off the bones in one go when I dug my spoon in.
We were so full as all the dishes were pretty heavy. Perhaps dinner visits are more suitable for sampling Shanghaiese dishes after all.

Shanghai Uncle
B/F Bund Centre, 222 YanAn Rd. East (nr. Henan Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6339-1977

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Barbie Cafe

I was rather happy to see that the menu in Barbie Cafe is actually very grown-up. As much as I like Barbie I didn't want my meal to look like plastic toys. I was told David Laris helped design the menu, it sounds like he's dipping in fingers in more and more of the SH dining scene by the day.

There were two set lunches on the menu: a sandwich set (~RMB60) and a business lunch set(~RMB90), both with a small dessert. The feedback on the sandwich was positive but the portion was a little stingy.
The business lunch had 3 courses. The deep-fried prawn starter in salt and pepper was tasty but I wished there were more.
My grilled duck breast for main. The meat was very tender and juicy but once again it was so small!
The famous Barbie burger with pink sauce. The pink stuff apparently was just like mayo and the burger was decent.
As I was still extremely hungry after my business lunch I ordered an extra spaghetti meatballs. Nice and tomato-y it would have been too small of a portion on its own. Perhaps we got the children's menu by mistake?
Barbie Cafe
6/F, Barbie Shanghai, 550 HuaiHai Rd. (nr. ChengDu Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6171-6063

Xindalu - Hyatt on the Bund

A quick lunch at Hyatt on the Bund - another relatively new and swanky hotel in the city. I have to say I was immediately left with a good impression when I was allowed to park right outside the main entrance. Usually for some strange reason (even when there are plenty of spaces) one is never allowed to park anywhere convenient in Shanghai. We think it's the doormen's way of exercising their limited authority and venting their job frustrations. Who knows.

Anyway. Back to the food. I have to say the menu seemed pricey but we liked everything we tasted. Our chicken dish had the nicest cut of chicken cooked with a hint of chili. I could easily eat another portion.
Beef with Hangzhou green peppers. Again the ingredients were superb and the cooking executed perfectly.
Braised beans with pork mince another excellent dish with the beans al dente. We also got some Shanghaiese rice with ham and veg to go with the dishes. Lunch came to about RMB320 - pricey but we will be back.
Xindalu - Hyatt on the Bund
199 Huangpu Rd., Shanghai. Tel: 6393-1234

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

more Korean

Another day, another adventure out in Korean town. This time we decided to try out a place with only a Korean name which specialises in BBQ and cold noodles.

Our kimchi spread was huge but the dishes were a little too funky for me. I prefer the regular cabbage and sprouts dishes.

Our beef was mediocre.
And same for the two cold noodles and seafood pancake. Don't think we will be back again as there are so many nicer places in the area.

#8-9, 1101 HongQuan Rd. (nr. HongXin Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 3432-3001


We finally got to try this greasy spoon which everyone is talking about! Famous for its Cincinnati-style chili the menu has got all the other usual suspects such as burgers, hot dogs, and even Tex Mex stuff. Bring it on!

A couple of fruit smoothies: cosmic charlie with apples, peas and raspberries (RMB18) on the left and strawberry milkshake (RMB15) on the right. Both were OK - too much milk for my liking as I prefer neat fruit and ice. Can't beat the prices though.
My Munchies cheese burger (RMB35). Once again given the price tag it was not bad at all!
Soft tacos with chicken (RMB34). My husband said he taste was reasonably nice.
Chili cheese fries (RMB32). Loved them!
And since I couldn't decide between burger or hot dog I had both. My Carolina dog (RMB30)was topped with chili and cheese with potato salad on the side. Unfortunately the wiener was overcooked and soggy. A bit of a disappointment.
We have since ordered from Munchies a couple of times and I retried the hot dogs - they were excellent!

974 Wuding Rd.(nr. JiaZhou Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6218-4216

Nolboo 乐伯香翁烤肉

Nolboo is apparently a famous Korean chain restaurant with branches all over Korea and recently opened in Beijing, Qingdao and Shanghai.
We knew we were onto a good thing when charcoal was brought out for our BBQ.
Nolboo's signature dish: beef ribs marinated in clay pot (RMB88 for large and RMB78 for small). We naturally went for a large and we were very happy with the taste and quality of the meat. In fact we ordered 2 portions at the end!
Cold noodles with veg spread. I don't remember the price but it wasn't much. It was huge! Too bad the sauce was a little off with way too much vinegar and mustard. It was refreshing but a little thin in taste.
Lunch for two came to somewhere around RMB240 as I remember. Thank you C for showing me yet another cool Korean place in town!

Nolboo 乐伯香翁烤肉
Shop 306, 269 WuJiang Rd. (nr.MaoMing Rd.) Shanghai. Tel: 6136-1420

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Banyan Tree Sanya

Our lovely villa at Banyan Tree Sanya. Even though it rained for a few days it was actually welcoming as the temperature was so high.
View from our bed. Our little munchkin got her own bedroom upstairs so we were able to kick back and relax while she was sleeping. She's a handful these days!
We had a number of meals at the resort. Food was generally ok and a little to the plain side. I guess they want to stay safe and cater to the majority.

The club sandwich was actually not bad but it's pretty difficult to mess it up.
Hainan chicken rice. I have to say I prefer the Singapore version, which has oilier and more fragrant rice. The chicken was tender and fresh though.
There is a Thai restaurant at the resort and we tried a few dishes one night. Nothing jumped out as being extremely good or bad once again.

Prawn cakes.
Stir-fried veg. Very unexciting indeed.
Thai glass noodle salad with seafood. It was probably the best dish as it actually had punch!
Pad Thai. Very average.
Stir-fried crab meat in curry sauce. It was very average once again.
One night we had the in-villa BBQ. There were a couple of themes to choose from, and we opted for meat instead of seafood on this occasion. Loved the romantic set up.
It was a bit cheeky that they used electric BBQs! In Banyan Tree Phuket you get charcoal and the BBQ boy takes care of everything in the far side of the garden. I guess there just isn't enough space to have the same setup in Hainan. Besides, they charge extra if you want a BBQ boy there. We decided to do it ourselves anyway for privacy reason and we were very happy with the quality (and quantity!) of the meal. Everything was superbly seasoned and marinated. Meat and seafood was of good quality too. There was more than enough for 4 and it was definitely the best meal we had at the resort.
Desserts with the BBQ was a little anti-climatic. Mind you we didn't have much room left at the point.

Another lunch at the cafe. The very plain hot and sour soup (what a disgrace)!
My nasi goreng was actually sweet. It was not nice at all.
All in all it was not impressive but at least prices were not too bad (the resort is quite isolated and could easily rip its guests off more). Hainan has such a bad rep on F&B so I guess it could be worse.