I read so much about Nova when the girls suggested it as our lunch venue I was more than happy to give it a try.
The regular menu has all the usual suspects you would expect in a French restaurant in Asia: think mushroom soup, foie gras, escorgots, and lots of steaks for some reason. There is also a lunch menu: with 3 choices for each course. For RMB88 you get 2 courses and RMB108 for 3. We thought it's too good of a deal to pass and so we all ordered from the lunch menu.
The health-conscious ladies naturally went for starters instead of desserts. Here's the salad with bacon slices with mustard vinaigrette sauce. It looked pretty well prepared and nothing negative was said about it.
Pan-fried sirloin steak, green beans and mushroom. This is where things began to go downhill. While I am not into fancy plate decorations this is just taking the pi$$. Everything was just thrown together and I have to say it looked pretty sad. And what they called sirloin would probably be better described as minute steak. Considering how thin the slice of meat was, it's pretty talented to have it as chewy as it was. At least my friend J was being nice about it: It's chewy but it's just like what you get in France, she said.
Ocean perch fillet with black olive sauce, vegetable tagliatelle with sesame. My first thought was where's the back olive sauce? Then I thought OK it shouldn't matter if the ingredients were fresh as the sauce could be overpowering. Unfortunately the last time my ocean perch saw the ocean was probably years ago. It didn't taste of anything at all I thought to myself I might as well be eating a piece of cardboard. And while the idea of vegetables tagliatelle is enticing they were disappointing to say the least. The carrot strips were cooked to death and again didn't have any taste. Same story with the beans. As hungry as I was I couldn't make myself to finish it and I don't usually leave food on my plate.
Caramel creme with coconut and raisins. By that point I wasn't expecting much but surprisingly J said it wasn't bad.
Apple tart with vanilla ice cream. It was slightly dry but it wasn't bad. The apples were tart and not too sweet and I liked the pie crust.
I am not sure if they are sacrificing quality to make their lunch menu prices a bit more attractive, as prices on the regular menu are quite a bit more, with starters starting at RMB60 and mains at RMB150 on average. Either way I will think twice about coming to this joint again.
418 Dagu Rd.(nr. Shimen Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6340-1889