Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bella Napoli

Lunch at Bella Napoli's second branch, which is closer in our neighbourhood.
Prosciutto and cheese on toast. Sinfully tasty. Loved the slightly chewy toasted ciabatta.
C's green salad looked ok...salads don't really do it for me.
My other friend C's cream of pumpkin soup. She said it was delicious.
C enjoyed her carbonara.
And the other C also raved about her steak.
My pasta dish with asparagus and pancetta was pretty tasty, but the sauce could be richer.
All in all it was a pretty enjoyable lunch. Good value and selections for the set lunches. A good place to be if you want casual Italian!

Lane 946 Changle Rd., (nr. Wulumuqi Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6248-8985

Saturday, July 17, 2010


A dinner visit to M1NT. Although my last lunch there was not very impressive but I thought I'd give it another try. We thought we would go with the tasting menu in order to try more dishes.

For RMB420 a person we got 3 or 4 choices for each course to choose for our 3-course set. To start we had deep fried squid. For us, who are spoiled with fresh seafood and kick-ass salt and pepper batter from Hong Kong, this dish was a little lame. The squid was nicely battered and deep fried but the seasoning seemed to just lack depth. The Thai chili dip was kind of lazy too.
When we saw our other starter we were taken back a little. We thought we would get steamed shrimp gyoza (which is what the menu said) but instead we got Cantonese har gou. Although a little anti-climatic, the har gous had big prawns inside and the pastry was reasonably thin. The chili flakes on top though were overpoweringly spicy (and I can take spicy!) we ended up scraping them off.
Moving on to our mains: roasted salmon with wasabi remoulade, salsa verde, oven dried cherry tomatoes. It was probably my favourite dish for the evening. Loved the cherry tomatoes especially, and the salsa went very well with the fish.
Our other main: pork ribs, black pepper marinade. The ribs were tender but the marinade, which tasted of five-spice powder, was too strong.
Our side dish asparagus with wafu dressing. Loved the dressing (but then wafu is pretty easy to make) but the asparagus was probably not in season.
Our other side dish tomatoes with ginger and spring onion dressing was much better than the asparagus. I'd eat tomato everyday if it comes with dressing like this one.
We enjoyed our dessert tasting platter and my favourites were the chocolate cake and mango mousse.
I suppose food is not the main focus for M1NT and for the no-so-expensive set and what they delivered it's a pass. We have no complaint on the food but it's nothing to rave about certainly.

24/F, 318 Fuzhou Rd. (nr. Shangdong Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6391-2811

Table No. 1

Our first lunch visit to the hyped Table No. 1 turned out to be a little disappointing. The menu was not very big and my husband had to pick fries (RMB30) as his starter (many other customers did the same thing too). They were cooked very nicely and the garlic and herbs on top were a very nice touch even though I don't like too much garlic normally.
My crab appetizer(RMB58) had chopped local crab meat, avocado, and a chilled scoop of something which had a sorbet consistency. It was interesting in terms of the contrasting temperature but that's about it. The crab was fresh but it wasn't very sweet tasting.
My husband's steak looked really promising but it was also the biggest disappointment. The cut of meat was so stringy and fatty most of it was inedible. The three little piece we managed to trim out and tasted were actually very tender and tasty.
My fish bouillabaisse (RMB118) was actually very rich and packed full with seafood flavour. It is however a little odd to have the item under main courses. Luckily I was somewhat on diet and I didn't mind.
My husband at least enjoyed his rice pudding (RMB55).
My caramel parfait (RMB55) was nice at the time but not very memorable.
To give the restaurant credit the manager took the beef dish off our bill having heard our complaint.

Table No. 1
The Waterhouse, 1-3 Mao Jia Yuan Rd. (next to Cool Docks), Shanghai. Tel: 6332-0282

Botham burgers

Our take on the Jamie Oliver recipe. We put cheese in the middle of the patties. Yum!

Pho 26

I am continuously searching for good pho in Shanghai and this time my friend C suggested Pho 26. It is supposedly a famous chain from Vietnam with 3 restaurants in Hong Kong, although I have not heard of it until now.

The signature pho with assorted beef bits was a disappointment. The broth was very salty and unfortunately it was the only flavour.
Vermicelli with spring rolls. The spring rolls were a bit to the dry side.
Same problem with the chicken with lemongrass. And it's more noticeable when chicken is dry.
All in all a pretty underwhelming experience. I probably won't be back in a hurry.

P.S. I checked the comments and pictures on its HK branch and the feedbacks are not bad at all!
Pho 26
2/F, 178 WuJiang Rd. (nr. MaoMing Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5228-6597

Carluccio's Cafe

A short late lunch break from our shopping trip in Bristol. We were so hungry we gobbled up the soft warm bread in no time. Bread (₤3.50) and the olives (₤2.60).
Chicken saltimbocca, wrapped in proscuitto and roasted was the special (₤10.95). My husband said it was ok and nothing spectacular. He might have been sulking as he picked 2 glasses of wine from the wine list and they were somehow unavailable?
My lasagna (8.35) was tasty but a little bit too runny for my taste. It was a much welcomed treat as I was about to digest myself. All in all not bad for a chain restaurant. And to our great surprise we got given a bottle of wine to take home to compensate the wine disappointment. Call that customer service!
Carluccio's Cafe
Quakers Friars, Bristol, UK. Tel: 0117 933-8538

The Anchor Inn

We drove pass this cute looking old pub many times and finally got a chance to go for dinner. The place seemed very popular on a Friday night and we soon found out why. My husband's chargrilled scallops (8.50) were big and juicy and cooked to perfection.
There are close to 20 different sauces on the mussel page. You can even have mussels as a main and it comes with fries. I picked French style (8.95) as a starter and they are basically cooked in a white wine and tarragon sauce. Great creamy sauce and the mussels were fresh.
We decided to try the day's special: brill in butter and lemon sauce (15.95). Very simple but delicious.
Too bad my lobster and prawn thermedor (24.95) was not as nice as I thought it would be. The cheese sauce was nice but the lobster pieces were too little in size and in quantity. There were also frozen micro-prawns in the mixture and they tasted like the frozen sort.
We (especially my husband) loved the oversize chips.
There are different treacle tarts to choose from and we picked amaretto (4.25). It was sinfully perfect with the clotted cream.
And the best dish had to be the sticky toffee pudding (4.25). Moist, rich and sticky my diet plans were long out of the windows. We shall be back!
The Anchor Inn
Cockwood, nr Starcross, Devon, UK. Tel: 01626 891-203


Another David Laris creation in town: immediately we thought it could be a little iffy as we had not been impressed with his recent projects. Still the place had to be tested out.
Our bread was probably the best-tasting starter in comparison to the mediocre Caesar salad and the tasteless pile of sprouts and lettuce I had.
My deep-fried snapper with green curry sauce was really punchy. I wish I could make curry sauce like this at home. The fish, however, was a bit to the dry and hard side. I suppose it's difficult to get fresh snapper fillets here in Shanghai.
Teriyaki salmon. The sides were so lame I could knock up something better at home. And teriyaki salmon is pretty easy to make to begin with. Lame.
Mac and cheese. I was told that it was excellent apparently.
We didn't feel like spending more money on desserts.

G/F, URBN Hotel, 183 Jiao Zhou Rd. (nr. Beijing Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5172-1300


Would I ever get bored of Issimo? Not for a while yet.
We decided to eat light and had some simple starters.
The vegetarian pizza was so yummy. Perhaps we really don't need meat?
Mind you my gnocchi with meat sauce would not have been the same without the meat.
We had desserts too but I totally forgot to take pictures. I tend to get too excited when I see sweet things.

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

Cristal Restaurant and Bar

My birthday lunch! Goes to show you how far behind I am with my food blog. The set lunch had 3 or 4 choices each for starters and mains, and we thought they were all pretty good, especially the salad with duck breast.

My chicken tagine had a really lovely sauce but the meat was a bit gristly.
The feedback on the steak tenderloin was positive.
The risotto looked good too.
I didn't have time to get to dessert. I seem to remember my last visit for lunch also took 2 hours. I like how they are not rushing us at all but ow many people have 2 hours plus for a weekday lunch?

Cristal Restaurant and Bar
4/F, 175 Tai Xing Rd. (nr. Wu Jiang Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6136-1388