The event is hosted by delightful, green-eyed Bund matriarch Michelle Garnaut, in collaboration with Peggy Chan, who founded Grassroots Pantry in Hong Kong), and long-time M on the Bund fixture Hamish Waddel. The pop-up is called Autumn in Shanghai , a straightforward turn of phrase that takes a more poetic and prosaic meaning in this hallowed house of literature and cocktails.
The menu is based around fall produce, and trades in warmth, earthy colors, and rustic country flavors. Despite the perception that vegan food is all light and oxygen, the items on offer were surprisingly hearty. Vegan food. Hearty. The Black Rice & Smokey Lentils, for example, felt like it needed an accompanying fireplace to enjoy. It's fireside food, and given the infusion of smoke flavor into the lentils, it feels weightier, something that you'd expect with big chunks of beef, which are absent and not missed in this instance.
"From The Garden" features Seasonal Shanghai produce, fu ru cashew mayo, pistachio & olive soil
Grassroots Pantry do a great... how to describe it... plate of vegetables. Seemingly haphazardly, yet beautifully arranged vegetables atop a fermented tofu, cashew mayonnaise. It was thick, Nigella Lawson might even call it "sensual and rich". The cashews go a long way in making the dressing feel substantive, while the fermented tofu (Fu Ru) came close enough to being its own distinctive bleu-like flavor (ladies and gentlemen; it was nice).
"Char-grilled Cauliflowers Handles" with scattered spiced walnuts, pomegranate seeds and sweet tamarind on a bed of chestnut and cauliflower cream
They're also doing Char-grilled Cauliflower handles, this one is by Glam. Spiced walnuts, pomegranate seeds (this dish makes you feel liberated to just eat the whole damn seed instead of laboring to separate the fruit from the pit), garnished with sweet tamarind and a cauliflower cream. Again, vegan fare has graduated from being pixie's food, to something sumptuous (had to use another word besides rich), and Glam makes this decently posh.
"Teff Pumpkin Gnocchi" with raw vegetable pepperoni, sage & pine nut cream, and crispy okra
Desserts were good. The vegan chocolate tortre did not last long enough for a photo. The win here is that in my experience, vegan desserts either consist of bowls of fruit, or things that taste like cardboard. They've labored here, and you can tell.
Highly recommend, but you probably won't get a seat this weekend unless you call right now . Vegans, this is your chance for an upscale Bund meal. There are limited spaces available for their new plant menus debut dinners this Friday, Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.
Event details: On November 24 and Novmember 25 from 6pm to 10.30pm, there's a sic-course shared dinner available at Glam for 338rmb per/person +10% service charge. November 26 from 12pm to 3pm, there's a four-course shared brunch for 298rmb per/person +10% service charge. Reservations highly encouraged, so call ahead.