I am a big fan of late dinners -especially on Saturdays- and believe me, I have been chasing all the late night cravings around the city. Located on Julu road and opened at the beginning of the Dog’s year, Atelier by Taste Buds is one of my favorites. I have been there several times. I adopt it like an “ace up my sleeve” sort of restaurant to go when I want to have a relaxed dinner, listen to good music and eat some refined ( or more than average) snacks.
Entering trough a hall of wooden barrels you will find yourself submerged in a mix of vintage and industrially sophisticated space with speakeasy vibes. I visited it last Saturday night with my partner in crime. We were pretty hungry which means we ordered too many dishes -and we ate them all, that’s out of discussion. One thing I like but usually people complain about is the low light. I love that pseudo speakeasy ambient, the decoration and the comfortable seats. I could say it is ideal for couples or for a group of friends.
The service is really fast. Most of the waitresses are English speakers and very kind to make suggestions about the menu.
But let’s jump into the F&B. To start with we ordered two berry spritz. Very disappointing to be honest, they were not good and the size was pretty small for a spritz. However, later on we had two “The Mule”, which definitely made it up for the previous ones: super refreshing with the exact amount of ginger, along with the passion fruit on the side to either have it by itself or pour it into the drink.
Regarding the food it is fair to say the portions are more snack alike and so it’s the price. I like this because it is more like a tapas bar, easier for sharing with friends and also to get a bite of different things on the menu. To first dish we had were oysters (3 for 40Rmb, nice deal) and a mushroom artichoke pizza, which wasn't tasty at all, lacking of cheese and toppings. Next we had the ginger fish and chips that were good but didn’t include any ginger and the cheese risotto balls that were okay, nothing brilliant.
For main we had the Iberian pork ribs and to be objective I think is the best dish of the house. Amazingly tender, juicy and tasty, you can tell the BBQ sauce is totally homemade. Nothing sweet to end the journey, as we prefer the salty stuff. I owe you some desserts guys!
Overall feeling: Reasonably priced, amazing music playlist, authentic atmosphere, and decent late night menu. I feel the quality of the food is descending a little tough, compared to the first occasions we went there.
Suggestions: They should check up on the starters/snacks and be more careful in the preparation of the easiest cocktails (Although they are simple, they are not less important to keep the high standards). OH, and one last thing, for those fans of barrel aged cocktails; this is one of the right places.
SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.