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  • Met up with an old business colleague for lunch, and at odds where to meet centrally in Shanghai, decided upon Café Gray Deluxe at the Middle House hotel.

    I arrived well before the allotted time, without a reservation, not an issue it seemed, as most office workers within the Taikoo Hui office complex were content with having their lunch delivered and left on some form of food cart around the mall entrance, most bizarre arrangement, reminded me of the Bombay Tiffin Wallah’s.

    I had dined at Café Gray Deluxe previously, shortly after they opened, and thought I should give them another try, fewer pax for lunch on this occasion, perhaps the food carts that abound had something to do with this.

    Once my business colleague arrived, we got down to order the two-course prix fixe lunch which consisted of -:

    Chestnut and Duck Fregola – must say a rather large portion for a starter, and could not be finished.

    Green Cabbage Salad served with a sous vide style soft poached egg, the portion size was minuscule compared to the Chestnut and Duck Fregola, and far too over seasoned with salt.

    Grilled Sea Bass – nothing to add here, pretty standard fare.

    Over Simmered Endives and Ham  - a simple dish, pleasant and tasty enough, although the new potatoes that accompanied the dish were overcooked and shrivelled.

    Not much to excite one for the wines by the glass, sad when there is so much to offer in Shanghai, opted for two glasses of Pierre Chainer Chenin Blanc – the temperature of the wine was far too cold, and had to be hand warmed to be appreciated.

    Declined the dessert selection, and finished off with a couple of espresso’s

    Damages 683RMB for two, not cheap for a two-course prix fixe lunch, perhaps would have been had we not had a bottle of water and the two glasses of wine and espresso, there are less expensive prix fixe lunch options available in the vicinity so could not really recommend Café Gray Deluxe for this style of lunch.

    The service was fine, although could be viewed as confusing as four different servers attended to the table, comparing to my prior visit, the service has gone down I felt.

    The other issue upon leaving the hotel, and ordering a taxi through ones Didi app the taxi could not find the hotel entrance, directional signage is obviously an issue within the complex.

    Food 3 / 5

    Atmosphere 3 /5

    Service 3 /5

    Overall 3 / 5

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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.

  • British

    Originally from the UK, with 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Globaltraveller has worked on four continents and opened seven hotels in Asia for hotel groups in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, the Maldives and Malaysia.
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