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  • Polux is part of the Paul Pairet package. He’s the Ultraviolet / Mr and Mrs Bund guy, and he opened Polux as a more casual, bistro-style restaurant this year. Predictably, Polux received a “Bib Gourmand” in the 2020 Michelin Guide. Predictably, it’s both absolutely decent and a little flat.

    The bistro-style stuff tastes and looks good. Crispy shoe-string fries, toasted club sandwiches, and brunch hashes for hashtag brunching. There’s a lot of very competent cooking of fairly basic stuff going on. Shout out to the coconut latte, too – my friend said it was probably the best coffee he’s ever had, and I’m inclined to agree.

    Décor and service are both stylish. I have a lot of love for the incongruous floral napkins, and a little less love for the brown waistcoats. Prices aren’t bad, either. As a general rule, small plates are around 80rmb, brunch dishes around 110rmb, mains 150-180rmb, and desserts vary. In total, we paid 1067rmb for four people at brunch time – no booze but a lot of coffee and tea.

    I wouldn’t race back to Polux, though, for a couple of reasons. I know it’s fussy, but the choice to finely chop my burrata before serving it was bewildering. Part of the joy of eating burrata is the moment of ooze – that lovely moment when you break the outer layers and the interior spills out. At Polux, they pre-mince your burrata. Odd decision. I also found certain dishes, such as the soft egg or the iced tea, a bit empty.

    Polux is a beautifully-designed bistro with a beautifully-designed menu and some beautifully-executed food. It’s fairly expensive as a brunch option, but fairly cheap for Paul Pairet. Go for a coconut latte and some fries, if nothing else, and watch the beautiful people chat away their mornings.

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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.