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  • Despite the odd entrance and winding metallic stairwell that brings you up two levels, there you enter BOR’s large open space with high ceilings, with which one is greeted by a slightly industrial look and feel, a sort of cross between Muji and an Ikea show kitchen, that one would perhaps expect from a Nordic kitchen.

    This was our second outing to BOR, as we were impressed on the first night, and wanted to see what additional dishes were being served and must confess overall were not disappointed, more of that later, the menu is laid out in the traditional sense and listed so, with snacks, starters, mains, sides and desserts, unlike some of the newer Shanghai establishments that recently opened with their menus which are just a listing of dishes, and no indication of the portion size or frankly what to expect, here at BOR with their excellent and knowledgeable service, the wait staff guide you and  suggest dishes.

    As usual, we started off with a couple of glasses of wine.

    Franz Etz Grüner Veltliner from Austria, along with Delaunay rosé from the Loire, both served at the correct temperature, and a decent 150ml pour.

    Mini Danish Hot Dog topped with mustard, ketchup: these were offered as we sat down, as a sort amuse bouche, whilst deciding over the menu.

    Beef tartare with mustard, tomato, fresh herbs and sourdough bread: When I see this on any menu I have to give this a go, and it certainly passed the Globaltraveller acid test, as did the sourdough bread which accompanied the dish, perhaps the kitchen team from Bloom should stop by and check out what Sour Dough bread is really like.

    Fried Halibut with bacon, green peas, smoked butter sauce, butter lettuce and blue mussel: all the ingredients came together well, the bacon which is house cured and smoked was perhaps little too much for the dish, or perhaps the quantity served, no real fault though.

    Whole baked sole with chargrilled asparagus, garlic shoots: The Sole, whilst not your classic Dover Sole variety, this dish was delicate and just cooked to perfection with the flesh of the fish falling off the bone, no overturned fishing boats with this dish.

    BBQ Smoked Pork Ribs with sour apple, mustard seeds and shallots: personally, while the dish had flavour, the meat was slightly tough and chewy, and not juicy or succulent enough, a little disappointing.

    For the sides chose the following:

    Pelikan Beets, beets beets: chargrilled baby beetroot just wonderful flavours, along with a touch of sea salt and cracked pepper, just right.

    Gnocchi with onion cream, garlic salsa verde, dried duck shavings: delightful creamy dish.

    For the red wines we had Saint Cosme from Côtes du Rhône, personally a little flat for my liking and a Pinot Noir from Wairarapa Valley in New Zealand a better choice, again both served at the correct temperature, and a decent 150ml pour, and the price points reasonable.

    The service is sharp and the menu refreshing, we perhaps overindulged and declined the tempting dessert menu, will be back to sample other dishes, along with desserts some other time.

    The music whilst laid back and good selection, it can be a little too loud at times, and perhaps turned down a notch.

    I can only recommend BOR, damages came to 1050RMB for two, but then again, we wanted to sample as much as possible.

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  • Date night along Tongren Lu, is certainly not what it used to be, most of the facades along this stretch of Tongren Lu have had a facelift more than once over the years, and that's just the buildings.

    Tucked away at the top end of the street and almost hidden from view is the entrance to Bloom, which I am told has been open some six months now.

    One enters along a long narrow strip, that has tables for diners placed along next to shrubbery, and in the background the glowing spire of the Russian Exhibition centre, which makes for a great backdrop for all the Millennials out there taking selfies.

    One is initially greeted by a host, at a stand which is in fact not near the entrance to the restaurant, you pointed in the general direction of the opening of the sliding glass door where you enter the main dining area of Bloom, which reminds me of a potting shed  with all the plants surrounding the walls, there is an open bar and open style kitchen, you also greeted by a cacophony of noisy diners, perhaps due to all the hard design elements, coupled with service staff rushing around like worker ants, finally we are spotted and shown to a table for two, along a side wall with a montage of greenery, the area is far too dark to read the menus, thankfully ones all-purpose smartphone is to hand, it would have helped had restaurant staff seen that a number of the spotlights were blown.

    Started off with looking through the drinks list, normally it’s a couple of glasses of white to start, followed by a couple of glasses of red would have been our norm.  I stopped at just the one glass mediocre non-descriptive Spanish Sauvignon Blanc and minuscule serving at that, it’s what one would have at a wine tasting event if studying for a WSET exam, and an exorbitant price, I was nowhere near Waitan, quaffed the sample and moved on to a couple of bottles of Pilsner Urquell.

    On to the menu, like so many places of late that have opened in Shanghai you are offered a menu without any form so to speak. After reading several other sites where punters have posted comments, we thought that we would go the same route, what could go wrong, if this were elsewhere one could be in breach of the trade’s description act of 1968 as to what was actually served.

    Wild Sour Dough Bread: Actually, baked with whole wheat flour, not a hint of springy sourness to be had, whipped butter nothing sour about the butter as described either.

    Pulled Pork Head, Purple Sauerkraut, 5 spice: more like a mini scotch egg minus the egg, and the purple sauerkraut was nothing more than red cabbage, nothing sour about this dish, slightly underwhelming.

    Wagyu Beef Tartar Nasturtiums Emulsion: nothing special about mush that lacked seasoning which is served on a very impractical wobbly plate.

    Charcoal Beef Tongue, Lemon Grass, Spicy Tomato sauce: Chewy cubed tongue, served with what I would say was more a Harissa style thick tomato sauce which overpowers the taste of the tongue.

    Aged Venison, Heritage carrots, Sherry Glaze:  aka silvers of soggy venison, and a bitter dressing, the venison reminded me of the stage where one has just marinated strips of beef to make Biltong.

    If one reads down a menu, then one expects the dishes to be served in that particular order, sadly not the case.

    Service was slow and erratic, certainly not offering any advise of what to eat, may I suggest you have this or that dish. Had to keep waving to get attention when the beverages were getting low, no upselling of beverages and served tepid tap water, no offer would you like to see the dessert menu.

    For four meagre dishes, a plate of bread, three beers and a sampling of wine which was over chilled, all yours for 763RMB for two pax.

    Shanghai diners must have more money than common sense, but then common sense is not very common these days, the venue is for the masses.

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  • Seve is a gem of a restaurant tucked away along Hua Shan Lu, serving consistent homestyle Italian fare.

    Four hungry chaps caught up for a quick meeting over dinner, we were able to sit out on the street-side veranda of Seve this past Monday evening.

    The meal consisted of the following dishes:

    Italian Buffalo Mozzarella and cherry tomato salad, combined with giant Apulian black olives and asparagus, dressed with extra virgin olive oil.

    Crispy eggplant, topped with cherry tomatoes, San Daniele and Buffalo mozzarella.

    Octopus carpaccio served with sweet and sour vegetables, a lemon dressing and black pepper.

    Traditional home-made ravioli, filled with pumpkin.

    Pizza Formaggi, one of the better and consistent pizza’s I feel in town.

    A dessert plate for three, that had the following classical Italian sweets to finish off the meal, with a glass of complimentary limoncello Tiramisu, Semifreddo Zabaione, Pannacotta al Caramello.

    To accompany the meal, we had three bottles of wine, two Sicilian whites, and a Nero d’Avola, all these wines were of quality and at an affordable pricing structure.

    Could not expect any better family style Italian food, everything from atmosphere, warm and friendly service, from the greeting by Severino, the Patron who goes around the tables giving a personal touch to the restaurant, along with Cherry who served at table, who was proactive in recommending dishes, and clearing away plates when needed, not obtrusive in any way.

    The menu has a variety of options to choose from and changes with the season, no doubt you will find something of your taste, positive comments all round on the pumpkin ravioli in a white truffle sauce. Can highly recommend Seve for a casual night out, damages came to 576RMB per person.

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  • Was in the neighbourhood of the Portman Centre, the rolling TV screen of Beef & Liberty caught my eye, so I popped in at 14h30 which was well past the regular lunchtime trade of the various F&B outlets that surround the perimeter of the complex.

    Was greeted by the manager, as other employees appeared to be dining at the tables dotted around the outside edge of the restaurant, and taking their own late lunches.

    Didn't fancy a meaty burger (too hot today) so gave their new beetroot burger a go, which consisted of a brown rice and kidney bean patty, topped off with a slice of beetroot, and garnished with goat’s cheese and it's well worth it, the brioche-style bun, was moist and springy, a lot to thank the French for here, I opted for the Liberty Fries, over the side salad, the Liberty Fries are crisp, full of flavour.

    I also ordered the Scotch eggs, natty little Scotch eggs, the quail eggs were cooked to perfection, along with pork coating and breadcrumbs, no taste of stale oil at Beef & Liberty, the accompanying Wilkin & Sons Tomato Ketchup is a nice touch, slightly different style of ketchup.

    I have eaten at Beef & Liberty a number of times over the years and can honestly say you can't fault the place for its consistency.

    Damages for one 138RMB, and yes would recommend.

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  • Over the past two weeks I have had two overseas visitors in town, one from Australia, the other from Germany, both of whom like their beers and pub grub, they had heard of the recent refurbishments undertaken by one of Shanghai’s long-standing brewpubs, Boxing Cat Brewery along Fuxing Xi Lu, near Yongfu Lu.  Now I recall when Boxing Cat Brewery first opened back in 2008, serving artisanal beers and your staple all-American style of food, with service to match. 

    Sadly, other than the TKO IPA draught beers, the food on these visits to the refurbished Boxing Cat Brewery, which were exactly a week apart on damp Wednesday evenings, left a lot to be desired, in fact nowhere as good as in prior years, the service was very hit and miss, more like missing in action most of the time.

    As I said the beers are decent and the TKO IPA draught from what I understand is their current top seller, so can’t go wrong there.

    The food ordered with the Australian visitor

    Artisan Sausage Plate: a selection of house sausages, Porter mustard, house pickles, and sauerkraut, house baguette.  This was a disappointing dish, no evidence of sauerkraut, the house baguette was thinly sliced, from what appeared to be from a left-over house baguette and toasted.

    The Haymaker BBQ House Smoked Ribs: With a splodge of whipped mashed potato on the side. The meat fell off the bone here, and an okay dish.

    Thick cut fries: the oil in which the fries were cooked was on its last legs.

    The dishes ordered with the German visitor

    Artisan Sausage Plate: a selection of house sausages, Porter mustard, house pickles, and sauerkraut, house baguette.  I am a terrible glutton for punishment, ordered the same dish as the previous week seeing that my guest, being a German was happy to see this on the menu, nothing changed here, again no evidence of sauerkraut, the house baguette was thinly sliced, from what again appeared to be from a left-over house baguette and toasted, not something I have seen in Bavaria when eating German sausages in Nurnberg’s famed Bratwurst houses.

    Contender BBQ Ribs: Passion fruit & Pineapple BBQ sauce, this dish started to hit the right spot, but really an overabundance of topping, that consisted of a mix of diced fruits, flat leaf parsley and sesame seeds, a little too sweet.

    Split Decision Fried Chicken: half a crispy chicken, with a bowl of Mac & Cheese, along with sautéed greens (aka the ubiquitous Kale) and bacon. The actual Fried Chicken itself was moist, with a crunchy batter. In my opinion though, the dish was inadequately seasoned, frankly hardly any flavour whatsoever, perhaps the kitchen did not have the combination for the secret spices of this Southern-style fried chicken dish that it should resemble. The Mac & Cheese was not bad, pretty basic, a crisp topping of cheese, sort of here’s one I made earlier and shoved under a grill.

    So an overall recap from both of the dining experiences on the food, other than the Fries, Chicken, macaroni cheese dish, and kale. The dishes were mostly tepid, the oil in which the fries were cooked was on its last legs, the wonderful pungent smell of old cooking oil is not what I would expect from Boxing Cat Brewery, one can smell the oil lingering in the air, and thereafter on your clothes.

    The Terrace area is dimly lit, thank heavens for Boxing Cat coasters, they help to steady a wobbly table, the cutlery is served in what looks to a tin flower pot, not an issue with that, but please offer some serviettes and not pokey little cocktail napkins, and at least offer a wet towel if you serve ribs or fried chicken, you don’t need to be running up the stairs to wash your hands every time you have a meal of ribs and southern fried chicken.

    One needs to be prepared to wait for food, then the bill. Unfortunately, the food doesn’t make up for the slow or shoddy service,  but what was I thinking, after all, it’s a sports bar with mediocre food. The prices are ok, with an average spend of 250RMB per person, however, there are other Brew Pubs in Shanghai with much better food, where you can actually see what you are eating, oh and service which is on the ball.

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  • When visiting a restaurant for the first time, and one that has been recommended, I often, as most people would do, trawl the various online reviews, which I did when deciding to frequent Bistro Sola over the May Day break, the reviews were varied, mixed and confusing to say the least, was this the same venue.

    A reservation was made for two, as my regular dining would be in attendance, an early start at 17h30, the venue is located along the very bottom end of Jiashan Lu closer to Zhaojiabang Lu.

    Upon alighting from the taxi, and navigating my way through the black refuse sacks, and the electric bike should have given me cause to be concerned. Bistro Sola is spread over four floors, you enter through the service bar, up several flights of stairs, offered this floor or that floor whichever takes your fancy, even an upper floor which the waitress called the terrace (sic), more like laundry area for drying cooks clothing and storing junk, apparently the restaurant was booked solid, must of had several invisible guests because I could only count a table of six, and two tables of two seated, excluding our table of two.

    Dogeared menus were offered for both and food drinks, along with plain table water by the surly waitress, who then disappeared (why do they do that) another waitress appeared took an order for two glasses of wine, I use glasses lightly, Bistro Sola is nowhere the Bund area, where venues serve thimbles of wine, on this May Holiday they do appear, not only do they serve wine in thimble amounts, they serve wines which are oxidised, corked, off, departed this world as we know it.

    I was having none of this, forget about even attempting to order any food from the dog-eared misspelt menu, no matter how good the cook is supposed to be in this pseudo-Italian/ French / Japanese bistro called Bistro Sola. The waitress was called and explained that both wines were oxidised, corked, off, have it which way you want to call them, back and forth this went, and eventually I took the glasses to the downstairs service, the bar person, heaven forbid call him a barman, then started to argue with me that the wines were not corked, then agreed with me, but did not have the courtesy to waive the wines, I placed a 100Kuai note on the counter, I have not walked out of many restaurants, but left fuming on this occasion.

    Bistro Sola is filthy, smelly and that just the front of the house, see the images. I can’t imagine what the back of house i.e. kitchen and fridges are like…..Gordon Ramsey would have a field day.

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  • Restaurants are not all about the kitchen and their cooks or chefs, but front of house as well, and those that greet one, explain the style of menu and perhaps the thought behind the dishes, present the dishes on the menu, serve you a beverage, perhaps even suggest the wine, this was not the case at Heritage by Madison over the recent May Day holidays.

    After walking out of a nameless restaurant earlier in the evening for poor service, waiters arguing over meagre servings of wine which was corked, my regular dining partner and I called Heritage by Madison on the off chance of being able to squeeze one in at 18h30, the reply came the restaurant is full, but we have room at the bar counter, we agreed and arrived promptly at the allotted time.

    The restaurant was not full, and still had tables available, a number of those remained available throughout our stay at the bar counter, with one other sole diner being seated at the bar counter, which was unmanned for the majority of time except when asked for some additional lime to accompany the Tea Smoked Chicken dish which was exceptionally I might add, more of the dishes later.

    We were served throughout the meal by Angelina, and Barry whom I knew from Frank Pecol’s former bastion, Franck of Ferguson Lane fame, or perhaps now the infamous former bastion.

    The menu was offered, which really has no beginning or end in the traditional sense of a menu, we chose dishes that others had picked from various dining site app’s which were supposedly a go-to dish at Heritage by Madison, now granted they have been undergoing a “soft opening” phase since April 23.

    We opted for the following dishes, and foolishly assumed that they would come in this running order.

    Salted Duck Yolk Lotus Roots

    Beef Tartare – snow pear, sesame, ginger, mustard

    General Hu’s Cauliflower- chocolate gastrique, mint and chillies (Gastrique is caramelized sugar, deglazed with vinegar, used as a flavouring for sauces)

    Tea Smoked San Huang Chicken Supreme - XO aioli, seasoned sesame salt

    Crispy Pork belly -day kimchi, house-made mustard

    Beef fat fries with saffron aioli

    We were not offered any pre-dinner drinks, whether cocktails or wine, but was offered tap water, sorry no wine list, we had to ask and then advised that you have a choice of these two white wine by the glass, the bottles were placed in a large plastic wine bucket on the bar counter, the choice was either a French Riesling from Alsace or a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, both under the house label called Terroir and imported by Sarment wines, a French wine company, cost per glass 60 RMB the same goes for their selection of Red wines by the glass, that was a Pinot Noir, from New Zealand, and a Sangiovese from Italy, both under the house label called Terroir and sold at 70RMB and 65RMB respectively again imported by Sarment wines, as were many of the full bottles of wines supplied by  the same  company, Sarment who is based in Shanghai, all of these Terroir labels, go for around 120RMB trade prices.

    Frankly speaking, I would have asked the wine supplier to print off a temporary wine list, and a perhaps even a beverage list, even if one is still in a “Soft Opening Period” for someone has entered the data into the Restaurants Point of Sale system on pricing for both the food and drinks items, that where you get your bill from at the end of the meal after all.

    So back to the dishes, as I mentioned the menu offered, had no beginning or end in the traditional sense of a menu, so we were served in the following order.

    Salted Duck Yolk Lotus Roots, which were more of a bar snack, and must say rather unique and tasty.

    Then came the Beef Fat Fries with saffron aioli, now I have dined at several of Austin Hu’s incarnations of Madison over the years, from Dong Ping Lu, Dong Hu Lu, and Feng Yang Lu, and his interpretation of Fat Fries, whether finished off in Beef or Duck fat has always hit the sweet spot, the saffron aioli could have had a little more kick to it, and possibly a few strands of saffron would have not gone amiss, even those from Xinjiang would have been effective.

    The Beef Tartare – snow pear, sesame, ginger, mustard was served next, none of your traditional slivers of Melba toast or a baguette sliced on a slant was offered, but rather delicate hearts of butter lettuce instead. I mentioned earlier at times there is a need to explain the style of menu and perhaps the thought behind the dishes, present the dishes on the menu, none of this with this dish it was plonked down in front of you and you guessed or simply assume that you place some of the Beef tartare into the hearts of butter lettuce and munch away, this dish needs additional seasoning and an explanation I feel, a little disappointing.

    Next came General Hu’s Cauliflower- chocolate gastrique, mint and chillies (Gastrique is caramelized sugar, deglazed with vinegar, used as a flavouring for sauces) so now you know if you were wondering what it was, must say this dish stood out for me, and something I would eat again.

    Crispy Pork belly - day kimchi, house-made mustard, unsure what day kimchi is, this red cabbage was certainly not kimchi in the true sense, the overall dish is something that you might get in any Germanic style restaurant, Pork belly with red cabbage and mustard, the dish was tasty, lovely crisp skin, and very fatty pork belly, the mustard hit home, I enjoyed the dish, but nothing special.

    Finally, the Tea Smoked San Huang Chicken Supreme - XO aioli, seasoned sesame salt, this was juicy, moist, succulent hit all the right notes, the kitchen were a little stingy with the lime, had to ask Barry the waiter for additional limes, he went behind the bar to cut and serve.

    I asked to see a dessert menu, sadly nothing available, asked for the bill which came to 737RMB for two pax and paid in cash, as the restaurant does not have credit card facilities, only take cash or WeChat pay, asked for a Fapiao, that will have to be sent to you, and I am still waiting.

    So, end result, would I recommend Heritage by Madison, a whole heartily yes, I will give it three stars, and bordering on four, but not quite there, as they need to get the service side sorted out, and would say they need a front of house manager to train the service flow, work with the kitchen to understand the menu and present this to the punters that dine at Heritage by Madison, the music was way too loud, it’s all the small things that count to make the overall experience of a venue, as at present it’s not quite there, I look forward to going back in the not too distant future, and seeing improvements, as Austin Hu certainly has had the staying power in Shanghai.

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  • Most surprised that at 19h00 on a Wednesday evening one could not find a seat for two, other than the bar counter, which looked pretty uncomfortable to sit at, so we had to run the gauntlet through the restaurant to the outside seating area, which was also chock-a-block with early evening diners.

    As the venue is a brewpub, and going by the other more established brewpubs in Shanghai, ordered Stone Brewing’s IPA Flight to start with, which seemed a good idea at the time for my regular dining partner to sample, along with a Shanghai Love Brewing Cloud Monster EIPA and Stone Ripper for myself, which we were told were Stone Brewers punters favourites, the latter two served in 150ml pours, well blow me over, the Stone Brewing’s IPA Flight was also served in 150ml sizes, not quite what we were expecting.

    Prior to my date night, I went online to get some background on the venue to find out the beers on offer and the food served.

    As taken from the Stone Brewing Tap Room – Shanghai Fact Sheet prior to their opening in 2018

    MENU PHILOSOPHY The menu will take a contemporary twist on American Cuisine offering world-inspired options all prepared with the very finest ingredients. Stone never serves highly processed foods and is focused on sustainability and the Slow Food Movement.

    I must confess the menu which is fairly extensive frankly, nothing really jumped out to make you want to order and seemed to be all fast greasy food, however, the following dishes were ordered to go along with the draught beers

    Duck Confit Spring Rolls:

    Angry wings:

    Crispy Rice Tuna:

    The Stone Brewing California Burger:

    It seems whoever compiled the menu and wrote the descriptions for the dishes was given some poetic licence to meander away from the end result and what the actual dish would be when presented to the customer.

    Duck Confit Spring Rolls: was nothing more than a regular style of spring roll that you could find in any Chinese takeaway, these though were full of grease, and lacked adequate seasoning

    Angry wings: Although it states Korean fried chicken wings, these were overcooked, dry and tasteless, unsure where the Korean bit comes into the dish.

    Crispy Rice Tuna: Well-presented probably the best dish presentation wise, but lacked taste, needed seasoning and asked for salt and pepper which enhanced the dish.

    The Stone Brewing California Burger: The menu states two ground wagyu beef patties, it was more like one very thin patty, overall the bite-sized burger was fine, nothing out of the ordinary.

    The service was very hit and miss, sitting out in the backyard area, at times there was no staff on hand, and then there were three, but not paying any attention.

    Explanations about the food and size of Beer Flight were not so clear, only cocktail napkins were given, no full-sized serviettes were proffered, only one very small wet wipe was offered to clean your fingers with after eating the Korean fried chicken wings.

    For the food and drinks, the damages came to 400RMB for two.

    I certainly would not go back, nor recommend Stone Brewing, for there are other brewpubs in Shanghai that are by far better in the food and overall ambience which they have created, Goose Island / Boxing Cat and even Liquid Laundry at a pinch spring to mind.

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  • Having been tasked to go meat-free for a week by my regular dining partner, I was coerced into dining at Wujie just off of Hengshan Lu, whilst I have been known to undergo a detox from time to time, the food presented by way of an iPad lived up to both the images and all that I had heard about Wujie in offering innovative vegetarian dishes.

    This alcohol and meat-free evening started off with some warm non-descript tea.

    The following dishes were ordered:

    Golden Oyster Mushrooms & King Oyster Mushrooms with Peanut and Chilli Sauce. (the flavours were delicate and not overpowering.

    Panko Buttered Tofu with Wasabi Aioli. (the Wasabi could have had a little more kick to it)

    Gongbao Style Chinese Mountain Yam and Maitake Mushroom balls with Asparagus and Macadamia nuts.

    Lotus Root Roll stuffed with wild vegetables, house-made Tofu and Enoki mushrooms.

    Seasonal Fresh mushroom platter, which was akin to deep-fried spring rolls.

    All of the dishes came out fast and furious, and in no particular order, the dishes despite being mostly variations on a theme of mushrooms were unique in flavour and well presented, and actually the same as the images on the iPad, which makes a change at venues. In every dish, the cooking was confident and gutsy.

    To round off a green tea tiramisu, which was a little unusual, and stuck to the roof of my mouth.

    Damages for two came to 418RMB

    We were fortunate to have booked a table as the place was packed, with couples dining at the venue, and appeared to enjoy the fare on offer, would certainly return with friends, and most certainly recommend, but be wary if you don’t like Tofu or variations of Fungi.

    Generally, I eat fairly late in the evening, however, was briefed that vegetarian restaurants tend to open early, and curfew falls around 20h30, we had some difficulty in ordering the dessert at 20h40, and had  to call a supervisor, despite this, the service staff were friendly, not overbearing and efficient, but were keen to be rid of you and switching the lights off, even the main door lights were off at 20h45.

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  • I have always been partial to dishes from South East Asia having lived in the region for a number of years, and has been hard to find consistency in dishes from the region in Shanghai, however, am fortunate to have Ginger on my doorstep that offers some classic dishes from across the Straits that encompasses both Singapore and Borneo.

    Went along for dinner with a German visitor to Shanghai and took the liberty to arrive without a reservation on a wet Sunday evening, and they were able to squeeze the two of us in, just, the place was packed at 19h00.

    Having dined at Ginger over the past, took the liberty to order with the following dishes:

    Chunky Tuna Tartare, Crushed Mint Peas, Anchovy Tanari soy labane.

    Calamari bits, with Crispy Thai Basil accompanied by a sweet dipping sauce.

    Spicy Australian Beef Curry, Potato, Cashew Nut, Coconut, Chutney and Pickles (unsure why one would state that the beef is Australian when making a curry).

    Moroccan Chicken Tagine, Coriander preserved Lemon & Cumin served with Couscous.

    All the dishes came out in the correct service order, i.e. starters first, followed by the mains, each of the dishes was flavoursome, right amount of spice, seasoning and one could taste the individual elements of the dishes, only gripe was that for the Chicken dish, a whole leg was served, and difficult to cut through the sinew, with the rather blunt table knife.

    My only complaint would be the selection of wines by the glass. It was either a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc or an Argentinean Chardonnay, and the measures for the price somewhat on the short side, and the young lad pouring the wine was measuring the size with a stick, which wasn’t a yardstick by any stretch of the imagination.

    Ginger as a venue has a certain charm about it, along with genuine ambience with warm and friendly service personnel, not always on the ball but nevertheless friendly.

    Damages came to 798RMB for two, would I go back most certainly, and can highly recommend.







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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.

  • Heatwolves has spent the last ten years exploring Shanghai as a writer, editor and DJ and is now a consultant and strategist for F&B, music, and art projects. You can find him on Instagram at @lovebanguniverse and leaping forward at InkSight Agency.
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  • American

    Jeffo is originally from Chicago, and is now expat dad in Shanghai. Even after 12 years, he still loves exploring Shanghai and finding something new to experience.
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  • New Zealander

    Anita is a twenty-something Kiwi navigating her way bite by bite around Shanghai. She's passionate about food, the story it tells and always eager to learn about new flavours. Some of her favourite gram accounts are: The Australian Gourmet Traveller, Symmetry Breakfast and The Dogist.
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