In the first ten years I lived in Shanghai, I don’t think I ever said, “Let’s go eat in Xintiandi.” This is the area of throngs of flag following tour groups, and where you are likely to trip over the tourist in front of you who just had stop mid-stride to get a picture of a Starbucks in China.
But times are changing, and there are more and more interesting restaurants in Xintiandi that make the tourist dodging gymnastics worth it. Xixi Bistro, relocated from Wuyuan lu, is one of them.
First, this is just a really cool looking space. When you walk into the first floor of the restaurant (on the second floor across from Polux), you feel transported back to the 1930’s Shanghai. I felt like I was in the very fancy house of someone who probably has a pencil mustache and wears white tuxedo jackets just because the sun went down.
Next, the food. There are a lot of Xixi Bistro haters on the interweb, but I think the food was great and everyone at our table enjoyed it. I think if anything, they may want to change the names, because the food tastes better than it sounds. For example, the foie gras terrine with spring onion pancakes. That sounds as “fusion-y” as anything could possibly be and actually in your mind it may be strange mix, but when it comes out, the spring onion pancakes are really just bread.
I think the fusion part was not a 50-50 split and is still mainly either solidly western or Chinese with just hints of the other culture in the flavoring. The roast chicken, ribs and mao po tofu were all really good without too much variation from what you would expect, but just enough to keep things interesting.
If you are early with kids, request a table in the 2ndfloor bar. It seemed to be where the families were strategically located to have an isolated run around space.
Go to Xintiandi more often, I think your stomach will thank you. And weaving through tour groups is good practice if you ever have to dodge zombies in the apocalypse.
About 250 rmb per person
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