I live not far from the corner of Wukang Lu and Anfu Lu and have always intrigued when I pass by and see hordes of people queuing up for a table at RAC Bar, once they have a table then they just sit posing for a selfie after selfie, fiddling with their food.
I thought I would take advantage of the Spring Festival break and pass by on the off chance after work and grab a bite to eat, I was in luck, not a gimbal to be seen on a Saturday evening.
Was able to get a seat to myself on one of the benches close to the bar, dislike “the see me in the window seating” greeted by the waiter, and promptly ordered a thirst-quenching Workers Pale Ale to start off with, whilst looking over the menu, along with a mini blackboard that is presented in French, and questioned do you understand French?
I started off with the Beef Oyster Tartare, this came with a portion of fries, which I decided to forgo, as I had ordered the Choucroute and Pork and offered instead a Shake Salad aka a side salad, which I thought was proactive by the waiter. The salad was served in a jar and tossed, hence the name Shake salad as written on the menu, it could have a little more seasoning and sauce I felt.
I had finished off the Workers Pale Ale, and decided to have a glass of Chenin Blanc from the Loire with the Beef Oyster Tartare, the young bartender emptied the remainder of a bottle into a wine glass, and then had to open another bottle to top up the glass of wine to prescribed fill, without checking to see whether the new bottle was drinkable, as the colour was looking slightly oxidised or for the common man, off colour….but, had to say it was drinkable, just.
Back to the Beef Oyster Tartare, I must say a great combination, perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, I would order again.
The Choucroute and Pork was presented with a combination of both sauerkraut and red cabbage which lay underneath the succulent tender pieces of pork belly, this had a sprinkling of sesame seed atop of the tiny cuts of pork.
I was offered a Crème brûlée by the chef, which was served on a warm dish, with berries that had been steeped in alcohol, perhaps a brandy of sorts. And a scattering of edible flowers, the caramelised sugar was rather brittle and the custard cream had started to separate.
RAC Bar has a decent wine selection, could perhaps offer a wider choice by the glass, innovative and original style of food, the service is extremely friendly and price points reasonable. Glad I went along to try, damages for one 381RMB on a Saturday evening, would certainly recommend RAC Bar, and go back, although would choose a time when the posers and gimbals are not around.
RAC coffee is probably one of the hottest places (for brunch) in Shanghai now, and you can see by the waiting line outside the restaurant. I never really line up for restaurant because when I want food, I want it ASAP. But I waited for 30 minutes this time since I heard so many good things about it.
It became pretty obvious why RAC coffee is popular the moment I arrived, beautiful venue, cute table settings, and sophisticated food for your perfect weekend brunching photos to post on Instagram.
What about the taste you ask? My friend and I decided to go for crepes all the way. We had a salty one, COMPLETE (70RMB), and two sweet ones, BUTTER/SUGAR (35RMB) and NUTELLA (50RMB). For drink we had a HOT CHOCOLATE (30RMB) and MILK TEA (25RMB), and yes, we were on a complete sugar high later that day.
The salty one was on the dry side, very crispy with running egg yolk and cheese, and I found it pretty filling after. I love the Butter and sugar crepe! It’s simple and pretty self-explanatory, but I like the butter balancing out the sweetness, and a bit of crunch from the sugar. I’m a big fan for Nutella while my friend and I weren’t impressed by the crepe. It was okay but just okay, and with the price I suggest you get another dish instead.
Overall I did enjoy the restaurant, even after 30 minutes of waiting. The sunshine was warm and you should definitely take the outdoor seats if possible. They also have ice cream and coffee stand outside with less people waiting, looking as delicious!
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