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:
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.
Stone Brewing has been open for just over a month, and I've already been three times due to the proximity to my house. It's good food and great beer at a fair price. When I had some out-of-towners craving some classic western food after a long trip through the countryside, I decided to take them for Sunday brunch at Stone Brewing.
Stone Brewing is the new neighbor to The Cannery, and for whatever reason, I never get served at The Cannery, and I spend most of my meal chasing down service staff. I had been joking that I hope this bad luck didn't rub off on Stone Brewing next door, and I probably should have kept my thoughts to myself because on the 3rd visit, that's exactly what happened.
We waited 40 minutes for drinks in the restaurant that was only about half full, and nobody took our food order for the first hour despite requesting that someone come by the table to help us out. It was borderline comical. We weren't being horrible about it, either, though at a certain point, I had to ask to speak with the manager. This is where Stone Brewing turned it around.
We got a full apology, and the restaurant compensated us for all of our drinks. This sort of outcome isn't super common in Shanghai, and we honestly weren't expecting it. Obviously, we were happy about it and ready to enjoy the atmosphere and move on to the good food. Our table enjoyed the Crab Cakes Benedict (RMB 108), The YuYuan Breakfast Sandwich (RMB 58), The Hangover Burger (RMB 88), and Chicken and Waffles (RMB 98). The portions are large, and the taste kept us all in a good mood.
Overall, I will absolutely be back to Stone Brewing, and I'm hoping that the service issues are a bit of a one-off. They've got everything I like in a neighborhood joint--good atmosphere, a tasty variety of food options, and fair prices. I'm sure they're just still working out the kinks as they are a new restaurant, but I'm hoping they'll be sticking around Shanghai for a while to come.
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