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  • I have been fortunate to go to Roosevelt Prime Steakhouse on a number of occasions in the past, where one was guaranteed to have, dare I say a bog standard North American style steak and sides in the vein of a Morton’s, Peter Lugers, or the infamous Sparks Steak House.

    Sadly since relocating the Roosevelt Prime Steakhouse has not just lost its clubby atmosphere and veneer that it once had in the previous location, the food has taken a dive as well. I went along to see how this concept works, for the want of a better word in “a hotel coffee shop”, which is what the place is by day at the InterContinental Ruijin.

    I was a walk-in, for a table of one at dinner. The area is partitioned off with screens, and several tables are decked out with white table linen, I think they were trying to create a little mood by having these screens. I opted to sit away from this area on a regular banquet seating, there is no vibe of the old clubby-ness of the former Roosevelt Prime, as the venue is rather cavernous. I ordered a Caesar salad, such a basic dish, in its original form, this salad was prepared and served table side, sadly not on this night, a rather oversized soup plate was plonked down in front of me, with a watery sauce, and rather large dry croutons, which had seen better days, the dish was a far cry from what Caesar Cardini created all those years ago during prohibition.

    On to the main course, I ordered a 330grm New York Strip steak, aka Sirloin or the classic French cut of an Entrecôte was what it was supposed to be, I asked for medium rare, the steak came more medium to well, full of gristle, and this was supposed to be US Beef, I have had better Chinese Beef from Qingdao. I left most of the steak, a waiter came over and inquired whether anything was wrong, I said the steak was over cooked and tasteless, I was offered a complimentary dessert to which I declined, why do restaurants offer complimentary desserts when the main course is shite, and they can see that most of it is left.

    During the meal I had two thimbles (well small pours) of overpriced non-descript wines by the glass, a glass of white from France and glass of Spanish red. Service was slow at best, certainly no attention to detail, bread basket appeared to be what were once rolls, only sliced. Damages for a table of one, a mere 745RMB. Needless to say, I won’t be going back, and certainly would not recommend either, as Roosevelt Prime Steakhouse has become so passé.

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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.