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  • Open patio seating, check. Vintage wood panels, check. Pets allowed, check. This café makes you do a double take and check that you’re still in Shanghai, and not in say, Paris.

    In all honesty, I only decided to pop in here because the line at the RAC Bar across the street is ridiculously long during the brunch rush hour. I came in not expecting much, and left Marienbad Café being right in that assumption.

    The 98rmb set brunch menu allows for a main dish along with a choice of a small side dish. The starter steam egg custard was very appealing to the aesthetics- the egg custard is served inside a half-cracked egg shell laid out on some hot stones in a pan- and tasted fine for what it was. On the other hand, the main dish I ordered, the spinach egg panini, is just unappealing both to the eyes and taste buds. It was simply put, some sloppy eggs and spinach served on a bun, with a side of slightly cold and fishy tasting foie gras. The waffle ice cream dessert was probably the best part of the meal, because ice cream and waffles are two very hard things to mess up.

    Overall, the place has a really nice vibe, with an open patio area for a great street view. The food however is way less than spectacular, so grab a coffee and a window seat to do some reading, but don’t come here for a meal, because it is too pricey for what it's worth.

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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.