About 6 months ago a fellow smart-reviewer gave this place the ‘best brunch award’. Its fair to say that the Shanghai brunch game is getting pretty fierce so this was certainly a bold call, but with my curiosity peaked I was eager to see what set this place above the rest.
The Commune Social is a beautifully designed establishment with modern, industrial-style interiors and a dreamy outdoor space. Scrolling through the menus my eyebrows were raised, there is clear sophistication and originality in what they are creating here.
We turned up for a mid-week lunch and were given the choice of either the chef’s choice lunch menu; 3 dishes per person (which can include dessert/cheese if you want) for 188RMB, or the tapas menu which has a wider variety of dishes designed for sharing.
Dishes of mention:
White asparagus panna cotta, smoked salmon & pickled asparagus – certainly a decadent dish but when paired with the other fresh dishes its just the right amount
Roasted cod, tapenade, orange, grilled endive, aged sherry vinegar dressing – the freshness of the orange with the rich olive tapenade captures some of the best flavours of a European summer
The dessert menu alone makes this place worth the visit.
If you’re after a lighter option that still hits the spot go for the lemon posset. Served with frozen white chocolate mousse and lavender meringue its not only a stunning dish but absolutely delicious.
On the other hand if you’re ok with unbuttoning your pants a few notches go for the banoffee cake. A deconstructed version of the classic banoffee pie that uses banana cake as the base. Lathered in a toffee sauce and candied pecans this is not for the faint-hearted.
Commune social offer diners a unique gastronomic experience without feeling pretentious. They have successfully captured what chef Jason Atherton describes as “the deformalizing of fine dining”. As for the title of ‘best brunch in Shanghai’, its certainly a contender…
Price for 2 people: 376 RMB
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.