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  • Here’s the low-down on the latest action-

    The Beef: For the bilingual speakers, the naming is a tad confusing. In Chinese, BenNiao (Stupid Bird) somehow translates to “Early Bird” in English. Are we implying that the one who gets the worm might not be the brightest?

    In a nutshell (birdseed), this place caters to the Chinese brunch crowd with some interesting offerings – “creative” western food and lots of crazy plating. The first thing you notice as you scroll through the ipad menu is how “pretty” the dishes look. For example, the signature dessert platter is a dizzying explosion on a plate – spilled forth with egg pancakes, chocolate rice sticks, biscuit crumbs, ice cream, and fruit. Fun to look at, but like some of the other dishes we tried, the flavors did match up in wow factor. Not horrible, but just ok.

    Case in point - The pasta souffle was cheesy enough, but the souffle topping didn’t elevate the dish, besides the novelty value. The truffle beef fried rice came with a truffle topping but the flavor wasn’t integrated into the rest of the dish. The beef itself was not tender, the fried rice was *yawn*. The most exciting part of that dish was the overeasy egg (despite being topped with a festive purple flower…?)

    The Motive: For the food photos. Could take the kids for the novelty value. 

    The Damage: 350rmb for 2 at brunch. 158rmb for the truffle beef fried rice. 128rmb for the signature dessert platter.

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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.