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  • Atmosphere: Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a French bistro and Japanese izakaya had a baby? Vin Vie answers that question in a unique and great place to check out in Gubei.

    The interior deliver the same feeling. The main seating are feels like a French bistro complete with empty wine bottles and an Amelie poster. But the back bar area is completely Japanese with a draft Asahi machine, bar seats and chef cooking skewers on an open grill.

    Food: This is probably less fusion and more mash up. They aren’t really combining French and Japanese flavors but rather presenting classics from both cuisines as independent dishes. Thankfully, the edamame and foie gras are still separate dishes, and you cannot order a shot of sake in your Bordeaux. But you can still have all of the above individually and they do a pretty good job in delivering the shared values from both cultures of getting your group tipsy while sharing great food.

    We went heavier on the Japanese side and were not disappointed. It’s pretty basic Japanese bar food done well, with the chicken liver skewers and the grilled roe special standouts. We also dabbled on the French side of the menu with the roast chicken and French fries being table favorites.
    There was also a decent wine selection which is not expected with Japanese food. Overall, the concept can be a bit confusing, but it works. We had a great meal and the place was packed on a Tuesday night with mostly Japanese speaking small groups.

    Service: The service was good. As with many Japanese places, there were multiple menus and not all were in English or Chinese, but the waiter spent time to explain the dishes to us and make recommendations based on what we typically like. 

    The food came out quickly and the service was prompt even when the restaurant filled up and all tables were taken. 

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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.