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  • Atmosphere: I was so butt-broken by the sunken sofa. It was like being heartbroken because of your lover’s false promises or dreams that could never be fulfilled. The dark leather sofa looked promising and I fell for it, literally. I gave the sofa my entire butt (not my heart, luckily) and I whole-butt-edly regretted it. The restaurant has been around for only one year. How can the sofa be this sagging?

    Food: Hot pot shops serving hand-cut beef slices tend to have their plates vertically placed as a show of faith of the freshness of the meat. I never cast half a doubt on the freshness since there was a big glass room with two chefs cutting meat. However, there was a big problem when the beef slices came in fragments. I thought I was peeling two slices of beef off the vertically positioned plate but little did I know there were also two mini strings of meat hidden right behind them. The bigger beef slices which were in the safe custody of my chopsticks went straight into the hot pot but the mini burgundy-red strings of beef decided to embrace the pull of gravity and fell on the pristine white table cloth. This triggered an almost ethical debate inside my head. Should I put them back into the hot pot or should I not? The table cloth seemed clean but maybe it was dusty and full of chemicals. Wasn’t there a 5 second rule for food?  It should be fine because I was about to cook them with 100C boiling water. Or maybe I should just cover up this pure embarrassment. After much deliberation, I laid down a pall (actually a tissue paper) on the lost members of the beef family but by now the meat inside the hotpot was beyond overcooked and basically became beef jerky. As I picked up my spirits and peeled two more slices of beef off the plate, the exact same thing happened. Only this time, I could almost hear the beef strings on the table laugh at me and say: you suck.

    At this point I almost lost all my faith in the freshly cut beef “fragments” but I was glad I ordered some frozen beef which came in a wooden box with dry ice smoke and a little sparkly light. Despite the fancy layout, I did not find the dish photo worthy at all because the beef slices had a thick strip of fat and a thick strip of lean meat without any sort of marbling. It was not like this when I visited the store just a few months ago. It tasted fine but I was expecting a better cut of meat at this price.

    We also got shrimp paste, tofu and winter melon on the side, the quality was standard but the proportion was disappointingly small.

    Service: Flagging down a waiter was harder than getting a taxi on a rainy night. There could be three waiters tidying up a table right next to you and several others walking up and down the corridor but nobody would ever notice you waiving at them. I definitely toned up some muscles on my arms/shoulders after this meal.

    I would recommend this place only if you want to put your patience to the test. But for now, I need some meditation.

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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.