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SmartReviews

Total Reviews: 13

  • No reason for not rating five stars.

    By the time of 8:30 am, there were already two girls sitting in the shop. A very early bird friendly place where opens at 8:00 am on workdays.

    Two choice of beans if you order espresso: 'fancy blend' and 'balanced selection'. Fancy blend is described as passionate and impressive with a hint of fermented flavour while balanced selection is more mellow, smooth and balanced.

    Ordered balanced selection flat white; it tasted very different from any flat white I've tasted. The beans, of course, have their own character, and the foam was so smooth, showed the years of coffee-making experience of the barista. Wasn't planning to eat in as time's limited on workday morning. Just wanted a small talk with my friend in the shop, and after just a little while I realised I've already finished the coffee. It was so easy to drink that I couldn't stop going sip by sip (sorry for asking for the take-away cup). No wonder a small shop like this keeps attracting coffee lovers.

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  • Came for their famous homemade Tiramisu. Served from the dish where they make it, the shape is never guaranteed but the taste is as good as expected, especially for the first big bite: a mouth full of rich cream mixed with sponge cake and melting chocolate powder. A textbook example.

    Red velvet looked so good but it was very hard actually. The sponge was more like a brownie and the cream felt like they put too much cream cheese in it.

    Summer special - passion-up Americano, just as the name suggests, is passionfruit flavoured soda coffee. Given: 1. passionfruit is always my thing, 2. I'm a regular black coffee drinker, 3. soda refreshment is not a bad idea once in a while, I tried this one and found it's a very weird combination. The taste of passion fruit is very hard to detect, and instead, the sourness of it and the carbonation both contribute to bringing the sourness out of the coffee. Would not recommend to those who prefer deep roasted coffee.

    So Cold Brew, on the other hand, is a very satisfying order, complex and mature bitterness, very comforting, goes very well with the sweets.

    The location is very convenient at the cross of Xiangyang Nan Lu and Yongkang Lu, very central and busy area with a good combination of the local Shanghainese vibe and modern western lifestyle.

    A small piece of advice: people come here to take photos all the time. If you don't like to be disturbed, better eat and go. 

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  • Waffle-craving jet-lagged holiday morning - a brunch spot might save me. 

    Went for Scoe's Fried Chicken & Waffles (yes fried chicken for breakfast). Everything was good with crispy fried chicken skin and soft waffle soaked with Al's syrup -- for the breast. But when I cut up the drumstick, there was still blood and very rare meat close to the bone. This was the last thing I wanted to see and still a long way to satisfaction. The waitress offered me a replacement, anything on the menu, so here goes "That Breakfast Sandwich Thing We Make", housemade sichuan-pepper pork patty with well-done scramble egg (should have asked how I wanted my egg done) and remoulade inside of English muffin (rare huh). When you lack sleep, you lose the sense of how much food you should eat. That's exactly what happened to me. With the stunned look on my friend's face, I finished this sandwich, thinking "would have been better if I could finish the chicken waffle". 

    Heard they make a mean milkshake as they use ice cream as a base, imagine that. But as vulnerable as I was that morning, chamomile tea was my choice. It was good at Odelice, as they use teapig's, but not so healing here at AL. 

    Oh, careful with the home-made stuff. We also had a fly in the orange juice. 

    Service, I have to say, was terrible. For some reason they were trying to keep all guests away from the sofa seats, going so far as lying. We were there from 9:30am - 11:00am, and not a single guest showed up for the "reserved" tables, which the waitress swore were booked at 10am. 

    Although I'd highly doubt I come back to Al's, I did stare at the cinnamon roll downstairs for about five seconds. Maybe just cinnamon rolls and Gracie's ice cream next time.

     

     

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SMARTREVIEWS

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.

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