Super popular bar / restaurant / lounge by nightclub brand Muse Group and Grey Goose vodka, right by the Rockbund Art Museum. Good design, good drinks, great food. They specialize in vodka-based cocktails (60-80rmb) and high-end bar food like oysters and steaks. Music is indie rock like The Smiths and Interpol played at a reasonable volume early but sometimes they get into turnt up electronic music later in the night. Still, this is a lounge, not a club, and a fine place to start a night on the Bund. Unlike a lot of Bund bars, this one is nice but still laid back, and they do not enforce a strict dress code. As of March, 2016 they also do brunch on Sundays.
The Nest is full of little challenges to liven up your visit. Choosing between all of the food and cocktail options is one – there’s a really well-varied menu, and I wanted to eat everything. Finding the toilets is another challenge. Don’t leave it too late to start your search; you don’t want to be caught short while vainly pushing against brushed metal walls, hoping one of them will open. It’s a very stylish interior, but it’s far from practical.
I was surprised by how quiet The Nest was when we visited for brunch one Sunday. It’s a large, top-floor room surrounded with a bright balcony area, and most tables were empty. There was still a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, but I don’t know why it isn’t more popular. Perhaps there’s just too much brunch competition.
We ordered a range of dishes from their set brunch menu (198rmb for any three dishes, plus a welcome drink). My surprise favourite was the heirloom tomato and burrata dish, complete with a salted tomato granita. Although I have a slight issue with the burrata label (it was more like a whipped goat’s cheese, with none of the fun parcel-opening experience you’d expect with a real burrata), it was a genuinely interesting and well-executed dish. I’d also recommend any/all of the pancakes: the Lithuanian potato for a hearty and filling option, the smoked salmon blini for elegance, or the buckwheat for a healthy carb fix.
Service was absolutely impeccable. At one point, a very minor mistake was made with our order (a dish was given to the wrong person), so we were given the same dish again plus an extra selection of desserts. Everything was prompt and professional. The “Corny Dessert” was a little disappointing and bland, but the sweet options were mostly great – particularly the “Dessert for a Queen”. The welcome drink (a riff on an espresso martini) was also lovely.
Overall, The Nest is a very strong all-rounder. Whether you need a venue for a date, a dinner party or a nice cocktail, you’re guaranteed good service and flavours for a very fair price. Let's all start going regularly so that the atmosphere picks up, too.
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