Pasha moved directly across the street from its original location in 2018, but continues to be a well-regarded mid-range "Turkish steakhouse." The new location is bigger and brighter though a little less homey, with a relaxed-drinks vibe downstairs and proper seated dining upstairs. The extensive menu revels in Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes.
Atmosphere: There was a bar area on the ground floor and a dining area upstairs on the second floor. I visited the restaurant at about 10pm on a weekday so it was pretty quiet. There were a lot of evil eye drawings and ornaments to remind me of the Turkish origin of the restaurant. I found it really hard to find late night quality food in Shanghai. When I found this place in a cold winter late night, it was like a shining gem in the desert.
Food: We ordered lentil soup and lamb soup to warm up our stomachs. It was all that I could ask for in a freezing and rainy night like this. The lentil soups was really hearty and earthy. The lentils were completely molten into the soup. The lamb soup was surprisingly white in color but it came with a pungent lamb flavor. It warmed me up instantly as It had some little dices of lamb meat to satisfy my instant cravings.
We also got some hummus with eggplants which were off the menu. It came with a basket of bread and pita which was pillow soft and fresh. The hummus was creamy and smooth. It was very nutty and a bit garlicky. There was also a red hummus which was loaded with roasted sweet red pepper and granulated chickpea. It was a delightful variation to the original flavor. The eggplants were very smokey and packed with herbs. I love how the skin of the eggplants was peeled off as it sometimes had a burnt and bitter flavor and the dark purple color was not very attractive as well.
Besides, we ordered beyti kebabi which was mixed lamb and beef minced meat skewer rolled in lavash bread with cheese, pistachio and yoghurt. First and foremost, this dish was the most photogenic of all. The presentation of the dish was simply mesmerizing with the a drizzle of yoghurt here and a dash of sauce there. Besides, the cuts of the kebab rolled out like the feathers of a peacock. The lavash bread absorbed all the sauce, yoghurt and meat juice but it held on tight to the skewer and was not saggy at all. There was also a perfect blend of minced beef and lamb in the skewer since I could taste the both meat without any one of them overpowering another. A little surprise of this dish is the puddle of rice in the middle as it had extra herbs on it. It was almost like the basmati rice with loads of herbs pods you get in Indian restaurants.
Service: We were the only customer when we got there so we have a troop of waiters at our disposal. They were very kind to recommend items which was off the menu.
The Beef: I vaguely remember the ‘old’ Pasha, but I recall eating there once many (5?) years ago and enjoyed it. For some reason it fell off the radar until they redid it last year so I was eager to try out the new rendition.
First impressions first, the updated décor gives me the warm and fuzzies. As you walk up to the second level, the faux fireplace bar was blazing – even though it was obviously fake, it instantly added a warmth to the whole place, much needed on a cold winter night. Plus a touch of sophistication to the bigger, open space.
The menu boasts a vast selection of cold and warm appetizers, so we started off with a sampling to try. The Cacik (tzatziki) was a surprise standout. The flavors were well balanced and refreshing – and went perfectly with the warm pita. It even inspired me to go home and make my own. The eggplant and pide (Turkish version of pizza) were also tasty but not spectacular. For mains, highly recommend the mixed grill platter (pictured) which was perfectly seasoned and grilled.
Service was friendly and attentive - actually rather fancy when they came with the metal scraper thing to clear the table of crumbs. Messy eater (raise hand).
The Motive: Date night with your darling dervish. Potentially followed by some whirling, twirling action wherever else your night takes you.
The Damage: Bit of a splurge at 1,100RMB for two. But that’s including a 3 glasses of wine & a bottle of raki (350ml for ~300RMB). You could easily have a nice meal here for 200RMB/pax. Starters from 48RMB. Mains from 98RMB.
The Down n’ Dirty: Downstairs on the first floor. Nice, clean, and modernly upgraded.
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