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Early Bird (Jianguo Xi Lu) 笨鸟

Early Bird (Jianguo Xi Lu) 笨鸟

691 Jianguo Xi Lu,
near Wuxing Lu

Xuhui District

建国西路691号,
近吴兴路

136 0164 9773
10 mins walk from  Hengshan Rd
ID: -
Web: -
Daily, 11am-8pm
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Editor’s Description

Last updated: Sep 16, 2019
A cozy little cafe next to the Lestie Hotel. Many fusion-style dishes can be found on their menu, such as black truffle fried rice, crayfish burger, beef risotto, and Soufflé Spaghetti. An Instagramable signature is called "hua pen dao le" (Fell-down Flower pot), an egg waffle served with chocolate rice sticks and biscuit crumbs, decorated with fruits and edible flowers. Coffee starts at 30rmb, and food at 80rmb.
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  • Reviews (2)
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  • For the Unicorn, Rainbow and Flower Lovers You can’t eat “pretty”…or can you?
  • Early Bird (Jianguo Xi Lu) has not appeared in any articles yet

    • This restaurant was straight up dreamy. It was not modern, fancy nor luxurious. It was Alice in Wonderland kind of dreamy. I felt like there was a rainbow over my head and a few fairies throwing flower petals here and there the entire time I was eating.

      This restaurant closed a bit early (8pm) and it was very full, we were really lucky to have a table without reservation. The service was really fast because almost everybody ordered pretty much the same dishes. We came here for the truffle fried rice with steak and egg and it was naturally a no-brainer to order the set on dianping because the fried rice was 158 and the crispy chicken was 128. We might as well add 42 for an extra salad, fries, drinks and dessert. I think it was a pretty good deal.

      The drinks were the first to come.  We ordered strawberry bubble and peach tea. The strawberry bubble was naturally flavored and colored by strawberry puree. It was a brilliant idea because I always feel intoxicated when I drink soft drinks. I only knew to add lemon and lime to my soda water but I never thought about strawberry puree before! I absolutely loved the strawberry bubble and my boyfriend said his peach tea was excellent as well. It was some really strong opinion coming from a guy who thinks his drinks are too sweet 90% of the time.

      The salad came with a butterfly on top of it and a lot of colorful garnishment surrounding it. I found fruits and vegetables in the color of orange, blue, red, purple and green. How delightful was that! The salad was not just another salad you found in a convenience store. The dressing mysteriously tasted like bacon. I didn’t know how it worked. I tasted the bacon but I didn’t see it and feel its oiliness. Maybe it was magic!

      The fried rice came in a mini wok on a wooden plate. It would be nice if the mini wok would stop spinning around but it was yet another very photogenic dish. I personally think the fried rice was a bit too salty and wet but my boyfriend loved it. The steak was so tender and flavorful. The half cooked egg was the key as we mixed it in with the rice, steak, truffle and mushroom because it holds everything together with its gooey yolk.

      My boyfriend loves sweet potato fries and I love normal fries. In this restaurant, we didn’t even need to think about which one to choose because there were both options in the same serving. Oops did I mention it came in a unicorn container and there was even pink rock salt. Yes, it was not just sea salt or rock salt. It was PINK rock salt. How adorable was that!

      It was not the end of the dreaminess until we had the chicken. I was amused to see some hydrangea petals on the chicken. Oh, that’s my favorite flower! Whoever did this must be some fairies from heaven. It looked like the chicken thighs were wearing a flower crown. The chicken thigh itself was thick but tender and juicy. The restaurant called it the benben sauce but it is actually peppery, sweet and salty. I loved it but the serving was so big we couldn’t finish everything.

      Just when we were about to leave, the waiter gave us two scoops of ice-cream. Look at that container with marble prints. We had sesame and chocolate ice-cream and both of them were excellent.

       

      Cost:

      A set for 2: 328

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    • Here’s the low-down on the latest action-

      The Beef: For the bilingual speakers, the naming is a tad confusing. In Chinese, BenNiao (Stupid Bird) somehow translates to “Early Bird” in English. Are we implying that the one who gets the worm might not be the brightest?

      In a nutshell (birdseed), this place caters to the Chinese brunch crowd with some interesting offerings – “creative” western food and lots of crazy plating. The first thing you notice as you scroll through the ipad menu is how “pretty” the dishes look. For example, the signature dessert platter is a dizzying explosion on a plate – spilled forth with egg pancakes, chocolate rice sticks, biscuit crumbs, ice cream, and fruit. Fun to look at, but like some of the other dishes we tried, the flavors did match up in wow factor. Not horrible, but just ok.

      Case in point - The pasta souffle was cheesy enough, but the souffle topping didn’t elevate the dish, besides the novelty value. The truffle beef fried rice came with a truffle topping but the flavor wasn’t integrated into the rest of the dish. The beef itself was not tender, the fried rice was *yawn*. The most exciting part of that dish was the overeasy egg (despite being topped with a festive purple flower…?)

      The Motive: For the food photos. Could take the kids for the novelty value. 

      The Damage: 350rmb for 2 at brunch. 158rmb for the truffle beef fried rice. 128rmb for the signature dessert platter.

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