Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MICHELIN STAR v LOCAL CAFE

One of the big advantages of living here in Shanghai is all the wonderful food opportunities on offer. Every day new places are opening, and closing. With so much choice there is no place for anywhere not coming up to standard. There is everything from Michelin starred restaurants to hole in the wall and street food carts, all in their own way selling delicious food.

A few weeks ago I found myself, in one week eating at both ends of the spectrum, and both were for different reasons worth this blog.

Firstly on Valentine's Night my husband had very kindly booked the Michelin Star Phenix Restaurant in the Puli Hotel for our romanic evening. The set menu was very tempting indeed.
So it was with much anticipation we arrived at the restaurant.

Food was indeed delicious, and with an a wine pairing alongside we had nothing to complain about. Well apart from the fact I opted out of wine pairing and settled on one glass champagne, as was on the pairings list, and was charged more than half the price of having a wine with each of five courses. Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label 

However, down to the food.

Belon Oysters, plump and delicious. followed by a trio of dishes, foie gras, confit of smoked salmon with apples sorrel and horseradish, and finally a plate of perfectly cooked carrots with format blanc sorrel and dukkah. It was all very tasty but somehow the carrots just didn't seem to fit into the picture.




Soup was a creamy jerusalem artichoke and vanilla with scallop, date and burnt butter. I really enjoyed this but it did make me giggle as I am sure you know this vegetable is better known as "fartichoke" because of the effects it has. Surely not a great choice for a romantic dinner. 


Braised and roast Angus beef with parsnip, watercress and shallots was served for mains. Beef was so tender it just melted. Needs no more explanation.


Finally for dessert it was described as compressed strawberries, strawberry granite, yoghurt chantilly and basil. Once again delicious but really just a plate of chopped strawberries with yoghurt and granita. The basil really added to the dish.


So all in all a wonderful meal. However, service was swift and we had to ask them to slow down. There was not a red rose or rose petal to be seen and not a candle to add a romanic theme to the restaurant. It was so quiet with no ambiance. So although food was good we did feel let down by the Valentine Special Menu it seemed just a way to fill the restaurant on a Tuesday night in February.
With tax and service charge this was not a cheap option. Worth it? I'm not so sure. 

Roll on a few days and we were eating lunch at a local restaurant, only a few hundred metres from my home. 
Here we enjoyed various dumpling dishes, steamed and fried a very tasty soup with dumplings. Dumlings are big here in Shanghai as you may have realised. It was hot tasty and served with a smile. The menu was all in Chinese but one waitress was very happy to try and help us. The restaurant was bustling and noisy and we didn't feel at all self conscious about being the only Western people there, we were made very welcome.





Here we ate well for less than 5 pounds. Cheap, cheerful but delicious.
I think we will be making regular trips here. 
Great having so many choices and goes to prove sometimes the most expensive doesn't always make for the best experience.





https://www.veuveclicquot.com

2 comments:

  1. What a fine array of goodies. I've had a few very pleasing elaborate menus at places with a star or two but they're always better if the service is relaxed and leisurely. In fact, the best are those where I'm staying on the premises and nobody's in a rush and I can indulge in the wine choices without having to drive home. But I agree that the local, simple places can be just as memorable and enjoyable.
    I believe I'm seeing a new look for your blog. It's looking very good.

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  2. Wow, a great mixture of food and great photos.

    ReplyDelete