This French restaurant located in Shanghai's French Concession area has built up its name as one of the best in town and I paid a lunch visit during my short stay in town. It is located inside Ferguson Lane, a charming red-bricked, hospital-turned trendy establishment full of history and of course different upscale cafes, art galleries and restaurants. I thought I was in Europe as soon as I stepped through the gate. It was a bit surreal when there was such a big contrast in terms of atmosphere compared with the streets outside full of rusted bicycles and individuals street vendors selling home grown fruits. Anyhow, I am here to talk about food, my opinion on the huge income disparity issues will be discussed here later.
The atmosphere of the restaurant / bistro was cozy and "unpretentious" with paintings hanging on the walls and a single light bulb hanging from the celling above each table. Soon after we sat down, staff brought over a blackboard menu for the day. The items were all in FRENCH! A very bold move or perhaps a better word is arrogant? I guess the use of the word "unpretentious" stops at this point.
We started off with some homemade bread. They were fresh but unexciting in my opinion, the butter of the other hand was a delightfully surprise. Slightly chilled when served with a very rich and deep buttery flavors.
Next came the Cold Cuts platter which was larger than we expected. It was of single portion and I think one can treat this as a main dish for sure. Quality cured hams and a wide selection indeed. Thumbs up!
The foie gras with toast was another pleasant surprise. Served cold, the half liver came with several buttery toast. Yes, the toast was wonderful! Not only buttery in flavors but the toasts were airy in texture as well. I heard it takes a long while to make because each slice is to undergo multiple panfrying process with plenty of butter. The more butter the better! Yum! As for the liver (it was duck liver), it was good but not as flavorful as I hoped. (please note that foie gras can be both duck or goose liver, it is the process of how the liver is fattened that gives it its name)
The Steak Tartare was a definite thumbs up! It was diced up to a right size in my opinion, slightly "longer" in rectangular shape than usual. It was very beefy with hints of Dijon mustard as well as the capers flavors. A very well balanced flavors I have to say.
The Heirloom Tomato Salad (Thanks @Spike's for the reminder on the name) was .... very colorful. HAHA ... yeah, I cannot think of how I can describe this dish aside from colorful or fresh. I guess the fact that we can add more olive oil as we wish from the cute tin can was a nice touch.
I had the Duck Confit which was overly salty, I mean very salty indeed! Although the meat was tender and juicy, the salty flavors took over the joy of eating from this dish.
- Great Toast! Butter and Airy
- Steak Tartare - well-balanced flavors and diced to the right size in my opinion
- Great atmosphere
- Menu in French only???
- Duck Confit - overly salty!
Ferguson Lane, 376 Wukang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 158 2167 6767
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