Angelina

Open Hours: 10:00am-10:00pm

Phone number: 6289 8736

Price Range: 120-200rmb (per person)

Dress Code: Causal

English Address: 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu

Chinese Address: 南京西路1376

Metro: Line 2 Nanjing Xi Lu or Jing’An


A cup of elegance, a teaspoon of poise and a pinch of charm makes newly opened Angelina, my next target destination. Established in 1903 by Antoine Rumpelmayer, this French boutique and tearoom was famous for its Le Mont-Blanc and signature Old-fashioned Hot Chocolate “L’Africain”, made with a mixture of four different African cocoa beans. Coco Chanel herself was known to have graced the tearoom during her resting hours.

Today, the location of the Shanghai store sits in the heart of the city next to the luxurious five star Ritz-Carlton hotel. It’s got a clean-cut outdoor patio made for spring weather (and non-polluted Shanghai days) and a small boutique at the entrance that sells chocolates, macarons and jams. Ideally, you’ll want to snag seats next to the full-length windows overlooking the streets of Nanjing Xi Lu.

Angelina’s menu covers all meals including breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Here are just a few of the selections: You can opt for set orders such as the “Angelina Breakfast” (168rmb), which includes tea/coffee/hot chocolate, juice, mini viennoiseries, a bread roll, fresh fruit salad and eggs “my way” prepared in the way you wish. The brunch set menu looks very similar priced at 238rmb. Some main courses include Angelina Hand-Cut Beef Tartare (208rmb), Smoked Salmon Linguine (138rmb), Crunchy Vegetable Risotto (128rmb) and Crusty Sea Bass Fillet (178rmb). Pastries include éclair chocolat (58rmb), Paris-New York (78rmb) and Choc Africain (78rmb).

Since our waiter told us we couldn’t go wrong with the Mont-Blanc, we decided to order the Mont-Blanc Fraise Vanille (88rmb).


The vanilla whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli were delightfully light. The strawberry cream center was a nice surprise. A bit too much cream for me though, I suggest sharing it among friends.

We also ordered two Tarte Citron (58rmb).

Lemon cream was thick and rich, tart shell was buttery and crisp. Would recommend to those of you who like your lemon curd flavor on the heavy side.

Thought we were only going to stick with desserts, but we put in a last minute order for two Croissants. The waiter told us it would take 40minutes to prepare because they bake it upon request.

 All I can say is, welllllllllllll worth the wait. Baked until brown, flaky and crispy, this buttery pastry melts in your mouth in seconds. We can’t get enough.

As for drinks, my cousin ordered the Iced Chocolate “L’Africain” (68rmb).

We like how this drink aims to satisfy the real chocolate lovers. The real cocoa flavors can be detected from the rather bitter taste – sweetness is not overwhelming. Would recommend to those who are dark chocolate fans.

 The rest of us got the Breakfast Tea (58rmb).

Very standard; note that the pot is not refillable here.

Overall, the highlights of this visit were the consistency of all the desserts and the authenticity of the croissants. Lovely atmosphere, will be returning soon.


 

The Commune Social

Open Hours: Tues-Fri 12:00-2:30pm and 6:00-10:30pm; Sat 12:00-3:00pm and 6:00-10:30pm; Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm

Phone Number: 6047 7638

Price Range: 100-200rmb

English Address: 511 Jiangning Lu

Chinese Address: 江宁路511号,近康定路

Metro: Line 7 Changping Road

Website: www.communesocial.com


I honestly didn’t know what to expect arriving at this restaurant – rumor had it that this was one of the hidden gems that only a selective niche of foodies knew about. The joint was opened by British chef Jason Atherton, who’s famously known to have worked as executive chef in Verre Dubai during his time with the Gordon Ramsay Group. Atherton’s collaboration with design group Neri & Hu in creating this tapas restaurant has been generating buzz within the expat community.  

Upon entering the restaurant, I was instantly impressed with the unfamiliar vibe given off by the interesting interior design. The rustic steel shelves holding tin containers, tarnished silverware and flickering candles, the unpainted and exposed high ceilings and the single dim light bulbs hanging above each table all rendered a minimalistic industrial vibe. It reminded me somewhat of a gastropub with the stark, yet cozy ambiance. 

We were quite intrigued with their elaborative drinks menu. What do you do when there are three types of sangrias to try? Easy, try them all. 

 Back left: Rose Sangria; Front: Red Wine Sangria; Back right: White wine Sangria (38rmb each) 

Back left: Rose Sangria; Front: Red Wine Sangria; Back right: White wine Sangria (38rmb each) 

Both white and red were a bit strong for me, but I loved the rose because it was fruity and alcohol flavor was almost undetectable. The creamy foam at the top didn't hurt either. Definitely recommend. 

Next, we ordered appetizers. The first that arrived was the Sea Urchin with Pepper Butter on Ciabatta (58rmb). 

They got everything right. From the slightly toasted bread, to the creamy pepper butter to the fresh sea urchin. Highly recommend.  

Second appetizer was the Yorkshire Pudding with BBQ Beef Brisket and Kohlrabi Remoularde (68rmb). 

This was one of the highlights of the night. Coated with a crispy outer shell stuffed with thinly pulled, tender beef brisket marinated in sweet BBQ sauce. Highly recommend.

Our first tapa was the Sea Bass (88rmb) (I apologize for not remembering the exact name of this dish). 

Note that this dish was served cold. Fish was flavored with a thick creamy sauce. Apple slices gave an added sweetness. Nothing too special.  

Next was the Crab Omelette with Ricotta, Pepper, Coriander and Chili Salt (68rmb). 

Highly disappointed. Even though the crab scattered at the top was fresh, its flavor was overpowering whereas the omelette itself was bland and tasteless. Definitely not worth ordering. My friend ordered the Barley Paella (88rmb). 

Although he was not a big fan of the barley I found it to be a nicer texture than just rice. This really just comes down to personal preference. Note that the seafood within this dish came out to be very fresh.

And last but not least we have the Char Grilled Iberico Pork and Foie-Gras Burgers with Avocado and Pickled Cucumber (98rmb).

I cannot rave enough about this dish. The well-marinated pulled pork combined with the foie-gras sandwiched between two crisped breads won me over. To my delight, the accompanying avocado sauce was creamy enough that it melted like butter in my mouth. Do yourself a favor and order this when you come.

 The bill came sandwiched in a personal little sketchbook journal that customers can write in while their cards are being processed. 

The bill came sandwiched in a personal little sketchbook journal that customers can write in while their cards are being processed. 

Overall, the highlights of this dinner was the unique interior design, the Yorkshire Pudding, the Grilled Iberico Pork and Foie-Gras Burger and the signature Sangrias. But kindly note that all our dishes came in small portions so you may want to order many if you're feeling hungry. 



Jing'An Shangri-La Afternoon Tea (Lobby Lounge)

Open Hours: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Phone number: 2203 8889

Price Range: 228rmb + 15% service/one person set

Dress Code: Casual

English Address: 1218 Middle Yan’an Road, Jing’An Kerry Center

Chinese Address: 延安中路1218号,南京西路静安加利中心

Metro: Line 2 Jing’An

Website: http://www.jinganshangdining.com/experience.php?category=lobbylounge


Shangri-La’s Jing’An location is situated in the heart of Shanghai city with the Puli hotel, Kerry Centre, Jiu Guang and the Jing’An temple all in walking distance. This Shangri-La offers afternoon tea in both Liang Café where the wide variety of desserts are all-you-can-eat and the Lobby Lounge where the classic three-tiered sets are served.

Here, my aunt and I were presented the options of Jing’An Shangri-La’s High Tea set, which we were told was more savory and the Classic High Tea set, which had a combination of both sweet and savory. We decided to try the latter, which consisted of three tiers and a cup of coffee/tea (228rmb + 15% service fee). My aunt ordered the café latte that came with the set whereas I separately ordered a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice (68rmb). Keep in mind that the regular orange, mango, pineapple, and grapefruit juice they offer come from store-bought bottles.

Typically savory items are placed on the bottom tier, but in this set, scones and sandwiches are placed on the top two. 

This plate contains: 2 buttermilk scones with king island cream and jam. The scones were a definite let down. I like my scones slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and crumbly on the inside. These were just extremely bland – almost too mushy. 

This plate contains: 2 smoked salmon and cucumber finger sandwiches, 2 roast beef, blue cheese and onion in wheat rolls and 2 bacon and leeks quiches. The finger sandwiches and wheat rolls were standard. The quiches were excellent with its flavorful cheesy-egg filling. 

This plate contains: 2 dandee fruit cakes, 2 figue cassis and 2 cherry vanilla butter cakes. The figue cassis was made as expected, but the fruit cakes and cherry vanilla butter cakes were a bit too sugary for my liking. I would only recommend the bottom plate to a tea-goer with a serious sweet tooth. 

The overall highlight of this afternoon was the friendly service and the quiches. Although the location of this venue is ideal, the quality of the high tea set is extremely disappointing and I’m sure you can get better finger food elsewhere for a similar price.  



L's Book Cafe & Wine

Open Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm

Phone Number: 62499006

Price Range: 30-80rmb

English Address: 195 Changde Road cross West Nanjing Road

Chinese Address: 常德路195

Metro: Line 2 Jing’An


With its simple maroon and gray striped exterior, few would know the ample amount of history that lay behind the entrance of L’s Book Café & Wine. This small, yet cozy café is located on the busy streets of Changde Road and is greatly juxtaposed next to Jiu Guang and Reel Mall. Slip through the wooden doors to isolate yourself from the bustle of the city and you’ll discover a quiet venue that was once inhabited by the famous novelist Eileen Chang.

 The afternoon tea set here offers a coffee or tea with your choice of dessert (80rmb). I chose the recommended jasmine tea with a plate of waffles.

My cup of jasmine tea arrived first so I was able to enjoy it while I browsed through some of the books available. The waffles took much longer to make and ended up being soft and soggy - I was very disappointed. I would recommend café-goers to only order the coffee or tea (50rmb) and to satisfy your dessert-craving elsewhere.   

This place has a variety of books that you can read while you spend a lazy afternoon there. The front few bookshelves of the café hold a selection of Chinese books. Customers seeking for English books have to walk deeper into the shop to find them. One whole shelf in the back is dedicated to cookbooks on a variety of cuisines such as Moroccan, American and Thai. Another shelf holds English children’s books and fictional novels. The bookshelf in the innermost part of the café holds books on different Asian architectural and interior designs.

The outdoor patio is shaded so it’s a good seating option if the weather is nice. WIFI is available and the waitresses dress in traditional Chinese qipaos to accommodate for the old Shanghainese theme. 

The overall highlight of this café is the quaint atmosphere. Although the afternoon tea quality is not the best, it’s a peaceful place to lay back and read that book you never got to finish.  

Pure and Whole

Open Hours: 11:30am-10:00pm  

Phone number: 5175 9822 (for Yanping location)

Price Range: 100-120rmb

English Address: 1376 West Nanjing Road (next to Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel)

Chinese Address: 南京西路1376

Metro: Line 2 Jing’An Temple

Website: www.pureandwhole.com


My best and I decided to have a dinner date after work today at this little joint sandwiched in between the Portman Starbucks and Dingtaifung. I sometimes find it difficult eating healthy in Shanghai, especially since there’s no set regulations enforcing restaurants to show the nutritional information about the food they are serving. That’s why I was so excited to try this place after I saw the online menu with an accompanying PDF listing the nutritional content for every dish cooked and served.   

Pure and Whole is a vegetarian restaurant started by health conscious expat Frank Steffen. The food here aims to satisfy the stomach while nourishing the body and ensuring clean eating. The menu features a dip plate starter where 78rmb will get you 5 dips and a serving of pita bread or vegetable sticks. Dips include avocado and white bean, black bean hummus, green pea dip, kale guacamole and eggplant dip. Main courses consist of salads like lentil salad (58rmb), rice based dishes like Thai red curry (52rmb), pastas like laksa (68rmb) and wraps like Arabian wrap (59rmb). They even serve vegetarian burgers like the quinoa burger (68rmb) that comes with homemade bread buns. They’ve got an extensive clean drinks menu, which features juices, smoothies and tea. 

The place is small so seating is limited. I recommend calling in for a reservation if you’re planning on getting seats instead of taking it to go.

I ordered the large Wild Rice and Pumpkin Salad (78rmb), which was a mix of roasted pumpkin, shallot, rice, thinly sliced almonds and lemon honey dressing. 

When I order salads I usually ask for dressing on the side cause I’m extra picky, but I surprisingly like the lemon honey flavoring. The pumpkin was freshly ripe and the large portion was more than enough for me.

My friend ordered the Mediterranean pasta (52rmb), which had linguine, broccoli, bacon and lightly sprinkled cheese. 


The veggies were fresh, the portion was just enough and most importantly, the sauce was much lighter than standard pasta dishes so you don’t get that uncomfortable, heavy bloating after the meal.

I ordered the One Love drink (30rmb) that mixed passion fruit with honey and soymilk whereas my friend got the Chia Town (20rmb). 

 Left: Chia Town; Right: One Love

Left: Chia Town; Right: One Love

I must say the drinks were a big disappointment. My juice tasted too creamy and sweet, with the honey and soymilk overpowering the actual fruit. The chia tea was nothing too special either.

Overall, the highlight of this place is most certainly the large variety of healthy food they provide. No MSG, no fried food, no overuse of oil, no bullshit. Plenty of quinoa dishes. Wouldn’t go for the drinks. Highly recommend it to those searching to start a cleaner, healthier diet.