Romance lingered in the air, and let me introduce a nice, new place for that special romantic atmosphere in Shanghai to avoid. Yes, the food wasn’t that fantastic.
When we arrived, we felt that the atmosphere of the place was different from how the reviewers have written in the food directory app. The diners that were leaving did not have a smile on their faces. The few remaining were not in a happy place either. We promptly got seated and ordered our meal.
Daily Bread Basket
The bread came cold – bad start to the dinner.
Classic Foie Gras de Canard Terrine
The duck foie gras was topped with a fruit sauce that went well with the foie gras but strange. Four pathetic pieces of toast was provided that looked like they had seen better days. Obviously they were made from regular sliced bread from the supermarket. The bread knife needed sharpening. The terrine was OK, but the standard was brought down by the toasts and the fruit sauce and those scraps that they decorated the terrine with. It would have been great, but its details like these that cost you your stars.
Beef Carpaccio Medium
It was declared – thou shalt not have your carpaccio rare. So why called it a carpaccio in the first place? The only thing I enjoyed was the rockets on the plate. The balsamic vinegar was a bit too sweet.
CP Caesar Salad
I have never seen a restaurant so proud of its parent holding company that they named their dishes after them. CP Food from Thailand may be a giant in food distribution and production, but calling a classic dish like caesar salad the “CP Caesar Salad” takes guts. Either it’s a huge success or epic fail. It’s the latter – the Romaine lettuce was soggy, the salad was drown in the parmesan, and the bacon tasted like reconstructed bacon that you get in China hotel buffets and not the usual ones from a regular Western supermarket.
Soft Boiled CP Egg
Touting their “farm to table” concept, the organic eggs were from CP Foods own organic farm in China.
For some reason, we were surprised by the colour of the yolk. And it wasn’t very “eggy”. The overall combination of a sous vide egg with mashed potato and sautéed mushrooms with crumpled baked cheese was great. Just the star of the show – the sous vide egg – was not present and the spotlight overtaken by the “guests”.
Truffle Mushroom Soup
Oh my goodness, the soup tasted like Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom right out of the can.
Australian Wagyu M9 Beef Rump Cap
This was what attracted us here, we wanted to have steak but were quite hesitant to go back to Morton’s. A very badly executed piece of meat. It was definitely not a M9. Even though it was served on a copper hotplate, everything was not at the right temperature. And was that ketchup on the potato wedges?
Sea Urchin Fettuccine
The sea urchin was overcooked and granular. The only two pieces of uncooked sea urchin were placed on top of the fettuccine. But the fettuccine was cooked al dente, surprising as I usually get limped spaghetti cooked to death in China because the palate demanded so. I concluded that the chefs were rushing to go home before the 10pm closing time.
Dessert – Vanilla Milk Custard
This was the only course I enjoyed, maybe because it was the last course and finally I can finish the ordeal.
Why I Hated This Place
It was a Friday evening and the earliest we could get from the online booking app was 9pm. And then the restaurant called to move us up to 7.30pm. We arrived at the place at the time of the appointment. The place was almost empty. We concluded that it was a ploy to make the place seemed to be busy, but I may be wrong.
The last few tables were clearing up and they had to put us at far end of the room. And when we were seated, I was appalled by the large corporate logo on the napkin. When we turned the first pages, there’s the corporate mission of the CP Group (no kidding!). And they didn’t even bothered to refresh the rest of the tables.
A golden bull stood at the front door, maybe because the new year is the year of the Ox and they are operating a steakhouse. The space was vacated by Capo, which was a stylish Italian restaurant, and the Muse nightclub next door was once the talk of the town has become a Chinese restaurant. We thought at such a prime location and the CP namesake, it could not have gone so wrong. Definitely a category down from Capo.
I trusted the online reviews and then I realised after the dinner that every one of the recent positive reviews were from professional social influencers. I should have just filtered for bad reviews right from the beginning, but I realised that option has been hidden – available but hidden two levels down in the app. I have never reviewed a fine dining place and gave it a blacklist straight away. I guessed there’s always a first.
5/F, 88 Yuanmingyuan Road, near Beijing East Road, Huangpu District
Date Visited : Dec 2020
PS: I originally scheduled this to publish for Valentine’s, I guess I shall spare your eyes and moved it a week later.