No. 5 The Bund, 7/F, Shanghai, China
Visited 23rd March
Located smack bang in the of Shanghai's grand old colonial past, M on the Bund has gained a reputation for being one of Shanghai's finest Western restaurants as well as its best located. It's an off shoot of Hong Kong's acclaimed M on the Fringe and was founded by Michelle Garnaut a chef originally from Melbourne. Set in a beautiful old building there are great views of the Bund from the windows and roof terrace. The restaurant works with this historic location and tries to maintain an ambiance of classic glamour. The personalised crockery, heavy silver cutlery and bone handled knives all bring the old school cool. We went for dinner with friends whom we were visiting Shanghai with.
The menu at M on the Bund offers an interesting mix of Mediterranean inspired dishes. I started with a juicy roasted pigeon that was rich in flavour, though I would have liked the skin a little crisper. For a main I chose the interesting sounding stuffed garfish, while my three companions went with slow roasted lamb. The baked garfish were filled with eggplant, currents and pine nuts and accompanied by cauliflower puree and tiny cauliflower fritters; it was a delicate, delicious dish with extra points for originality. I tried the others' lamb and though stringy it was tender and tasty and accompanied by a generous pile of pumpkin and feta dressed kale. I was intrigued by the food's presentation as my garfish were artistically draped across the plate while the lamb was served slapped in an ungainly, towering pile. Naomi was more than happy with the brandy snap filled with berry compote and ricotta cream that she ordered for dessert. The wine list was good, though not cheap. We drunk an average bottle of 'house' Sauvignon Blanc, a delicious crisp Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2007, a decent Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2006 and an overpriced half bottle of Brown Brothers Flora & Muscat 2006.
The superb location of M on the Bund combined with the lush, opulent settings presents a chance to recapture a little of Shanghai's past glamour. The staff were unobtrusive and professional, though lacking in personality and smiles. Our bill run up to hefty ¥3,105; while the food was good and we had four bottles of wine, I can't say it was particularly amasing value. Our evening at M on the Bund was extremely enjoyable; good location, good food and good friends. As a footnote, M on the Bund must get an award for the best flower arrangement I've ever seen in a blokes' bathroom.
Visit restaurant website.