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SHEX Reviews: M on the Bund

 

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Sonia Su

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SHEX Reviews

Whether you’re planning to stay for the long run or just stopping by the amazing city of Shanghai, there is one spot that everyone should visit: M on the Bund.

Embodying part of the excitement and sophistication of Shanghai, M has been offering both classic and modern cuisine from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa since 1999. Located in the Nissin Shipping Building that was built in 1921, M serves hundreds of people daily who enjoy both the impressive food and incredible views of the Bund.

Just one floor below the restaurant is the Glamour Bar, under the M Restaurant Group and home to Shanghai's International Literary Festival. The colorful design with pink, turquoise, forest green and gold tones create a groovy yet luxurious atmosphere, perfect for a trip before or after M on the Bund.

Featuring three separate bars (wine, champagne, cocktail), the Glamour Bar also offers a new menu of ‘nibbles and feasts,’ ranging from baby buns to delectable small or large bites. As for special drinks, I recommend the Bund Breeze (vanilla vodka, coconut milk and strawberry purée; 88 RMB) and the Cucumber Cooler (beefeater gin, white wine, elderflower syrup, fresh cucumbers, passion fruit purée and orgeat; 98 RMB).

At the M from 6 p.m. for 10:30 p.m. daily, chef Hamish Pollitt runs a remarkable dinner service, with authentic Western cuisine and locally inspired handmade breads, ice creams and desserts. The beautifully designed menu is in both English and Chinese.

On a recent visit, I started off with the flavorful, thick and creamy fish soup (118 RMB). The rouille sauce, croutons and Gruyere cheese that come with it match well. Among the various other starters are linguine and zucchini with pine nuts, lemon and Parmesan (98/198 RMB); Manti dumplings filled with minced lamb and drizzled with spiced yogurt (118/218.00 RMB) and risotto cooked with plump scampi, red tomatoes, grilled blood sausage and fresh marjoram herbs (128/248 RMB).

Next, I tried the smoked salmon (288 RMB), served on a celeriac purée with sautéed spinach and a poached egg, sprinkled with Baltic salmon eggs. The purée, combined with the perfectly cooked and seasoned salmon, has made me reconsider my former aversion to celery. I would return just to enjoy this incredibly tasty dish again.

For other mains, our server Tony recommended the Dealing with Duck (slices of smoked duck breast and tortelli of duck liver parfait with shiitake mushrooms, a puree of peas and a rich duck sauce 248 RMB); M’s Pig Platter (includes its crispy suckling pig, braised pork belly and pork neck confit, served with roasted baby vegetables and a pig sauce; 288 RMB) and Spring Lamb (slowly baked salt encased selected leg of lamb, served with char-grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a pot of aioli; 288 RMB).

As with its starters and mains, M’s dessert options are varied. For a particularly impressive end to your meal, try M’s Grand Dessert Platter, consisting of raspberry soufflé, pineapple cake, chocolate crocante, a mango treat or two summer berry tartlets, lemon pudding, vanilla and raspberry ice cream and M’s ‘very famous Pavlova' (128 RMB per person, minimum two people). If you’re like me and didn’t know what that last one was, according to Wikipedia, Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light interior, believed to be named after a Russian ballet dancer and often served in the summertime in Australia and New Zealand.

Feeling incredibly pleased with my meal, I certainly would not mind returning soon.

Shanghai Expat says:

Location: Located on 7/F, No. 5 The Bund, 20 Guangdong Road, M on the Bund is a short walk from the East Nanjing Road metro station. Part of the M Restaurant Group, the Capital M is in Beijing. 7/10

Food and menu: Dishes are beautifully plated and presented. Chef Hamish Pollitt’ use of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients helps to create an exceptional experience. 10/10

Environment: The restaurant certainly succeeds in its intention to be ‘as exciting, as sophisticated, as delectable as Shanghai itself,’ with an amazing rooftop terrace perfect for that classic skyline photo and a warm and stylish dining room area. Its Art Deco references are given a modern spin. 10/10

Value for money: Expect to spend around 400 RMB, plus a 10-percent service charge per person for dinner. A three-course light lunch (menu changes monthly) is offered on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for 264 RMB. Weekend brunch is priced at 248 RMB per person for two courses, including a cocktail and limitless tea or coffee (288 for three courses). 7/10

Find the Glamour Bar and M on the Bund in our listings.

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