Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Heights, The Bund, Shanghai

New Heights, The Bund, Shanghai
Sunday 27 May, 2007

Tonight we were all set to go to Shanghai Grandmother's Restaurant in Fuzhou Rd. I was craving Grandma's beancurd. We jumped in a cab and were shocked to discover it has closed for 1 month while renovations take place. Thinking of a Plan B my China buddy suggested somewhere with a view. I know..........New Heights.

Located on the top floor of the fabulous No. 3 on The Bund, New Heights commands spectacular views down the Bund and across the Huangpu River to Pudong. We arrived without a reservation - not a problem - and decided to have a pre-dinner drink out on their large balcony first. Sitting out on the deck watching the light show and city skyline we would have been happy to stay there all night. With a very reasonable cocktail list with prices to match we think we've discovered the best kept secret in Shanghai - don't tell anyone!
We went back inside to the other side of the floor where the restaurant is situated and we shown to a table. The menu had an innovative set up where everything was divided into the following categories:
- Small things
- Wet things
- Leafy things
- Things that swim
- Things that walk
- Farinaceous things
- Southeast Asian things
- Vegetarian things
- Things on the side
After reading through the extensive menu we decided to share the Chef's gourmet selection of mixed entrees. When we asked our waitress what this was she did not know to respond so, she just walked off. When it arrived at the table on a long rectangular plate there were 4 small entrees - some offered two pieces and some offered one. We had made it very clear we were sharing this to start so it was bizarre to me that couldn't accommodate this. I think it was more lost in translation....but the entree was very good and consisted of:
- Crispy roast duck spring rolls
- Grilled prawns with creamed leeks
- Peppered beef carpaccio
- Tuna tartare
For mains we both decided to go with a meal from 'Things that Swim'. I ordered the grilled tuna with sauteed eggplant, cucumber and fennel ribbons and sauce vierge while my dinner buddy opted for the oven baked cod fillet, chorizo crushed potato, olive crust, roast garlic and tomato jus. We were both seriously impressed with the main meals. However the service continued to get worse - our wine glasses were left unfilled so we kept having to serve ourselves, the bread and butter was not replenished and our plates took ages to clear. There was also another gentleman circling the dining space picking up the odd glass, straightening the odd tablecloth and serving the odd dish. He kept a watchful eye on us as we continued to flag down service, ask for more wine but never once stepped in to do anything. If he was the Maitre'd he should be sacked.
As we were pondering the dessert menu I decided to jot down in my small notebook what we had enjoyed for dinner (memory like a sieve). As I was writing a male staff member bounded up to the table and loudly stated 'you cannot copy our menu!' My China buddy and I just laughed as I explained I was writing in my notebook which I use as a diary when I travel. I politely showed him my diary and he was adamant that I was not allowed to copy their menu. When I calmly repeated that I wasn't copying their menu AGAIN he finally got it and backed away saying 'sorry, sorry' over and over. Just ludicrous - especially when every restaurant has their menu posted on their website!
After this experience we pondered dessert and I was impressed that they offer two sizes of each dessert - a regular and mini version for those that just want a taste. I ordered a taste of the banana & thyme creme brulee with crisp filo and chocolate cigar and my China buddy ordered a chocolate martini with chocolate cigar.
The dessert was sensational and when we asked for the bill we were pleasantly surprised at how reasonable it was. It was a shame that the service was so bad but I would definitely return for a drink at their bar. After we paid up we returned to the outdoor bar for a final drink and to soak up the view. It is spectacular.
New Heights - 7th floor, Three on the Bund, Shanghai - T: (86 21) 6321-0909


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