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Fry up,slim down

By Matt Hodges | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2014-08-29 07:00

Fry up,slim down

Icing on the cake

Fry up,slim down

A table for one, please

But is the beer-battered fish better here or at Mr. Harry, Shanghai’s "first authentic British restaurant", which opened on Nanjing Road West last year? In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Good as it may be, this isn’t Notting Hill’s winning hand.

Ironically, neither is its signature all-day British breakfast. Although the pork sausage is rich and flavorsome and the chips thick and crunchy, there’s a certain "I dunno what" missing. Maybe it’s the absentee calories. A Kensington hairdresser would love it, but a high-street plumber may quail at the dwarf-like rashers of bacon.

So if you like your fry-ups loaded with grease and generous chunks of lard-ridden pork, or the batter covering your fried cod thicker and crunchier than an Arctic ice floe, then go and find an Irish pub somewhere. The food tries to be as light as the atmosphere, summed up by the tongue-in-cheek series of “Keep Calm and Eat” posters on the walls.

"Our restaurant is quite lady-oriented," says Ng. "Chinese women like to hang out and chat, and they’re quite daring and more willing to try new things. I’d say we do British comfort food and breakfast with some Continental food."

"It’s very flavorful, not greasy and not very expensive, which is a niche that hasn’t been filled in Shanghai." You will probably return for the dishes with a Continental twist, such as the Egg Benedict with Iberian Ham & Spinach, which is good enough to make you forget about the artery-clogging junk you were originally hoping to find there. Mains cost about 70-100 yuan. The owners make a point of buying the most expensive eggs in Shanghai and serving them at just the right temperature so that they spring open gently in your mouth.

Other highlights include the Truffled Wild Mushroom with 5-minute Egg pasta, the Seared Foie Gras & Hokkaido Scallop with Apricot Jam appetizer, and the mango and banana smoothie served in a mason jar with a handle.

The bar offers draft beer from Belgium and Holland and will add a wine list, but expect healthier beverages to take precedence once the dust settles on its wooden seating, faux red-brick walls and industrial-chic chandeliers.

This is not the place to head to for a chip sarnie, baked potato served with sour cream, or plate of microwave-cooked fish fingers. It doesn’t do meat pies, Cornish pasties, chicken tikka masala or chili con carne.

There’s also a terrific French bakery (Farine) next door should you wish to extend your culinary journey on the way out.


Address: Unit 105, 378 Wukang Road, near Tai’an Road, Xuhui district

Telephone: 021-6468-7777

Open: Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm; Sat-Sun 10 am-10 pm

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