What might look a bit like a haunted mansion within the high rise buildings of Shanghai, actually is a very charming old Tudor house and represents a beautiful setting for wine and food.
For our last dinner in Shanghai I went online and made some research about what the Shanghai fine dining scene has to offer. There are a few branches of international 3 star chefs (The Pourcel twins and Boulud) which I suspected might only be less good copies of the originals. Then there are those much talked about hip restaurants such as “Mr. and Mrs Bund”, which might actually be worth a shot, but also bear a big risk for disappointment. But we wanted none of these, and rather picked a restaurant with a wine theme that seemed to offer a reasonable package: Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen.
And as I said in the first sentence, the setting is incredibly charming. There’s some kind of magical appeal with such a beautifully restored house within the “chaos” of a dynamically growing city like Shanghai.
Pretty much standard, but still nice.
This starter sounds like more than it actually is, and it opens my eyes on the concept of the restaurant. It isn’t named “kitchen” for no reason: the food has a high-end bistro kind of feel in the end. The 2 small but thick truffle flakes on top of the egg are soggy but I still get some truffle aroma, yet I would have hoped for more truffle. A glass of white Rhône wine by Guigal works very well with this dish though, in particular with the ham.
For our main course we ordered a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet by Hess. A good choice, since it showed on the fruit, without being overly alcoholic and naturally proved to work very well with the Wagyu. Also, it seems to be one of the bargains of the list at RMB 580.
Nothing to complain here. In the contrary, the meat was succulent, with a nice crust and good flavor. Together with the Hess Cab, this dish brought a great moment of pleasure!
My brother’s choice. He seemed to be happy with it, although for my taste it looks a bit too red for lamb (forgot to taste it).
Although desserts wouldn’t win a prize for inventiveness, both were well executed and a good end to our dinner. We also each had a glass of dessert wine (there’s a tiny list of dessert wines by the glass) and I was particularly surprized by the intense aromatics of an Orange Muscat and Flora late harvest wine by Brown Brothers from Australia.
We left Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen with a bill of about 2700 RMB for 3 (also including water and dessert wines) and were rather satisfied with the experience. But somehow it is foremost the setting that pleased us, even though the atmosphere suffered a bit with many empty tables. The food of course can’t be qualified as fine dining and even as upscale bistro food it maybe lacks a bit of inspiration. But if you’re a wino and just need “something” that goes with your wine, this place just might be the right one for you. Still, I think more creative cuisine would make this place a stunner. But on that evening the most important thing to me was to spend a nice moment as a family, and that truly worked out well.
By the way, there seems to be a nice terrace in front of the house which I imagine might be a great setting during the summer months.
Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen /the wine residence
57 jiangyin lu, shanghai 200003
phone: 6318 0057