178 Xinle Road
It was Chris’ birthday last week, which was also a day before I flew off to Hong Kong and Singapore (the reason I’ve been AWOL lately.. posts coming soon) and Chris flew off to India, so we decided a romantic, quiet date would be the best way to celebrate. After poking around online trying to find the perfect place, we settled on Des Lys. We weren’t disappointed.
Living in a city where Chinese food is so prevalent, it’s a bit of a treat to have some Western food. I should clarify though – it’s not that Western food is hard to find, quite the contrary. It’s the fact that Western food is just so friggin’ expensive here!! It’s the same price as what you’d pay in Australia… and when you put it in context, it’s pretty painful to pay $20 for pasta when you can pay $2 for an amazing bowl of noodles.
Nothing like a cosy, warm French restaurant to celebrate a birthday.. so it was the perfect location. Service was incredibly polite and sweet, and all staff spoke English. We felt really taken care of and comfortable through the meal. The prices are actually quite reasonable – probably a bit cheaper than the equivalent (ie. French restaurant with fab food) in Australia.
We kicked off with Homemade goose liver terrine with caramelised apple and fresh baked toast, a delectably creamy treat full of flavour. It was absolutely delicious, and one of the best terrine I’ve had – will definitely go back for more. The Escargot in burgundy style was surprisingly tender and lovely,though I would have wanted double the amount for the prices. It was a treat to dip the French baguette they served into the melted butter/garlic/herb sauce. Mmm!
My main was the carefully selected Sauteed scallops, truffles and mushroom cappuccino, because it’s not that common to find great, fresh seafood at any ‘ol place in Shanghai. It was more filling than expected, and actually made me feel a bit scallop-and-mushroom’d out by the time I was halfway through. The sliced black truffles was a nice touch, but actually didn’t have much flavour (I suspect they’re Chinese truffles and not the proper imported ones). Some mashed potatoes would have made the dish perfect, because it had no carbs (and I get angry when I don’t get carbs into my belly).
Chris’ Grilled lamb chops with mustard seed mashed potatoes were divine, because it’s just so hard to come across great lamb chops here. I would have preferred it they had served leaner meat, but it was still tender and delicious. The dish needed 1 or 2 more lamb chops though ;)
Dessert was a shared Cheese plate with goat cheese, camembert, gouda, blue cheese which was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved the blue cheese, which was subtle yet ‘smelly’ enough and beautifully creamy. We were saving ourselves for the Banana & chocolate cake from Awfully Chocolate, which I brought to the restaurant. To our delight and amusement, the staff turned off the restaurant lights and came out singing “Happy Birthday” to Chris!
A very pleasant, warm meal.. and how lovely to find a great French restaurant so close to where we live. The Digestif served after dinner was also a nice touch. Go there on a date and impress your significant other!
The warm interior
Fresh baked baguette and Gerard Betran South of France wine
My wonderful birthday boy :)
Homemade goose liver terrine with caramelised apple and fresh baked toast
Escargot in burgundy style
Sauteed scallops, truffles and mushroom cappuccino
Grilled lamb chops with mustard seed mashed potatoes
Cheese plate with goat cheese, camembert, gouda, blue cheese
Banana & chocolate cake from Awfully Chocolate. YUM!!!
An awesome dinner date :)