Store 38, Lane 155 Jianguo Zhong Lu
Luna Bianca blows our Italian tastebuds away with a full 5-stars. Previously, our favourite Italian restaurant by far was La Strada. Now, Luna Bianca is #1 by FAR, and at a cheaper price!
Tucked away in Taikang Lu, the nondescript entrance leads into a simple butter-cream yellow dining room with murals and paintings all over the walls and ceiling. I especially like the little window where you can see the pizza chef making your pizza from scratch. The staff are friendly and immediately bring out complimentary filtered water, which is a lovely touch.
We start off with a complimentary bread basket of pieces of crisp flat bread, and fluffy soft slight-sweet buns. I would’ve loved them served with some herbed butter, but the warm breads are nevertheless tasty and tide us over whilst we peruse the menu.
Complimentary bread basket
Watching the chef toss the pizza base
Our food arrives within 15 minutes of ordering. The Erotica pizza – tomato sauce, mozzarella, onions, sausage, spicy salami, capsicum and chilli is DELICIOUS! I love the crispy, well-made base. It’s soft in the middle, but not dripping and oily like Da Marco’s version. There is a generous amount of cheese and the amount of ingredients is also very decent. It’s tasty, spicy, and really hits the spot.
Erotica pizza – tomato sauce, mozzarella, onions, sausage, spicy salami, capsicum and chilli (78元)
Picking off the (really spicy!) chilies on the pizza
The Tagliolini al’ Nero di Seppia con Zucchine – angel hair pasta with black squid ink and mixed seafood is the BEST squid ink pasta I’ve ever eaten. It comes alarmingly jet-black. Everything is so solid black it’s hard to determine what’s what, save for a jaunty sprig of parsley that dresses the dish. It’s…….. astounding. It doesn’t taste like a cream sauce, it doesn’t taste like a tomato sauce. It just tastes like… squid ink sauce. LOL. A mild flavour and a creamy texture, it’s silky and subtle, yet brings out the flavour of the seafood and the tender pasta.
We note with delight that the dish contains a very generous portion of seafood. In fact, it probably needs more pasta since there’s so much seafood in there ;) I’m in bliss and utter delight, and slurp every bit up. I would come back and order this same dish again, for sure.
Tagliolini al’ Nero di Seppia con Zucchine – angel hair pasta with black squid ink and mixed seafood (88元)
My goth man
We order their Tiramisu on a whim, simply because we’re feeling greedy and want some dessert. It arrives looking quite dubious – 3 small chunks of tiramisu sitting sloppily on the plate. Frankly, it looked like it was “leftovers” that was scooped together to make it look like a complete dish. It was with hesitation I took my first bite, ready to send it back.
An instant later, all was forgotten and I was in L-O-V-E. The tiramisu is the best I’ve had in Shanghai, and probably the best I’ve ever had. The cake part was soft, dense and moist, with a rich flavour of brandy shot through it. The Mascarpone was indescribably thick and creamy – more so than other tiramisus that I’ve had and by far creamier than La Strada’s version. It was flat out DIVINE.
Luna Bianca is well worth a visit if you love Italian food at reasonable prices. For us, it’s our Italian restaurant of choice now – their pizza, pasta, and desserts were all winners for us.. and we’d go back for more any time :)