My birthday lunch/brunch was a quiet little date with Chris in the Ritz-Carlton hotel, high up on the 52nd floor overlooking the city of Shanghai. We very rarely do fancy brunches, so it was really nice to splash out to celebrate… especially since it was a crystal-clear sunny-blue-skies day :)
Pudong is so different to Puxi (the main city area where we live). It’s so much cleaner, and has open spaces!!! No one bumping shoulders with you, and hardly anyone spitting at your feet or doing strange things. We were imagining pushing a baby stroller along the nice paved footpaths and pottering around, and how lovely it would be… really puts “living in China” in a new perspective. I think the main reason I feel so harassed and annoyed sometimes (with having to deal with some crazy/uncivilized people) is because we live right in the middle of the bustling city, with all types of folk. But out in Pudong, it’s a lot more civilized and way less people – it actually feels very much like being in a Western chilled-out city.
Shanghai’s infamous sky scrapers
Me with the beautiful Pearl Tower
The Scena restauraunt in the Ritz-Carlton has INCREDIBLE service, though I must note they make you pay 15% service charge for the honour. Fortunately they did make it as worth the money as possible, with top-notch English speaking staff and excellent service. We loved the lofty ceilings and airy ambiance, even more pronounced by the large glass windows that let in streaming sunlight and offered gorgeous views of Shanghai and the Bund. It’s an excellent place to take visitors and we’re making a note to come back with both sets of parents when they’re here visiting early next year – and with baby in tow :P
My roasted veal loin, marsala sauce, sauteed mushrooms, ratatouille was perfectly cooked, much to my delight. I don’t often get a chunk of red meat in China because it either doesn’t exist, or it’s exorbitantly expensive and not that well cooked. Their veal was very tender with no strange sinewy bits, and could be cut with a butter knife (which I used). I do wish they had provided a lot more sauce, but on the plus side, the sparse drizzle made the flavour of the fresh veal really stand out.
Chris’ tagliatelle and seafood tomato sauce was an impressive ratio of seafood and pasta. It was a very decently sized portion and was absolutely delicious! Lovely tart tomato sauce and generous ingredients. Good comfort food ;)
When we were relaxing with our orange juices and enjoying the view after our meal, the staff suddenly came up and presented us with….. a birthday dessert platter!! It was so sweet of them, and I loved the desserts prettily arranged on the plate. The Fruit tart was superb – I normally steer clear of fruit tarts cos I can’t quite grasp the concept of fruit in a dessert (defeats the purpose of a dessert IMHO) but this one was excellent because the fruit was super sweet and juicy, plus the tart had the perfect balance of custard and tart base.
And then…… the DESSERT BUFFET. It was the main reason why we were there for brunch and it did not disappoint. I was impressed that the desserts were very fine quality and beautifully presented, in lovely little dishes and mini sized. The ingredients were evidently of excellent quality to the taste, and the spread was really big. We ate, and ate, and ate, and ate… until we physically could not put another morsel into our mouths ;)
We staggered outside, stuffed to the brim and very happy indeed. It was quite a memorable Birthday brunch!
Chris soaking in the warm sun
Assorted bread platter with tapenade and olive butter
Enjoying ourselves high above Shanghai
Roasted veal loin, marsala sauce, sauteed mushrooms, ratatouille
Tagliatelle and seafood tomato sauce
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEE :)
The dessert buffet
Cute wee lil desserts
Went a little wild………….. *ahem*.
Closeup. Man those chocolate truffles were good!
Coffee served with really cute sugar canisters
All blissful :)
Watching Chinese acrobatics in the IFC luxury mall next door