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REVIEW OF THE WEEK

URBAN Cafe

2018-07-10 17:37

Could this be the answer to great Southeast Asian food in Shanghai? It comes close. I was really hoping in trying some home tasting Malaysian flavors (as the Executive Chef is from Malaysia) and we were presented with their Signature Dishes (most Thai inspired). The location of this restaurant is in the very newly opened and chic hotel – The Sukhothai (launched April 2018). Loved the whole ambience and when walking in towards the restaurant, you will also pass a nice bar and lounge area. On arrival, we were given a Lemongrass Juice as a welcome beverage (I thought this was a little watered down and could not really taste much of the lemon grass). After which, we were literally bombarded with a range of food (agree with a previous comment, that the pace was rather quick – a little paced out would have been great). Out of the multiple dishes that were shared – my top picks would be their Wagyu Beef Rendang (this was the dry version and the taste was good – but would have been great if the rendang was cooked way earlier – I.e. back home, we would keep rendang a few days/weeks as the complex flavors and taste develop over time – and moreover the meat would be so tender that it practically falls apart), Barbecue Chick Satay Skewers (loved the peanut sauce – which is key; this was the satay with lean chicken version – I personally prefer mine with a bit more ‘fat’ inserted in between – brings the taste profile up a notch – then again, not as healthy – but yummier!) and their Tom Yum Seafood Soup (soup was good and had some Chili spice – but tasted it had more of a tomato base than tom yum). Aside from those, the Pad Thai was just OK for me – it was a little dry and after mixing up with their sides - sugar, chili flakes and squeezing the lime – it still did not really work and the taste was a little flat. The Vietnamese Scotch egg was interesting – it was one of the most nicely plated dishes of the night. I’ve not tried it before, I liked the texture, but the overall taste was just average for me – you had to really put on quite a bit of the Nuoc Cham Dipping sauce for the kick. Their Thai Style Steamed Seabass with Lime – I really liked the sauce that came with the fish and finally I did also like their Black Pepper Prawns. My top dessert pick for the night was their Vietnamese Iced Coffee Panna Cotta – this was yums!. For their Malacca Style Chendol – they tried to give it a fusion/modern twist and was presented on a curved flat plate – but I so much prefer the original Chendol version – with shaved iced, copious amount of gula Melaka, the ‘green worms’ (green rice flour jelly), coconut milk, red azuki beans and ability to mix this all up in a cup or bowl. All in all – this is a great place to get your Southeast Asian fix and it is in a very nice venue! They have a great concept of ordering based on the number of dishes and a fixed price (regardless if you order their mains or desserts - Lunch prices are lower). This has been shared by other reviewers. Apparently they also change their menu every few months. I will be back to try some of their other dishes (namely Penang Style Char Kway Teow and their Seafood Laksa noodles) – and maybe if the Chef is reading this review – try bringing in Ipoh Hor Fun, Klang Bak Kut Teh, Wan Tan Mee and Penang Assam Laksa :)

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By: Brendan

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Xinwang

2018-07-13 13:04

By: Freund

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