Tim Foolery

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Shanghai-Lights: Mr & Mrs Bund

Fine Dining in Shanghai. @Departuresmag had a well timed article about all the great restaurants in Shanghai right before we left.  After a quick read of this article we decided for our one nice meal in Shanghai we would visit Mr & Mrs Bund.

We hopped a taxi from our hotel and in less than 10 minutes were are the restaurant — or so we thought. The cab driver dropped us off too early — took us another 5 minutes to walk to the restaurant.  Like most of our taxi experiences in Shanghai we were frustrated.

Mr and Mrs Bund is a restaurant by Paul Pairet (of Mosaic Cafe, Jade on 36 and Ultraviolet). Like many of his other restaurants, this place is heavily French influenced.  It’s obvious why we visited now, right?

We were quickly seated and menus were delivered.  Without wasting a second, the waiter came over and attempted to take our order. We hadn’t even opened the cocktail / wine list at this point, let along the full menu. As we asked for a couple more minutes to review the cocktail list, he took our food menus away.

Warm towels were then delivered to our table.

Our cocktail order was then taken, but full menus were not returned — but the waiter did return before the drinks were delivered and asked for our entree selection.  When we asked for the menus the waiter was visibly upset with us.  As he stormed away from our table a waitress grabbed him and chatted for a moment then our waiter stormed off in another direction and this new waitress brought over our menus. Saying nothing.  The service continued like this throughout the meal with our first waiter then waitress alternating between our table.  It was very odd and very uncomfortable for us.

Interiors of Mr & Mrs. Bund.
Tomato, goat cheese and balsamic salad.
Steak au poivre
Profiteroles with chocolate sauce…with a second
in the background. Oink.

Throughout the meal, the music in the large room would go silent then a more clubby tune would be blared from the speakers, the restaurant lights would drop and you’d see half a dozen servers trailing a sparkler filled cake – celebrating everything from birthdays to anniversaries to the unknown.  This really reminded me of the Olive Garden, Red Lobster or some other chain restaurant in suburban America. Luckily we were not celebrating anything other than bad service.  Good food, but really bad service.

Would I return to Mr & Mrs Bund?  No, not at all. I was quite disappointed in the execution and honestly the space.  The front house execution was extremely poor. The Departures Magazine Article had several other restaurants that sound much better than how Mr and Mrs Bund actually turned out.  I’d give one of those a try.

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