Apologies for the lack of reviews lately. Part of the reason was because I haven’t really stumbled upon any good places that I have not reviewed before. Also, I’ve just finished a really hectic June work rush. That said, I have exciting things in stored for The Shanghai Kid Blog and more.
But today, we talk about lasagne.
I don’t usually blog about my weekday lunch experiences, because these are usually quick and dirty affairs snapped with my iphone under hideous lighting. But today, I make an exception, because it was really, really good. Just take note that photos were taken (rather poorly) with my iphone.
House of Lasagne is a hole in the wall located on Xiang Yang Lu, just past Fu Xin Lu. Smack in the French Concession district, and just a block away from the popular iAPM mall.
As the name suggests, they specialise in lasagne, a dish that many of us were first introduced to by the cartoon/comic, Garfield.
I particularly like these type of specialised restaurants that do mainly 1 dish, and do it well. The actual restaurant space is approximately 50 square metres, accommodating only about 10 tables.
They have lunch sets, which feature half portions together with a small caesar salad. A soft drink can be added for ¥10, which is fairly priced.
For today, I ordered the lasagne bolognese.
Our mini caesar salads were served shortly; Small in size, big on flavour. The caesar salad was expertly seasoned, just salty enough to balance with the fresh romaine lettuce, while not too rich on the dressing. Parmesan was sprinkled generously, along with herbed croutons, and real bacon bits. This was really perfect. The portion left me scraping up the final bits of bacon/lettuce, while not wanting for more, but instead anticipating the main course. 9/10
The lasagne took awhile to serve, probably at least 15minutes. Perfect time for everyone to
stare mindlessly into their phones engage in meaningful conversation. The wait is a good sign, because it means the lasagne is likely to be assembled and baked on order.
When the lasagne did arrive, it came in a petite but neat package with a slice of garlic bread on the side. At first look I can see the beautiful mozzarella melted uniformly over the top. I could also see that the sauce and layering were all executed with precision. No sloppy joe lasagne here.
I managed to cut up the lasagne without toppling and destroying the entire tower, which was another good sign. On first taste, the red wine in the sauce was quite apparent. That said, it had been balanced and mellowed down, so it didn’t come across as sour. The sauce actually had quite a nice balance of tart, savoury and sweet flavours; Combined with the pasta and cheese, very comforting. Impressive. The mince was consistent and did not have any sinewy or tough bits. It didn’t taste very rich so I gather the meat used was mostly lean. The lasagne layers were slightly softer than al dente, which I’m not complaining about like a pasta snob, because I feel that an al dente lasagne would be too chewy. 9/10
The set lunch half portion costs ¥50, while a full portion costs ¥90. Pretty good value, considering the quality of the salad and lasagne. Half portion is enough for a male diner with restraint and definitely enough for a lady. Service was pleasant, but nothing outstanding.
I look forward to returning and try some of their other dishes, if not just repeat the caesar salad and lasagne experience, assuming it remains consistent.
PS: Their espresso is quite expensive at ¥25 / shot.