Traditionally known for their lavish French dinners, Mr & Mrs Bund launched their weekend brunch menu some years back, and has since garnered a strong following for it. This brunch tasting was set up courtesy of City Weekend, as such, I will be sharing this article, along with some future articles with them.
Unlike many other brunch spots, where they offer a set deal of three dishes for a fixed price, Mr & Mrs Bund offers a la carte, with items starting from RMB75. Though, one can get away with brunch for RMB200 per head, excluding drinks, which is a pretty good deal considering this is one of the best restaurants in Shanghai.
It was a little odd for me to visit and see Mr & Mrs Bund during the day–I’m more used to the dim and low-key atmosphere of the evening service. For weekend brunch, they make good use of the natural daylight, flooding in to create a somewhat casual and laidback atmosphere. 8.5/10
As this was a hosted tasting, as usual an unbiased score of 7.5/10 is awarded. However, from my experience at Mr & Mrs Bund, service has always been spot on, attentive and professional.
We ordered a plethora of dishes
because we were greedy in order to give the best representation of the offerings at Mr & Mrs Bund. Highlights were the tripe and incredible short ribs. We started with egg dishes, after a refreshing amuse bouche of raw radish.
The Egg, Caviar, Dill (RMB125)
This was possibly the most expensive egg in all of Shanghai: a perfectly poached egg, resting on top of dill oil and topped with luxurious caviar. The caviar gives it a rush of subtle saltiness at first bite. It was a simple and delicate dish, focusing on the technique of the poached egg; the harmonious blend of flavors. That said, this dish is one of those where laws of diminishing returns are more apparent. The more you eat, the less you taste, therefore the size of the dish was actually very apt. 8/10
Egg & Tripes “Piquante” (RMB75)
I was intrigued to see tripe on a French brunch menu, and ordered the Egg & Tripes “Piquante” (RMB75) to specifically see how it would fair. Boy was I in for a surprise—the tripe was tender yet with a slight bite, perfectly marinated and cooked in a beef ragu-like sauce, composed of tomatoes and capers. The tomato and caper sauce provided a beautiful balance of sweet, savory and tart, flawlessly complementing the tripe. More importantly, the flavor of tripe was present, but not overpowering. Breaking apart the egg provided a smooth, rich and lushious finish to the meat, making this possibly one of my favorite brunch items. 9.5/10
Egg, Mushrooms & Duck Confit (RMB75)
Unfortunately the Egg, Mushrooms & Duck Confit (RMB75) had some serious shoes to fill. I felt the duck confit was a little dry and tough, which was quite different from the duck confit main dish, one which I consider the best duck confit in Shanghai. Even with the egg yolks blanketing the duck meat, the components felt separate and lacked synergy. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t memorable either. (Though, the first thing I noticed about this dish was the interesting charred cross marks on the poached egg. How was this even possible?!). 7/10
Meuniere Truffle Bread (RMB120)
The Meuniere Truffle Bread (RMB120) was quite the show stopper: a hefty slice of toast, adorned with black truffle slices edge to edge, topped with light meuniere foam. The truffle flavors were strong and apparent, while the toast was crisp on the bottom yet soft inside. The foam was somewhat of a gimmick, but added some subtle textures and flavors in the mix. 8.5/10
Jumbo Prawn in Citrus Jar (RMB180)
We saw some tables ordering the Jumbo Prawn in Citrus Jar (RMB180), one of the newest additions to the menu, and knew we had to sample it. It’s a single jumbo tiger prawn, unshelled and skewered on a stick of lemon grass, and gently ‘smoked’ in a jar filled with various citrus fruits and leaves. The citrus aromas were strong, but didn’t cover up the natural sweetness of the fresh shrimp. The prawn is removed from the jar, carved and served tableside. 8.5/10
Arugula Mushroom Truffle (RMB100) salad
Next up was the classic Arugula Mushroom Truffle (RMB100) salad at Mr & Mrs Bund. I’ve already had this on several occasions while dining here. It has a strong truffle flavor, possibly from truffle oil, mixed in with peppery arugula, slices of black truffle and umami-rich parmesan crisps. 8.5/10
Long Short Rib Teriyaki (RMB420)
The Long Short Rib Teriyaki (RMB420) is one of the signatures at Mr & Mrs Bund, available for any meal.
As I took my first bite, I closed my eyes and took a moment of silence to reflect upon all the meats that I’ve ever eaten in my life, and more importantly, how the long short rib trumped them all.
It was tender with a bittersweet teriyaki glaze, and the flavor and texture was quite impeccable as pillowy fat marbling intertwined with long and tough muscle fibers, providing a perfect balance. The portion size was also good; I imagined this would feed two to three persons. 9.5/10
Real French Toast (RMB80)
One of my missions in this brunch campaign was to taste all the hipster French toasts that Shanghai had to offer. Finally, I got to try the famous Real French Toast (RMB80) at Mr & Mrs Bund. The French toast was beautiful—consistently seared, and like many other French toasts these days, had a thin crispy caramelized glaze.
Cutting through the crust revealed a dry but fluffy interior that was just slightly moist from the egg wash. It came with vanilla ice cream, of which I was thankful for as I’ve always reveled in a French toast that is made to be eaten with ice cream for the wonderful alternation of hot and cold textures. This is truly, the best French toasts in Shanghai. The hype is real. This is 100% worth it. 9.5/10
Lemon & Lemon Tart (RMB110)
The Lemon & Lemon Tart (RMB110) is another signature Paul Pairet dessert—his take on the classic lemon tart. Mr & Mrs Bund uses a whole candied lemon, that is filled with cream, served on a plate with a single long shortbread biscuit. As with most if not all lemon desserts, it was sour to the first taste.
I felt the insides had melted a little, making the delicate dessert a little difficult to eat. 8/10