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Watch My Best Fried Chicken and Waffle in Shanghai on Youtube
One of my biggest regrets when I left Shanghai, was that I had not visited Brut Cake Cafe sooner and more often.
Opened and run by my good friends, Priscilla “100lb foodie” Young and Chef Jun, Brut Cake Cafe is small and cozy cafe located on Yu Yuan Road, Shanghai.
The quirky looking cafe literally oozes a mixture of Taiwanese, Japanese and American hospitality, partly through Priscilla’s warm hospitality, alongside the wonderful designs of Nicole Teng; Nicole Teng is the founder and designer behind the Brut Cake brand, which showcases a series of quirky household products, furniture and ceramics.
Anyway, this will only be a quick feature and not a comprehensive review, because I haven’t tried enough items on the menu!
Let’s jump straight into the food.
Brunch is served, like most other establishments in Shanghai, only on weekends. Like most other establishments in Shanghai, the weekend-exclusive brunch at Brut Cake Cafe is very crowded, and you need to visit as early as 10am to get in line.
Sweet & Savoury
6 spice fried chicken, crispy waffle, sweet walnuts and organic jujube honey for ¥78
Portions were huge. The fried chicken already hit the nose as the plate got laid down in front of me; A very promising start.
Cutting in, the chicken crust gave way easily to a tender and juicy flesh. I was a little surprised at how light and easily the crust gave way to the knife.
Imagine my surprise when I found the crust to be crisp and bursting with fatty umami on the tongue. This was the type of fried chicken I enjoy. Light, crisp and flavourful.
The chicken was likely to have been brined and/or marinated in buttermilk to retain that level of moisture and tenderness.
The spices was very well balanced in such a way that it tasted really flavorful, yet no one exact spice stood out overly on it’s own. I did enjoy the sweet nutty accents from the candied walnuts, although I had wished that they were a little more crisp.
The waffles, like the chicken were light and crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy within; Masterfully executed.
This is one of, if not the best chicken and waffles that I have ever had.
Spicy Granny Manwich
Organic whole wheat mantou, Australian beef patty, crispy bacon, cheese, Lao Gan Ma mayo, triple-cooked fries, tomato jam and salad for ¥72
Brut cake cafe’s burgers are done with Mantou buns instead of burger buns.
This was a twist on the cheese burger, using China’s favourite condiment, Lao Gan Ma (roughly translates to old granny) that can be found practically in every household.
The beef patty was lovingly charred while cooked medium as requested.
The wholewheat mantous were thankfully quite soft and not dense. Although I thought the conical top half of the burger was a little odd to bite into. If they could somehow make a flatter top, it would’ve been more convenient to eat.
The bacon was very competently done (more on that later), and altogether the components came together well, I mean you can’t go wrong with the classic B.L.T combination.
The Lao Gan Ma sauce was actually quite mild, and I would’ve liked to see more of the spicy flavours of the sauce to give the burger a bigger identity.
The fries were house-made, which I applaud, and were perfectly crisp and flavourful.
Bacon on the side
I have to talk about the bacon at Brut Cake Cafe.
They use proper streaky bacon here, as you can see from the multiple layers, and are done to a perfect crisp. I would gladly buy bags of these home!
So that’s that! Hopefully in time, I might have a more comprehensive and proper review of the dishes at Brut Cake Cafe when/if I return to Shanghai.
Brut Cake Cafe have a lot more interesting dishes throughout the week for lunch and dinner that have both Chinese and western components in them.
Word has it that Brut Cake Cafe is opening a branch in Guangzhou!