Ask the expats in Shanghai where their favourite brunch / general dining place is, and chances are that Element Fresh will show up quite often, and for good reason. Many of my friends who have left Shanghai often lament to me on how much they miss Element Fresh. The secret lies in quality and fresh ingredients cooked on simple but expertly prepared menu items.
I have ate at Element Fresh many times, for this review, I will be reviewing a weekend brunch session at the Xin Tian Di Element Fresh Vintage outlet. My wife and I managed to secure an outdoor seat on the 2F balcony, which was very nice and private, compared to the bustling tourist street on the first floor.
I had the big american breakfast which is probably my most ordered brunch item in every brunch restaurant. While the price is higher than average at ¥88, I get 4 eggs cooked anyway I want them, bottomless cup of coffee, bacon, rosemary-scented pork sausages, sautéed potatoes and 2 pieces of toast — very well worth the price, considering all of the aforementioned items were of very good quality, except for the coffee which is standard a diluted americano.
Bacon is done slightly charred with a bit of crisp, but not like a biscuit (which I destest). Scrambled eggs are nice and creamy, moist and not overdone. Sausages are nicely spiced and sautéed potatoes had a mix of normal waxy potatoes and sweet potatoes, giving the senses a pleasant variety of flavours every other bite. 4.5/5
I also ordered a french onion soup to share. I was given a nice hearty bowl of soup with 2 thick crostinis with melted gruyere cheese. The soup was rich and packed with flavour. Combine it with the crostinis, the soup can make a filling meal on its own for a lady. 4/5
My wife had the grilled vegetable salad, which featured a huge plate of artichokes, zucchinis, eggplant and tomatoes with a red wine vinaigrette. While the vegetables were fresh, the flavour of the dressing was too sour and I felt didn’t complement the ingredients very well. 3/5
All in all, Element Fresh continues to deliver good consistent food that keeps people coming back for more. I had tried their crab cake appetiser and breakfast burrito before and they were very good options too.