Add: 2/F, 50 Tai An Road, Shanghai 泰安路50号2楼
Tel: +86 (21) 6229 9668
Hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 5:30pm-10:30pm
Visited: March 2016
Will return: Charcuterie and wine? Definitely. Steak? Probably not.
Chez Maurice is a new French steakhouse, charcuterie and wine bar in the former French Concession. I’ve heard mixed reviews since its opening just two months ago, especially with regard to the consistency (or lack thereof) of their steak. But when I found myself in the neighborhood looking for a place to eat, I decided to give it a try.
Chez Maurice occupies a cozy little villa on Tai An Road, with Chez Maurice The Grill on the second floor and Chez Maurice Wine Bar on the third. The decor could very well pass for a steakhouse in Paris if it weren’t so glaringly new. Still, it has a very laid-back but classy French bistro vibe – being filled with French expats definitely helps. The service, on the other hand, was nothing like a Paris bistro (thank goodness). Very friendly and very helpful.
The wine list is quite impressive. Most of them are Old World wines, and all of them are organic, biodynamic, and natural. My glass of 2014 Valpolicella (80) from Veneto, Italy was light, clean, and refreshing. Delightful.
The menu is short – just one page – but by no means basic, with many eye-catching offerings, from the myriads of house-made charcuterie (terrines, foie gras, jambon – the works) to well-designed entrées (such as the Grilled Octopus with Roasted Beets, Hummus, Peppers, and Olives).
I started my meal with Le Célèbre Boudin Blanc Truffé de Maurice Maurice’s Famous Truffled Sausage (68), served with a red wine plum compote. The sausage was moist and incredibly flavorsome, and the plum compote did wonders to the entire flavor profile. Overall, it tasted much lighter than I expected a sausage dish to be.
It’s worth noting that the salad on the side, though tiny, was nicely dressed. Details matter.
The steaks are reasonably priced, starting from RMB168 for a 200g fillet, up to RMB868 for a 1kg M3, 270-day grain-fed bone-in ribeye.
I went with L’Entrecôte de Boeuf Australien Angus (268), a 300g 120-day grain-fed ribeye, which, sadly, was a bit of a letdown. The temperature was done correctly and the seasoning was okay, but the sear was very uneven – the side sitting on the plate looked colorless and unappetizing. It tasted alright, but far from remarkable. Honestly, I prefer the steak I had at Le Saleya to this one. For a restaurant that calls itself a grill, I expected more.
Recommend: not really
The fries and the sauce redeemed the steak a little. The fries were crispy, not greasy, and well-seasoned. The American sauce that the waiter recommended was complex but balanced.
After the disappointing steak, La Crème Brûlée de Mon Amie Ilhame My Friend Ilhame’s Crème Brûlée (48) saved the dinner for me. It was everything a perfect crème brûlée should be. The evenly-brûléed top cracked with a satisfying crunch under the tap of my spoon. The custard was smooth, rich, and creamy, the caramel nutty and not too sweet, with just a touch of bitterness. An unadulterated classic done to perfection.
Another shot because it deserves it.
Verdict? I agree with sugarednspiced that I’d probably go back for everything but the steak, which is kind of sad for a steakhouse… But the charcuterie and dessert really were excellent.