Add: 6/F, 130 East Bei Jing Road, Shanghai 北京东路130号6楼
Tel: +86 (21) 6308 7669
Hours: [brunch] Sun 11:30am-3:00pm; [dinner] Sun-Thur 5:30pm-1:00am, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-3:00am
Price: [brunch set] RMB198
Visited: March 2016
Will return: Yes
– See my second visit for more dishes! –
If you find yourself tired of the same old traditional eggs Benny, head to The Nest for some fancy, Nordic-style brunch for a change.
A collaboration between the premium French vodka brand Grey Goose and the wildly popular club MUSE, The Nest established itself as Shanghai’s hottest gastrolounge as soon as it opened its doors in late 2014, setting itself apart with its wonderfully debilitating array of cocktails and fabulous Nordic-inspired food menu, which is worth a visit in its own right. In all fairness, The Nest has become as popular a destination for dinner as it is for booze. And judging by the crowd – fully booked just 3 weeks into their brunch service – it’s about to become a popular destination for brunch as well.
Brunch at The Nest is steeped in the same Nordic and Northern European influences that set their dinner menu apart, from the house cold-smoked Norwegian salmon on their eggs Benedict and the Lithuanian potato rosti called “Baboolyas Kugelis”, to luscious slow-cooked venison ribs and sweet Finnish-style pancakes. The brunch set, consisting of a welcome drink and three dishes of your choice, will set you back RMB198, and each additional dish is RMB68.
The Welcome Drink was made with the unlikely combination of Yakult, vodka, lime, and soda. Fizzy, light, and refreshing, with a wonderful perfume of oranges.
What better wake-up call than caffeine and liquor rolled into one? The Grey Goose Espresso XO Martini (68) was a bewitching balance of GG Original vodka, patron XO café, tequila, and double bitter espresso. No cocktail is more fitting for brunch.
The Nest Nordic Benedict was fancied up in every possible way, from the melt-in-your-mouth 65-degree poached egg and the wonderfully smokey salmon, right down to the soft and fluffy brioche and the hollandaise whipped into an improbably delicate but boldly acidic mousse (which surpasses even the hollandaise at Cuivre). Definitely not your everyday Benedict.
The Grilled Venison Ribs was an ambivalent mix of excellence and mediocrity. Barely lukewarm, the ribs were rather tough and chewy, a million miles from the melting deliciousness I expected in slow-cooked ribs, and made worse by the cold white fat. The sweet potato fries were burnt almost to a crisp, and
dusted smothered with a raw, unrefined, tongue-numbing spice that completely overpowered any sweetness left in the fries. (For what it’s worth, I saw this dish on another table on my way out, and the fries looked slightly better.) The expertly-balanced sweet and smokey glaze put up a gallant fight, but didn’t manage to save the dish for me.
Recommend: not really
The Finnish “Pannukakku-Style” Pancakes were absolutely sublime. A crispy sugar-caramelized crust enveloped a melt-in-your-mouth center, just sweet enough to be satisfying, topped with a light and foamy vanilla sour cream. A stack of pure pleasure, a world away from its fluffy American cousin – and all the better for it.
The Nest is open for brunch on Sundays only, with no plans to open on Saturdays in the foreseeable future. Call early and book in advance, as it is turning out to be as popular as their Sunday and Monday night oyster deals (RMB98 for a dozen Fine de Claire #4). I’m already planning my next visit – thinking Lithuanian potato pancakes, salmon blini, Icelandic cod fishcakes, brioche French toast…