Add: Room 106, 1107 Yu Yuan Road, Shanghai 愚园路1107号106室
Tel: +86 (21) 5276 0599
Hours: [brunch] 11:30am-3:30pm; [dinner] 5:30pm-12:00am
Price: [brunch] RMB198 / 3 dishes
Visited: May 2017
Will return: Maybe
Read my review of The Cannery’s dinner menu here.
One of my go-to restaurants in Shanghai, the Cannery recently rolled out a new brunch menu. Like its sister restaurant The Nest, you can take your pick of any three dishes on the menu for RMB198, while each extra dish will set you back RMB68.
But first, a complimentary welcome drink. The Cannery considerately offers a non-alcoholic version, which I took.
Eggs at the Cannery are by no means run-of-the-mill. There’s the “Arnold-Bennett style” omelette, served in a skillet of creamy, guilty indulgence. Cubes of salty, flaky smoked haddock were folded into a delicious béchamel fragrant with chives, and baked beneath a rich cheddar crust. There was supposed to be scrambled eggs somewhere in all that cream – I didn’t really taste them, but I didn’t mind in the slightest.
“Eat more fish” omelette, smoked haddock, mature cheddar
Brunch might seem too early in the day to try and cook anything yourself, but the DIY campground eggs are well worth the effort. And to be honest, the process wasn’t all that complicated. Tip the egg into the smoking hot skillet (already oiled for your convenience).
Put in the knob of herbed butter at your waiter’s command.
Pour in the tangy green dressing. Add salty bacon, tender baby spinach, peppery watercress, and wafer-thin potato chips.
And dig in!
DIY campground bacon & eggs, watercress & greens, grilled sourdough
A good number of light, healthy options were offered on the brunch menu. The bright, summery plate of charred broccolini was nice, an interesting and pleasant blend of vibrant greenness and charred darkness. But the yogurt dressing was too quiet and the capers a little too loud, so it was not as nice as it could have been. The pickled swordfish salad I found a little more difficult to love. Diced ginger and chili waited beneath some mint leaves, ready to prounce on the unsuspecting diner, but the heat did strangely little to assuage the greasiness of the swordfish.
Charred broccolini, salty yogurt, hazelnuts, cucumber caper lentil relish
“Eat more fish” salad, pickled swordfish, cucumber, chili
Meatier offerings included a hearty chili con carne served with soft tacos, sour cream, parmesan, and lime. For extra flourish, the Cannery pulled an Ultraviolet on us and added bits of burnt wood to the skillet for a little smoke. The dish had a pretty good depth of flavor, but I would have liked some more heat and oomph in the chili, and more acidity and bite in the sour cream.
Chili con carne, soft tacos, lime, chili
A standout was the roasted halibut head, enough to share between two people. A whole Icelandic halibut head was butterflied and roasted with dill and star anise. The flaky, succulent flesh was brought alive by a rich, tangy mayonnaise touched with a hint of smoke.
Roast halibut head, dill, star anise (for two)
From the dessert section, the s’mores caught my eye immediately, but if you’re looking for good old-fashioned campground-style s’mores like I was, prepare to be disappointed. The marshmallows were soft and molten, but far from the gooey, sticky mess that I was expecting (and that the menu advertised).
Campfire s’mores, roasted marshmallow, Graham crackers, chocolate
Instead, go for the banana bread French toast, soaked in coffee and covered with thin slices of caramelized banana and crunchy candied walnuts. The banana bread was moist and rich, its edges crisp and just slightly burnt, while the chocolate crumble and vanilla ice cream were perfect companions in both texture and flavor.
Banana bread, coffee, salty caramel sauce
Another shot, just because.
One of the Cannery’s most whimsical desserts was cookies and milk, the cookies (cranberry oatmeal, dark chocolate, white chocolate chip with almonds) placed on a worn tin jar alongside candied walnuts, and the milk served warm in a small glass bottle. While the cookies might have been nothing to shout out for, I still very much enjoyed this dessert for its playfulness and nostalgia.
Cookies n milk
The Cannery’s brunch menu is an interesting, if not essential addition to Shanghai’s brunch scene, with a fair share of both standouts and letdowns. While the food was not as inspiring as Highline’s brunch menu, the ambiance was a lot less frantic, making it a good destination for a quieter, more laid-back brunch.