Yes, we know, we know. Pier One — so last month. Shanghaiist admits it — we never went when it was The Next Big Thing. The journey to get there just seemed Biblical in length. Why hike to Suzhou Creek, the Shanghai equivalent of outer Xinjiang, when the loving embraces of Glamour Bar, Time Passage and Mint were just around the corner? Pier One, by the way, is a complex of
outrageously pretentious super-chic bars and restaurants in the north of Shanghai, nearby Moganshan Lu. With a Michelin-starred chef and a killer design, it promised to be a great step forward in Shanghai’s nightlife. The drawback — distance from every other bit of nightlife in town!
Nevertheless, when the invite arrived for Sunday Brunch at Mimosa Supper Club, Pier One’s flagship restaurant, Shanghaiist was excited to finally give it a try. It turns out — not as far as we thought! Just a 20 kuai taxi ride from the middle of downtown.
The setting was attractive, if a bit in need of maintenance — the buildings, landscaping, and surrounding
swampy bog placid body of water all looked a bit forlorn. It was a theme that continued inside — the interiors of the restored factory had a great design, but needed a fresh coat of paint.
The initial signs weren’t promising. It took three asks for our cup of coffee, which didn’t arrive with milk. The low point was when we asked for water for our group –there were fifteen of us — to which the waiter spat out, looking scandalized, “You want water? For EVERYONE?!?” We were all ready to add Mimosa to the Water Hall of Shame, when miraculously, the water arrived — and continued to be refilled throughout the meal! Kudos to you Mimosa! Things were definitely looking up.
The food was good, once it arrived, after some large party confusion. Our goat cheese and herb omelet was tasty and well cooked, and the pastries were the best we’ve had in a while.
Our friend’s risotto was outstanding. Not everything was perfect — our grapefruit juice was so old that it had begun to ferment (eww!), and the waiters continued to be a bit surly. Then again, we love surly waiters — especially the ones that ASK us for a tip, like at Manifesto!
All in all, the experience was a good one, but worth the 20 kuai trek to the Creek, when there are scads of great brunches closer to home? That’s harder to say. Apparently few people think so, as only five or six tables were filled during the prime brunching hours. We liked what we saw, and definitely want to stop by again in the evening for a drink — maybe the Creek isn’t so far after all.
The Pier One Complex is located at 82 Yichang Lu, Suzhou Creek. Tel: 5155-8310. Brunch entrées between 80-150 RMB. Cocktails from around 50 RMB. Water, thankfully, is free.