The Shanghai Center location of Gourmet Cafe opened up two months ago… and we were there to try it out then. Like the Element Fresh across the way, Gourmet Cafe features an extremely spacious outdoor dining area. You can choose between one of the wooden lunch bench tables or from the cushioned wicker lounge chairs.
The food was everything we were used to from their close-by Shaanxi Lu location (with a couple of new additions – steaks and alcoholic milkshakes!), but service had not yet quite gotten up to speed. We decided we’d wait a little while to see how the settled into their new digs.
Pretty darn well, if our last sunny brunch was any indication. Unlike the first time, the servers now knew English and could explain to you what ingredients were in the various burgers on the menu. They also managed to bring out our mains out quickly and at the same time, saving us that whole “well… um, do you want some of my salad while you wait?” conversation.
We decided on a Beano, a L’Avorella, the English Patent and a Crouching Thaiger (ranged 55RMB to 70RMB), of which the English Patent and Crouching Thaiger were things we didn’t remember seeing on the Shaanxi Lu menu. They were all good, inventive takes on ye old burger, bursting with fun flavors and easy to finish. We weren’t expecting anything less. We did wish that, for brunch, they had more than one burger brunch deal though.
To change it up a little more, we also tried out some of their alcoholic milkshakes (35RMB) – a Grandma’s Tipple (vanilla ice cream, bourbon and caramel syrup) and a Midnight Wake Up (chocolate ice cream, kahlua, chocolate liquer and cookies). One quibble: it would’ve been nice if the spiked shakes weren’t so weakly spiked. No Grandma we know would’ve been tippled by these concoctions, delicious as they were.
The bill ran up to be around 100RMB per person, which is about the what you can expect from most Gourmet Cafe bills (Burger King it is not). To really splurge, you ought to try a steak there (198RMB) and order some of those sides (20RMB to 35RMB) separately.
If, like us, you’re more budget minded and want to try it out for cheaper though, weekday lunches start at 48RMB and they have a great Friday “three mini-burgers plus three house beers for 98RMB” deal too. Those mini burgers aren’t tiny.
Gourmet Cafe is located on the first floor of Shanghai Center, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu. 南京西路1376号 上海商城1楼