It sounded like such a steal that I thought there must be a catch: Morton’s – the super luxe steakhouse in Lujiazui’s IFC mall – was offering 38rmb martinis, coupled with as many free steak sandwiches as you could eat, for their happy hour every Monday to Friday. But after visiting multiple times over the last week, I can confirm: for once, the offer is as great as it sounds.
If you don’t know Morton’s, it’s a famous steak chain from the U.S. – a place power brokers go to seal deals over giant creamy salads and slabs of meat. Their menu here in Shanghai is more or less similar to what you’d get at any other Morton’s: wines, lobster, steaks at eye-bugging price points for those of us without expense accounts.
Which is what makes their happy hour deal so amazing.
After being inundated with food and drink promotions in Shanghai for a while, you start to associate certain words with their inevitable realities. Low-priced drinks means substandard liquor made into gross concoctions. All-you-can-eat means it’ll be tiny portions, take forever to come to your table, and you’ll have regretted not eating beforehand. A time frame means the staff will ignore you for the first 30 minutes and even more pointedly ignore you for the last hour.
But not at Morton’s! As soon as I sat down at the bar, before I’d even chosen my martini, the bartender informed me he’d ordered my free sandwiches for me. The gin original, can it be done dirty? Of course, he said, and would you like an ice water too? After I’d finished my last sandwich, he was immediately there to ask if I’d like another plate (no thanks, they were surprisingly filling). How about another drink? Well… okay, one more, but I was already feeling the first one. At 6:55, a new customer sat down next to me, glanced at the menu and then asked if he could just get a diet coke and still have the steak sandwiches. Yes, the bartender answered, and put in an order for him.
The dissonance comes when you take a look at their normal bar menu. One of their “Heavenly Mortinis” clocks in at 108rmb. A typical bar snack will cost you between 98 to155rmb. How is it that a cheapo like me can even afford to sit here… and why would Morton’s want me to?
I’m not sure, and the pessimist inside me thinks this remarkable price point won’t be around for long. So while we know it’s still happening – deal hunters of Shanghai, take advantage!
What: Morton’s Mortini Night Happy Hour
When: Monday to Friday, 5pm to 7pm
The Deal: 38rmb for select Martinis (Gin, Vodka, Cosmo, Appletini & Chocolatini) plus free mini steak sandwiches
Morton’s is located at Shop 15-16, 4/F, Shanghai ifc mall on 8 Century Avenue in Lujiazui, Pudong New District. Telephone no,: 6075 8888