Smooshed between a Coco and a convenience store underneath a freeway might seem a peculiar spot to find a snug little Western cafe. But take one step inside Petit George, and the raucous squawks and neon lights of Shanghai immediately evaporate, leaving you wondering if you’re still in Asia.
Imagine an antique book/trinket shop in a quiet coastal town – dim candles, wooden everything, drawn drapes, rococo and landscape paintings, baskets with dried leaves and twigs in them, the whole nine yards. The service is also about as speedy and attentive as an antique bookstore’s, to the point that you’ll probably have to get up at some point during the evening to check on your order, or even order in the first place. To their credit, they seemed undermanned.
Nothing too surprising here, just your normal roster of salads, pizzas, burgers, and sides. Pizzas are well priced, ranging from 38-68RMB for the six-inch option, and 58-98RMB for the 12-inch. And even if you’re not big on salads, definitely try the George Signature Salad (45RMB), a large wooden bowl of mixed greens, eggs, balsamic and olive oil, and thick, bleeding slices of steak – a must for any salad. Also go for the 12-in thin-crust Parma ham and mushroom pizza (88RMB).
You can’t go wrong with the burgers either, the only disclaimer being that the George signature burger (55RMB) doesn’t actually have a meat patty even though it’s not made clear on the menu. On first glance, we thought they simply forgot to slip it in. Standing in for beef is a UFO-sized portobello mushroom piled with greasy bacon and cheese, and paired with mixed-greens and bulky steak fries. And even as cretaceous carnivores, we have to say, the mushroom-burger was pretty damn tasty. The cushion-y mushroom leaked earthy juice that dripped onto the bacon, and we have kind’ve a soft spot for those fake, yellow cheese squares that look like sticky notes.
Wet your lips with a choice of fruit smoothies, beers, or cocktails.
Even seasoned expats periodically grow sick of Shanghai’s spitting, invasion of personal space, tourette’s-level horn-honking, deer-in-the-headlights stares when you ask for directions in what you think is clear Chinese, etc. If you’re feeling this way, Petit George is your refuge. And the food’s not half bad.
Petit George – 1794 Yanan Xi Lu, near Tianshan Lu, Changning district (长宁区延安西路1794号, 近天山路). Tel: (0)21-5224-2933. Hours: 11am-11pm daily.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].