The newest face on the quaint Anfu Lu strip from the minds behind Enoterra and Dr. Wine, La Maison Gourmande is a quiet little bistro for those with a big loud appetite.
Rustic wood furniture, square tables, and at night, more candles than in a sacrificial cult’s sacred shrine. The back opens up to a Viking-esque long table for large parties, a blackboard with specials scribbled on it, and a looming wine cabinet. The staff lacks knowledge of the fare, but compensates with their exuberance and alertness – ie., immediately asking if you need a refill when the last drop disappears from your glass, and frequently checking if you need anything else, but not to the point of annoyance.
Relaxed, cozy decor belies the substantial and filling fare. For starters we recommend the exquisite scallops au gratin (75RMB) with a robust mushroom sauce, the smoked salmon which is smoked on site (88RMB) and the duck liver (98RMB) with two slices of brioche.
You get a fair amount of liver for under 100RMB, about a deck of cards worth, and an extra baguette for when you scarf all the brioche. The liver could’ve thawed for a few more seconds, but it’s still damn yummy, like roast duck mated with butter.
And in an unusual twist for Western in Shanghai, the mains might even match the apps. The sea bass (155RMB) is decent but head up the lamb, a picturesque rack veined with fat and crimson in the middle, that criss-crosses a knoll of piping-hot mashed potatoes (165RMB). Meat-philes rejoice.
There’s also a fixed dinner that runs you 290RMB for three different mains from the ones listed above, including salmon mousse and cod fish which we have yet to try.
Too many small Western spots in Shanghai have charming atmosphere but forgettable food. La Maison Gourmande picks up the slack with rich, stick-to-your-ribs classics.
La Maison Gourmande – 246 Anfu Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, Xuhui district (徐汇区安福路246号, 近乌鲁木齐中路). Tel: (0)21-6417-9819. Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm 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].