Now that the dust has settled from the great Maoming Lu migration, we followed Pane e Vino to its new Sinan Mansions habitat. The result is the same fine Italian cuisine at even loftier prices.
Slotting into the new environment adequately, the duplex restaurant, formerly home to Chicha, feels at home in the lane house beside Alchemist. It lends an exclusive air to the layout, with diners tucked around every corner munching on attractive plates of well-dished fare. A mound of Italian antipasto misto dello chef (RMB135) with a tossed salad and drizzled with olive oil looks radiant. It lasted mere seconds before we were licking our lips with only a slight after-taste of money. A small and simple plate of diced-tomato topped bruschetta (RMB58) was far less attractive for the price.
Elsewhere, pizzas and pastas are well represented, with a page of both covering all the classics. On the pasta side, head to the second page for more substantial affairs, including the absolute winner, a bowl of parpadelle in lamb ragu (RMB126) that contains supremely tender chunks of meat in a balanced sauce. Pizzas hail from the Tuscan stable. They’re lightly topped with incredibly thin bases, and this is absolutely fine by us. A crisp and delicate prosciutto, arugula and Parmesan affair (RMB146) is both beautiful and delicious.
It all should be cheaper, though perhaps Chicha’s rent-inflation-based departure from this venue is the reason it’s not. With a couple glasses of Italian house white (RMB48) and even after completely avoiding the fish or meat main courses, we were singing to the tune of RMB600-plus for two. At this price we’re not far from the lofty heights of Sabatini and Bocca. Pane e Vino needs to grow some bigger horns to run with that particular herd.
- Pane e Vino
- 021 5465-2177
- Block 33, Sinan Mansions, 47 Fuxing Xi Lu [map]
- ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆