If Hongqiao is destined to be the new former French concession, Geneva has set up shop as the go-to neighborhood bar for an honest pint and a big plate of Western grub. They’re perhaps only a tad early on the not-yet blossoming scene.
The sister restaurant of Abbey Road, Geneva has the same solid formula of attractive surroundings, well-spoken service and oversized portions. Here the dishes are even more Swiss, with packed salads, rösti and schnitzel around every corner.
Set in a tastefully modernized villa, they’ve also transported Abbey Road’s alluring courtyard, complete with a heated gazebo for the winter months. We’re spoilt for choice between year-round outdoor tables, a ground floor conservatory and contemporary upstairs dining.
Food comes reasonably priced. We munched on a generously dressed bacon and rocket salad (RMB45) and sipped on a pint of Heineken (RMB45) whilst nodding agreeably at almost everything on the menu. Mains come in at RMB75-100 and offer a few selections for each key dish.
Keeping matters Swiss, we found our serverlat rösti of hash browns, bacon, sausage, cheese and egg (RMB80) and the cordon bleu pork shnitzel, stuffed with cheese and ham (RMB90), to be monstrously hearty, comfortably faithful and the best of the options.
Similarly hearty and best not ordered as a side unless you’ve a Friar Tuck-appetite is a Mexican chicken salad (RMB70). Slices of lightly spiced chicken breast, salad leaves, sweet corn and tomato in a choice of dressing, it’s an alpine mound of it’s own.
We’d no room for fondue, just another half-pint before embarking on the long journey back. We’re looking forward to when the streets around Hongqiao Zoo are a bustling night hot-spot. Here’s hoping Geneva can hold out until then.