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La Poste could be the go-to neighbourhood restaurant that has perfect ambiance, killer service and tremendous food. If only it had tremendous food.

The restaurant is pristinely presented. Occupying one half of a spacious mansion conversion, it feels earthy-contemporary with pared back surfaces, high ceilings and dark wood everywhere. Handed a plate of warm, homemade rye bread by a well spoken waiter, we could be in the trendy quarter of any city in the world.

The menu doesn’t give away anything either. One sheet of paper with a handful of options for each course is just the way we like it. Vaguely modern-French, it looks to have the customarily satisfying collection of plants, meat and fish.

But here starts La Poste’s demise. From the one-too-many creamy cohorts in the salmon and avocado tartare (RMB78) to the confusing and conflicting combination of crab and fish and sausage in the crepinette (RMB78), there is a disconnect between overlapping flavors. It continues with a weak slab of pork belly (RMB170) alongside a piercing and dominating side of mushroom gratin (RMB45). More satisfying is a rarely offered trio of deliciously succulent swordfish fillets (RMB160). Shame they’re on a rich and too-salty leek fondue reduction.

Tucking into a frankly tremendous strawberry meringue (RMB50), we could almost put our disappointment down to expectation. With this inviting, low-lit, casual restaurant, we’re yearning for gastro alignment: bring the food down a notch or two on the try-hard fanciful scale.

With La Strada across the corridor and Wagas around every corner, perhaps the Wagas group have pushed a little too far in a bid to escape their current mainstream orbit.

  • La Poste
  • 021 6266-8789

  • 225 Xikang Lu [map]
  • 上海市西康路225号

  • French
  • ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
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