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Nestled in a lane behind Shanghai’s most notorious bar strip, Bonne Café is a relaxed, welcoming spot serving fresh Italian bites.

Open day and night, it manages (where many don’t) to be both a café and restaurant without feeling too much of either. Their one-page menu offers pizzas, pastas and a few other Western dishes thrown in for good measure.

We started with a vaguely fritto misto appetizer plate of fried mozzarella, squid rings, chicken wings and shrimp (RMB78). It was dry and greasy and terrible and almost threw the evening out the window. Fortunately a delicious bowl of fusilli with prosciutto, mushrooms and mascarpone cheese (RMB55) followed straight after. The spirals of pasta were not quite al dente but a creamy sauce and slices of smoked meat combine to become mouthfuls of indulgence. Curiously, this dish came without an offering of Parmesan or black pepper but instead contained slices of fiery chilli to add a kick. We were torn on opinion; perhaps the owners saw a need to localize.

Bonne Café’s pizzas are no wood-fired brick oven affair but well created and nicely loaded. Their star pie, topped with smoked salmon, rocket and mascarpone (RMB108), is adequately thin and light yet feature-packed from crust to crust. It won’t be winning any awards but feels reasonable at this price.

As if the cute dining room is not relaxed enough, we moved to their secluded rear patio for a bowl of superbly smooth mango panna cotta (RMB18) and another glass of house white (RMB45). Bonne Café is a worthy addition to the list of go-to places when wandering Jing’an looking for nothing more than a good meal.

  • Bonne Cafe
  • 021 6224-1255

  • 74 Nanyang Lu [map]
  • 上海市南阳路74号

  • Italian
  • ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
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