Angelina is an institutional French patisserie & café established over 100 years ago in Paris; the brand now has descendants all over the world. Their latest opening in the Shanghai Centre is a follow-up on their Lane Crawford boutique that opened earlier this year.
Like their other locations in France, Dubai, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere, this new shop has a fitting sophisticated air and serves fair plates of simple European dishes at lofty prices.
Delve deep into the restaurant menu (and your wallet) and the results are satisfactory. A white tuna Niçoise salad (RMB128) combines green beans, beetroot, tomatoes and house marinated tuna in a snappy lemon and extra virgin olive oil dressing.
Nicely finished and moreish are a petite quiche Lorraine (RMB88) and a rich portion of smoked salmon linguine with a Parmesan sauce (RMB138).
A main of steamed codfish (RMB208) summarizes the meal nicely -- it’s properly cooked and served on a bed of al dente vegetables and creamed potatoes. Yes, the dishes are all well prepared but a bit predictable.
Front and center of this glistening store are a row of delicious looking pastries. Angelina’s signature Mont Blanc (RMB68) -- a meringue base topped with a bouffant of “chestnut vermicelli” -- and a luxurious looking chocolate éclair (RMB68) both felt heavy and muted. Perhaps this is because they’re prepared in France, then frozen and air-lifted halfway around the world.
It’s surprising, because their original Paris boutique often has queues tailing out onto the street. Coupled with a weak latte (RMB50), signs indicate that there's still some room for improvement. Going to a pastry shop for dinner isn't the first notion on everyone’s lips, but with Angelina’s impeccable service and ritzy location, we can forgive the price tag a little.