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Nestled on one of Shanghai’s most cherished streets, The Up on Fuxing Zhong Lu is blessed with the same great location once occupied by Samfaina. The Up occupies a modern and spacious loft floor complete with open fire, oyster counter and roof terrace, reminiscent of the now-defunct Avalon.

The menu's blend of modern Western cuisine is rich with exotic seafood and imported meats. The super king crab leg salad (RMB130) is tasty with avocado, pepper, tomato, pistachio and rocket, but daubed too heavy in rich dressing.

The same applies to The Up's beef Carpaccio (RMB130), which is light on beef and Parmesan shavings, and overloaded with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

A four formaggi pizza (RMB160) has an overcooked base only sparsely topped with mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parma ham, tomato and mushroom. At this price, we expect something far more inspiring, and perhaps also containing four cheeses as advertised.

Mains take expense to an elevated level. A swathe of silver cod with lemon, garlic and chives (RMB330) is buttery and tasty, but the high price gets in the way of full enjoyment.

The grain-fed Angus beef sirloin steak (RMB380 for 450g) has eye appeal, but the chewy and gristly mouthfeel is akin to a cut of meat half its price. Adding a couple of sides to accompany the mains -- potato gratin (RMB60) and creamed spinach (RMB60) -- pushes the meal to over RMB500 per head.

If this were to be the handiwork of a renowned chef or the flagship restaurant of a boutique hotel on The Bund, it might be bustling on a Friday evening. The Up has all the makings of a deluxe experience, but in the end, it falls just just short of delivering the whole package.

  • The Up
  • 021 6346-1775

  • 532 Fuxing Zhong Lu (near Sinan Lu) [map]
  • 复兴中路532号(近思南路)

  • Italian
  • ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
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