Building a restaurant around the notion of Chinese and Western cuisine is a bold statement. West Meets East struggles in living up to the self-prescribed hype of being the best of both worlds.
To follow through with the branding and chopsticks/cutlery table setting, we were expecting a well-executed juxtaposition of two distinct styles. It was strange, then, to see only Western dishes in the prominent "tapas" selection on the menu.
From the dozen or so options, West Meets East offers a choice of six (RMB88), eight (RMB108) or 10 (RMB128) choices as sets. Each is a couple of mouthfuls of recognizable Western staples and a fair stab at a reasonable price. Fish and chips, tomato and mozzarella, parma ham, shrimp cocktail, goose liver mousse, mini beef burger and smoked salmon all featured as individually petite mounds on a tidy plate.
There are no surprises, scoring more points for being model-like representations rather than tasty examples. We would’ve liked to see a similar selection of Chinese small bites to fully articulate the restaurant’s concept.
Elsewhere on the menu, the core dishes are fair without being on top of their game. From the Chinese camp, a signature trio of spicy barbecued lamb chops (RMB108) had a delicious tenderness and balanced mix of cumin-heavy spices. However, they are much smaller and not as good as the ones at Gu Yi.
A fillet of pan fried salmon (RMB118) was cooked just right, but at this price, there are larger and plumper offerings across town. By the time a mediocre bowl of diced string beans with pork (RMB48) arrived, we had made up our minds.
West Meets East, along a new promenade of big name restaurants, has a shot at the curious window shoppers. Right around the corner from Shanghai’s busiest shopping street, it might work for a certain demographic. We’ll keep it clear for them.
- West Meets East
- 021 3129-6030
- Unit L103, 688 Nanjing Xi Lu (near Chengdu Bei Lu) [map]
- 南京西路688号恒基688广场L103 (近成都北路)
- ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆