New & Noted: Glam
What: A sophisticated, yet welcoming, dining lounge and bar from ‘M’ Restaurant Group
Where: 7/F, 5 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu. Tel: 6329 3751. Web: www.m-restaurantgroup.com
Why: For reasonable priced drinks and fare in an extravagant setting
Following the unexpected closure of Glamour Bar at the end of last year, entrepreneur, Michelle Garnaut of ‘M’ Restaurant Group, is back with a new concept. Formally the Crystal Room - M on the Bund’s private events space on the opposite side of the seventh floor to the famed M on the Bund terrace - Glam sits resplendent.
Although not at the front of the building, the venue still enjoys enviable views of the Bund and Lujiazui skyline, and nowhere more so than when sitting in the aptly named “Kissing Corner”, tucked in at the back of the lounge and directly in front of windows looking towards the Bund.
The interior design of the lounge was inspired by peacock plumage, and upon entry, you will come face to face with one such stuffed fowl. The peacock taxidermy sets the colour palette for the rest of the venue, which is also bedecked with intriguing works of art, many of which are from the owner’s personal collection.
We started our night at the bar and inspected the inspired cocktail list, which gives a nod to the classics but with a Glam twist; take the Sex On The Bund... Not Allowed (RMB 68), for example! We sipped on a Fellini Martini (RMB 88), which was indulgently made with Nutella, Frangelico and chocolate bitters, and enjoyed the warm atmosphere of our surroundings.
As we moved into the lounge for dinner, we noticed that the restaurant was filling out. Not bad for just one month of operations, word had already spread like wildfire, as Shanghai’s glitterati were out, in force, to test the location.
Dishes are made to be shared, familystyle, so the amount of plates that you order really depends on how many people you are dining with. There is also the option of choosing the “Feed Me Menu”, where the chef will pick a selection of dishes for you after asking your taste preferences; once again, the range and amount of food depends on how many people you are bringing to the table.
On our visit, we were able to try a wide variety of dishes starting with the veggie pakoras and sweet eggplant pickle (RMB 36), which were not too oily and had a tart finish thanks to the aubergine. The chilli salt crusted bean curd and black beans (RMB 38) were also a great starter and reflected Chinese palates in a mainly European inspired menu. Zongzi – stuffed grape leaves – with lamb, currants, rice and pine-nuts (RMB 36) were actually a favourite with our Chinese dining partners, and were well designed to appeal to local sensibilities. One of our favourite dishes of the night was the smoking salmon and salmon caviar in a seaweed fog (RMB 58), which came to the table in a fog of liquid nitrogen and had a showstopping taste to match. We were also impressed with the fresh, seasonal plate of oysters (priced at market rate). The Thai tah tah (RMB 68), with beef, pomelo, chilli, lemongrass, pickled green mango and the spiced pork wrapped in leaves, chilli jam (RMB 48), were both heavier dishes, with good quality meat, leaving us craving for the main courses.
The Angus Beef with Parisian butter (RMB 188) and duck dome pie, ginger glaze, five spice & shitake mushroom (RMB 108) were the showstoppers of the night with their homely and hearty flavour. We almost had to roll ourselves out of the establishment after picking our poisons from the folly trolley (RMB 42), which has a selection of rotating desserts, and the slurp soft serve ice cream (RMB 28), which can also be served with a shot of something strong (RMB 48) for the adventurous amongst us.
We were left with the opinion that drinks and a meal at this premium Bund-side location does not break the bank, and are actually incredible value for money. We will be back soon to sample some of their extensive selection of wine from the Enomatic wine dispensers.