Former French settlement Shanghai abounds with fab wining and dining options, though quality mid-range Gallic establishments in the capital city can be rather thin on the ground, until now that is... Enter French-run bistro Le Grenadier – a secret we’re rather loathe to part with – nestled down a dark graffitied alley of the Dianmen hutong, in a diminutive white-walled room of heavy oriental furniture and black and white photography. The order of the day is classic French fare using locally sourced ingredients, presented with an elegant eye and topped off with a modest, and welcome, price tag.
The fillet steak alone (plated with a twirl of creamy mash) makes Le Grenadier worth the jaunt, while the rest of the menu is a snappy three pages including small delights like seared foie gras and boozy apple; salmon with a housemade salsa; and a squid and shellfish rice in a luxuriant tomato bisque. Rounding out the lineup in classic Gallic style are simple but elegant puds like crème caramel, chocolate mousse, and panna cotta topped with a pomegranate jelly and seeds plucked from a tree in the courtyard. The wine list, too, is brief but includes a lovely (and reasonably priced) house Merlot. And it wouldn’t be a truly French experience without a dose of culture, so look out for future events including photography displays and arthouse film screenings, mais oui!
7 Youqizuo Hutong / Xicheng / +86 10 8408 4602 / 11.30am-8.30pm Thu-Tue