Paul Pairet’s Mr & Mrs Bund is one of the most buzzed about restaurants in Shanghai. After being in Shanghai scene for over 7 years, they renovated the restaurant last year and it’s was definitely a welcome update to the old red and green scheme. With over 200 offerings on the menu, it’s definitely overwhelming to order. Not everything is a hit, but there are some standout dishes. This post basically summarizes three different meals that I had.
My mother and I love foie gras and can’t resist it when it’s on the menu. She ordered the foie gras mousse and I ordered the seared foie gras with pomelo. Out of the two foie gras dishes, I actually enjoyed the foie gras mousse more. Nothing was wrong with my plump and rich seared foie gras. It was cooked perfectly with a nice caramelization and the citrus from the pomelo helped cut the fattiness. But the foie gras mousse was unique and definitely a highlight. The mousse is cold and smooth and topped with a raisin and hazelnut crumble. You mix everything together and I really loved the contrast of the crunchy granola with the creamy foie gras. It’s very easy to slather it all over the bread and granny smith apple slices.
For our mains, I ordered the black cod truffle new meurniere and my mother ordered the pork chop. The pork chop was disappointing and wouldn’t need to be ordered again. While it was tender, it was really lacking flavor and needed some salt and pepper. We weren’t huge fans of the caper sauce that accompanied it. While the pork was meh, the black cod was mind-blowing. The fish is flaky and cooked perfectly on top of Paul Pairet’s delicious mashed potatoes (full of butter). What makes the dish is the sauce. The creamy truffle sauce came on the side and it’s fragrant without being overwhelming. The extra sauce came in handy to pour over the tasteless pork chop.
On another visit to Mr & Mrs Bund, I tried the tasting menu featuring Paul Pairet’s classics. Included on the menu is: arugula truffle salad, meurniere truffle bread, jumbo shrimp in citrus jar, black cod in the bag, long short rib teriyaki, mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach, lemon and lemon tart, and mango liquorice sable. I really liked the meurniere truffle bread, partly because I’ve never seen a dish like it. A thick slice of toast is soaked on one side with meurniere sauce and then topped with truffles and truffle foam. Your mouth is hit with a bunch of different textures: crunchy from the toast, softness from the sauce-soaked bread and then tickling bubbles from the foam. I’d really recommend this dish because I literally don’t know anywhere else where you could order anything remotely comparable. I also fell in love with the jumbo shrimp in citrus jar. Presented in a beautiful mason jar with citrus, lemongrass and vanilla. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this dish is. While it comes with sauce, it doesn’t need it. The shrimp is cooked absolutely perfect and the flavor is so delicate. You can taste the orange and lemongrass but it’s very subtle. It leaves plenty of room in your palate to really appreciate the natural sweetness of the shrimp. I think this is where Paul Pairet really shines. His unique cooking techniques really lends to inventive dishes.
Overall, I liked all the dishes on the tasting menu, but I was disappointed in the short rib. The beef comes out and it literally looks like a dinosaur bone. This is one of the “star” dishes and you’ll see lots of tables ordering and snapping photos. While there was plenty of marbling in the meat, I was perplexed by how tough it was. Short rib should be falling apart and melting in my mouth. How is this meat so tough after being cooked for 12 hours? Between the tasteless pork and the tough short rib, I’ve come to the general consensus that I don’t care for the meat dishes at Mr & Mrs Bund. However, the seafood dishes blow me away and I think it’s safer to order those.
Brunch is a great option for Mr & Mrs Bund. While the menu is smaller (no cod truffle meurniere), there’s still a wide assortment and a slightly lower price point. The French toast came highly recommended and it comes out with a beautiful brulee sugar crust. You could literally hit your spoon against the bread and crack it like a creme brulee. I like that part but felt that the actual batter that it’s soaked in didn’t have enough flavor. I think the French toast at Jean Georges is better (but you won’t find that beautiful sugar crust). I was lured with the promise of foie gras in my chicken vol-au-vent and I couldn’t pass trying it. A golden, buttery puff pastry is filled with a stew of chicken, asparagus, mushrooms and foie gras. The filling was rich and quite delicious but the puff pastry failed to impress.
I kid you not. It is worth dining at Mr & Mrs Bund just to try his famous lemon and lemon tart dessert. It is that good. This beautiful dessert takes 3 days to make. A hollowed out lemon is candied, creating a paper thin rind. It is then filled with cream, lemon sorbet, orange and grapefruit pieces and lemon curd. Everything, including, the rind is edible. It’s a fantastic combination of sour, sweet and creamy. While it may sound selfish, I recommend ordering one for every diner. After sampling his other desserts like the mango liquorice sable and strawberry trifle, they pale in comparison and you’re worth saving your calories for the lemon dessert.
Mr & Mrs Bund is an iconic restaurant in Shanghai and definitely not to be missed. Try not to get too overwhelmed by all the choices and just make sure to save room for the lemon dessert!