I remember the first time I went to Mr & Mrs Bund like it was yesterday.
It was the beginning of my introduction to Shanghai’s highest echelon of dining establishments—everything was new to me and everything wowed. So when it came to trying the most lauded restaurant on the Bund, the build up had me in a tizzy. Let’s just say it was love at first bite and the relationship has only intensified with each return visit.
Mr & Mrs Bund commands a 250-dish strong menu, of which a large part is classics and signatures, the backbone of the restaurant’s identity.
Despite the cavernous space, dinner service is a well-oiled machine. For 10 years, it’s been consistently packed with tables turning at least three times a night. The staff are acclimatized to the busy nature of the huge dining room, and are choreographed and well trained.
Who is to thank for MMB? It’s by Paul Pairet, the mad genius/chef/founder behind Ultraviolet, the world-famous 10-seater multi-sensory restaurant; accolades of being No. 24 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, No. 8 in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and a 3-star Michelin restaurant. He also has Polux coming up in March 2019.
MMB is not fine dining, it’s accessible for people who just want to have great food without having to worry about which fork to pick up.
So, here’s the short and skinny: Go for dinner, but also go for brunch.
FoodPorn Ahead: Brunch at Mr & Mrs Bund
Brunch has a la carte as well as sets. Brunch sets start at ¥250 per person (minimum 2 people) and goes to ¥780 per person. 10% service charge applies.
All meals at MMB start with this glorious breadbasket.
Egg & Tripes “Piquante” (¥75) is one of my all time brunch favorites. Tripe is not common at Western restaurants in Shanghai, and the flavor here is marvelous. It has a deep, rich sauce of tomatoes and capers that goes long.
Of course, they have the classic brunch dish: Egg Benedicte (¥75). Poeached egg on a toasted bun, proscuitto crudo and Paris white ham, drizzled over with Bearnaise.
Pig’s Trotter Bearnaise “Champs Elysees” (¥180) is an unusual dish for brunch. While I can appreciate the butter-overload and the fat-rendered pork trotter, it’s not necessarily a dish I’ll reorder.
The accompanying French fries (¥60) steals the show: these fries are fucking amazing. Crisped exterior and an almost liquefied filling of potato, made possible through a multi-day process of soaking potatoes, blanching, and other layers of technique that emphasizes the how meticulous Pairet is.
The Meunière Truffle Bread (¥120) is a signature Paul Pairet dish. One side of the bread is toasted to a point where it’s almost over charred. On top is light meunière (mainly brown butter) and delicately arranged shaved truffle. A smaller version of this is also on the menu at Ultraviolet.
Le Beau Chicken Vol Au Vent (¥180)—a quintessential French dish. Light puff pastry, and chicken, foie gras, and mushroom fricassee in buttery vin jaune.
Looking for a side dish? Order the Mushrooms Essential Garlic (¥60). These will be the best mushrooms you’ve ever tasted. (I was hesitant in ordering these before, and after a recommendation, I can’t get enough of them.)
How About Dessert?
The Real French Toast (¥80) is famous for a reason. Soaked through for hours in a mixture of egg, milk, cream, and vanilla, the bread is then pan-fried with butter, caramelizing the exterior.
As famous is the Lemon & Lemon Tart (¥110). Such a classy dessert. Don’t leave Shanghai without trying this one.
“The floating island” is a fiercely loved French dessert. All my French friends go gaga every time they see it on a menu. I’m usually not a fan of dessert, and the Ile Flottante is traditionally sweeter than I’d prefer, also, not a big fan of soft meringue.
But I really have to admire the artistry in this contemporary rendition of the classic dessert. The “island” (soft meringue) is instead inverted, and encases a delicious center of caramel. The caramel is unforgettable. If I could bottle it up, I’d carry back a liter and have it over my breakfast croissant every day.
Dining at this establishment can get pricey, but I usually close one eye and order my favorites, because of the quality I know I’m getting. Order wisely and spend around ¥250, or splurge.
I eat at MMB at least twice a year. Honestly, if there were enough occasions, I’d eat there more often. If you couldn’t tell, I like this restaurant, a lot.
Go. Eat. Now. I implore you.
Mr & Mrs Bund
Address: 6/F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu 中山东一路18号6楼，近南京东路
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am to 2:30pm