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Shanghai comparison: Mr & Mrs Bund, Franck, and Stiller's

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Shanghai comparison: Mr & Mrs Bund, Franck, and Stiller's

justtryit | Dec 2, 2010 07:44 AM

I've been looking for a Western restaurant with exemplary food to have a weeknight dinner at in January. Have a craving for Western flavors and techniques, so am straying away from places like JG that seem to use a fair amount of Asian flavors. If I had to specify between comforting (say Thomas Keller) vs. intellectual food (say David Kinch), I'd actually prefer more comforting food this time around. That said, if the kitchen is doing classic dishes, I'm looking for textbook versions or inspiring/whimsical twists on them (a la TK).

Date atmosphere is a plus, but less important than lustful food. Meaning we would like to linger over the food and not feel rushed.

Narrowed it down to these 3 after having read the board and other blogs, but can anyone compare each against each other? Other suggestions welcomed, but I am leaning towards Mr & Mrs Bund based on these impressions (de-bunk if wrong!)

Mr & Mrs Bund:
+ Classic dishes and combinations done with new-age technique and whimsy
+ Late hours should ensure relaxed meal pace
+ Seems to be the most unique of the three and least likely to find something comparable outside of Shanghai
- Menu seems absurdly large, but I can't find one in English to see just how "scattered" it really is. Generally I am scared of places that offer too much variety, for fear that they can't focus on doing anything expertly
- The least intimate atmosphere of the 3...seems a bit cavernous

Franck:
+ Classic French dishes
+ Most intimate atmosphere (but is the noise level "raucous"?)
- Not sure what the price point is here. Can anyone ballpark a total for 2-3 starters, 2 mains, and 2 desserts.
- If this really is aiming to be a classic French bistro, it will conjure many points of comparison...how good is it when removed from Asia, and stacked up against a good French bistro in the US, Montreal, etc. Scared that it's a "good bistro for Asia" rather than just a "good bistro".

Stiller's:
+ Most obvious display of newer culinary techniques
+ Seems to best offer the feeling of stumbling upon an up & coming restaurant and area
- Most expensive
- Flavors seem more "international" than I was initially searching for.
- Overall the cuisine and concept seem very commonplace among the upper level of dining these days. While it seems good, I don't feel compelled to spend my meal here if I can find comparable experiences elsewhere, unless the food really is one-of-a-kind

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