Date Night at Shanghai Slim’s
Ok Mamas, this date night isn’t for the faint-hearted, or, for that matter, for dainty eaters. Sure, there are some pretty nice salads on offer, but this is a place to not just make your man happy, but to feed your own inner-man-appetite (we know you have one)! We’re talking ‘well done’ aged steaks, premium Canadian lobsters and the perfect side dishes to go with them. There is also a dedicated bakery for desserts! It’s an upmarket steak house without the hefty price tag and a cosy atmosphere in-and-outside to boot.
The Restaurant and Environment
With an ideal location in Sinan Mansions, the surroundings are full of character, as is Dan Brady, the co-owner who greets you as you arrive. On a rainy day, walking into the restaurant was cosy and inviting, it’s masculine dark wood interior suiting the tone of the food to come. Spread over three floors, the restaurant has a private function area on the third floor, an open chef’s kitchen (where 10 to 14 person Chef’s Dinners can be held) on the second. The main dining area downstairs has linen tablecloths and cosy booths, setting a perfect atmosphere for a date night. A cobblestoned terrace at the back accommodates large crowds and even has a projector for presentations and corporate functions. The overall ambience suits any crowd from small groups of friends that appreciate great food and wine, to date night couples, to the solo traveller wanting to meet a few locals and have a yarn. The warm and friendly hospitality here is so welcoming it caters to all, hosting pre-sporting events, children’s birthday parties or corporate functions all in or outdoors.
The menu is modern American, with its proclaimed staples ‘Steak, Lobster and Seafood’ featuring prominently. Whilst we were talked through the menu, Dan asked for our favourite wines and we opted for a red Pinot Noir specifically that night. Tom, the sommelier brought over a gorgeous Californian, Castle Rock (2004) (438RMB a bottle), which was so good I took the details down. It was just the right thing to start to relax after wading through the rain, and with which to anticipate a hearty steak dinner. A fan of Lobster Bisque (78 RMB), I eyed this longingly but was swayed by Dan’s insistence that the Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese (98RMB) was “‘to die for”. We were not disappointed, and its strong flavor certainly came through with a few pieces of lobster dispersed throughout. It was a hearty but wholesome and comforting dish that had just the right touch of luxury for a date. Given the large portions we saw arriving at other tables, we opted to share the Surf ‘n’ Turf (548 RMB) which gave us the opportunity to try both lobster and steak. The 8oz Filet Mignon (‘Turf’) was certainly appreciated by my husband and I found my lobster craving easily satisfied with the whole lobster I got on the ‘Surf’. The dish came with truffled mash potatoes, whose flavour came out straightaway (there was no stinging) and we had the Sauteed Mushrooms with thyme (48 RMB) as a side, very tasty. We finished with the Mascarpone Cheesecake with a blueberry compote (55 RMB), freshly baked on the premises and done in classic form – the perfect end to an all-American meal.
The restaurant is certainly recommended for an informal yet intimate date night with good quality food and wine, and there is enough to choose from to suit any palate. Meat-eating fans should opt for the selection of Slim’s 14-day dry-aged Prime Rib-Eye steaks ranging from the Filet Mignon (8oz with bacon wrapped around- 268RMB) to the ‘Cowboy’ (24oz with bone-in- 598 RMB). There are also classic salads such as a Cobb, Caesar, Arugula or Waldorf (58 to 78 RMB), pastas and risottos, and lighter dishes such as the popular Icelandic Cod with Truffle Sauce or Norwegian Salmon with orange-mustard sauce (198 RMB each). The wine selection is impressive, with a sommelier also on hand, and there are also cocktails with a full bar offering. Your man will be exceedingly happy here, as was mine (especially after being offered a tequila shot to top off the night!). Starting (or ending!) a Margarita outside on their terrace is ideal.
Top Table and Tips
Outdoors on the terrace would be gorgeous in warmer months whether you are a couple, or a group of people. If the weather isn’t great, indoors is cosy, especially if you sit in one of the side booths for date night. If you plan to entertain in a mid-sized group (10 to 14 people), request for the Chef’s Table at the open kitchen as it creates an intimate yet convivial atmosphere, like being in someone’s house. If you plan to host more people or have a party (for children or otherwise), the function room or terrace/restaurant can hold a hundred people.
Address: Sinan Mansions, Block 26D, 523 Fuxing Lu, near Sinan Lu Opening Hours: Daily, 11am-10:30pm Telephone: 64260171