PEr FYI

April 6, 2014

Bocca, Shanghai… all about the view NOT the food nor service.

From high-end Bocca, the awe-inspiring skyline views of the Bund twinkle in the darkness. Getting the positives out of the way, I will admit if you have to eat at a fake Italian restaurant, Bocca does a good a job as any in making you feel welcome and comfortable. The tables and chairs are big, spacious, well-appointed. Dark wood gives everything an old-world feel, and the place settings and stemware are also a notch or three above other similar restaurants.

Bocca is very overpriced for the quality of food served. The food here was okay, but nothing great. Was expecting some Italian goodness. Not to be found. From the double smoked Scottish salmon with grappa marinated salmon roe, horseradish cream, asparagus and cucumber sauce to the beef carpaccio arrostito – handcut Australian grass fed roastbeef with mixed herbs oil sauce and micro rocket seeding, they were the same….mediocre at best. The seared diver scallop with porcini mushroom, Italian bacon and cranberry saffron potato and broccoli was very salty and there was no mussels in the home made thin noodles with clams and mussels, smoked with applewood.

The service by distracted, inattentive, inept or unfriendly waitrons was very much a mess. The incompetent waiter couldn’t even suggest desserts for though we asked for recommendations. When we wanted more water, the waiter simply told us “the bottle you ordered is empty already.” Seriously?

I highly recommend Bocca to those who want to eat Italian food the way it will taste when they are 90 years old, at death’s door, and being spoon fed by a minimum-wage orderly who also changes their diaper. Bocca is all about the view NOT the food nor service. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 16, 2010

Shanghai sideways…Shanghai Sean Connery style

Shanghai by vintage motorcycle sidecar. This is truly a unique way of touring around the city. It’s actually quite comfortable, with plenty of leg room and it’s really a lot less life-threatening than Sean Connery made it look in that movie “Indiana Jones and the Last crusade”.

Sitting in that sidecar, there’s nothing between you and Shanghai’s uninhibited, gritty, and wildly-contrasting sights, neighborhoods in both Pudong and Puxi and the Bund. Nothing, not even the cold could stop us from hopping onto the back of a stranger’s motorbike and speeding down Shanghai’s suburban roads, the wind in our hair. We were in search of adventure and Shanghai Sideways delivered. After all, there’s nothing like the sensation of the cold wind hitting your face and the hot rumble of a motorbike beneath you to get the adrenaline pumping. That’s the true truth as I say it as it is.

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