With the summer heat at its height, many of us are on the lookout for new lazy day relaxed dining and drinking destinations so we can spend time with friends and family. Stylish interiors that take full advantage of panoramic views, plus decent food and wine are top of the search criteria.
Saturday brunch at Acqua in the Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai offers all of this, and at a most economic price; RMB298 gets you all-you-can-eat starters, an egg dish and a main, while you can add RMB100 for five hours (that's right, five hours!) of free-flow on sparkling, red and white wine and bottled water.
We were seriously impressed with the quality of presentation and taste of the starters (did we mention they are unlimited?), in particular the Beef Carpaccio with Parmesan and the superb ham in the Parma Ham and Melon Salad.
A deceptively enormous amount of preparation goes into the Vitello Tonnato; the veal is slow cooked for three hours before being served with a tuna sauce. Antiopasto Misto Italiano is a simple platter of some of Italy’s famous cheeses and charcuterie and our hungry table took full advantage and ordered several plates – even beyond dessert – as we lingered to enjoy the free-flow wine.
You can chose one egg dish, and all of them are well prepared, presented, tasty and filling, including the Gratin Pasta Frittata with Bolognaise Sauce, Fried Egg with Asparagus and Onion Bread Crumb and Florence Poached Eggs with Spinach and Pecorino Cheese.
Mains and deserts change on the menu every two weeks; although there is always a pasta dish, pizza, risotto, daily roast and the catch of the day.
For those of who like desserts one is offered to diners, but not listed – on our visit it was ice cream with pistachio and thyme roasted pears.
Acqua is a fantastic place to while away a Saturday eating delicious Italian food… with a Sunday to recover if you overindulge in the ample pourings of wine. And it is perfect for families with little people's favorites pasta and pizza satiating fussy appetites.
Saturdays, 11am-5pm; RMB298 for food, add RMB100 for five hours of free-flow. See a listing for Acqua.
[Photos by Khaled Milad]