Shanghai Restaurant Review: Crafted by Bistro Burger

By Betty Richardson, July 17, 2017

1 0

The Place

Nestled in a newly opened complex on Hengshan Lu, Crafted is a casual mid-range restaurant brought to us by the very same folks responsible for Bistro Burger, which enjoys a rightful reputation for having some of the heftiest hanbaos and milkshakes in town. 

Keen to step out of the burger box, Crafted offers three specialties: seafood, ribs and burgers. Ok, they’re not that keen on stepping out of the box. 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-16.jpg

The Food

We love the shakes over at Bistro Burger, and fellow fans will notice several favorites from the menu available at Crafted. Like Bistro Burger’s, they’re really well made, bolstered with imported Australian ice cream and topped whipped cream. 

Despite being the same price, they’re also considerably smaller, owing to the fact that the tall sundae glasses have been swapped for half-filled trendy copper mugs. 

Crafted by Bistro Burger

Is that really necessary? The types of people who order 'Oreo Mudslide' shakes with crumbled cookies, chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream (read: us) probably aren't preoccupied with keeping up hipster appearances. 

‘Cocktail milk shakes’ (all RMB50) are smaller still, gussied up into long-stemmed steel cups. Taste-wise we couldn’t fault the refreshing and thick chocolate, mint and Bailey’s shake, which outshone the comparatively sweet Frangelico and chocolate number.

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-3.jpg

Taking a hint from Crafted’s tagline, we scan the menu for a burger (there are two); ‘Double Cheese Bacon Burger’ (RMB88) was decent but nothing to write home. Again, a contrast to the generous and great value burgers at Bistro Burger. 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-13.jpg

Ribs (RMB88/158) prove another Achilles’ heel for Crafted. On our first visit they are dry and under-seasoned, with a haggard appearance and congealed fattiness that made us suspect they had been cooked sometime last century. We also regretted forking out an extra RMB10 for a 'pineapple salad' that transpired to be a distressed clump of leaves with two chunks of fruit in it. 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-14.jpg

On visit two the flavor had improved dramatically, though the portion size had reduced to mini proportions (fork for scale) Seriously, these ribs put the ‘baby’ in baby back. 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-2.jpg

Luckily, Crafted has a secret weapon in its arsenal: lobster mac ‘n’ cheese (RMB158). 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-15.jpg

Lackluster the first occasion we order this, by the second time it was clear that they’d gotten the hang of it, namely by smothering huge amounts of cheese on top (has that ever not worked?) Although the lobster meat was tough as an old shoe, the flavor of the cheese sauce and still-al dente pasta shells were really delicious. 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant-6.jpg

Further shoe-like textures made an appearance in the pork belly sandwich (RMB78). The pork itself was tender and juicy, it seemed to be begging for freedom from its oppressive flat bread prison. 

Crafted-by-bistro-burger-shanghai-restaurant.jpg

Food Verdict: 1.5/3 

The Vibe

Crafted has a lot of work to do if it is to entice fans of Bistro Burger to visit for what is essentially more money, smaller milkshakes and less selection of burgers.

However, the restaurant does have an extremely pleasant rooftop terrace going for it, though our waitress refused to let us sit on it during our second visit, citing "hot weather" and "too few customers" to make climbing the short staircase an agreeable task for her. Nevertheless, other wait staff are cordial and friendly. 

Vibe Verdict: 1/2

Total Verdict: 2.5/5

Price: RMB200-250 per person

Who’s going: mainly locals

Good for: casual dining, al fresco, family friendly


See a listing for Crafted by Bistro Burger

Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews

more news

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Sushi Taro Ten

Reserved and refined high-budget sushi export from Fukuoka.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Okaeri

A buzzing atmosphere and great value Taiwanese comfort food.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Oh.My.Burger!

High on concept, but low on flavor.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Diner

The new home of judgement-free indulgence in Shanghai.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Heat French Rotisserie

It's got plenty of (chicken) meat, but does it bring the heat?

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Where? Supperclub

Can Where? Supperclub become The Nest of Xuhui?

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Sober Kitchen

Boon and bust on Sober Company's second floor.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Ostra

When bad food happens to nice restaurants.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.