No. 22-23 North Block Xintiandi
181 Taicang Road
Chris wanted to go on a nice date over the weekend.. we hadn’t had some quality date-time for a few weeks, with all the frantic moving and settling in and all. We were soooo looking forward to it that we actually couldn’t wait any longer and rocked up 30mins early, heh! The restaurant of choice was Lawry’s The Prime Rib – if you haven’t heard of it, then you’ve been living under a rock 😛 It’s been ages since I last went, so was beyond eager for a quality, carnivorous meal.
Decked out in plush deep red sofas and dark wood, the Lawry’s The Prime Rib is very film noir. The waitresses outfitted in English maid uniforms are an adorable site and the service was impeccable through the night – extremely attentive and accomodating. We were delighted that they both remembered and accomodated our request for a “nice seat”, placing us right by the window overlooking the lights of Xintiandi.
We kicked off with a shared Lobster Bisque. We ordered one, thinking we could share it, but the waitress thoughtfully asked if we’d like it served in 2 bowls. How impressive and customer-friendly to think of and suggest that option! The bisque was served in 2 shallow dishes, each with a plump chunk of lobster sitting in the middle and a drizzle of cream and sprinkle of chives on top. It was delicious. I’m normally a little hesitant of lobster bisque because it tends to be overly salted, but this one was just on the borderline. It packed a punch of lobster flavour and the lobster itself was juicy and tender. It was perfectly paired with their complimentary sliced French baguette – slathered with butter and dunked into the creamy bisque. Oooh la la!
Then came their signature Spinning Salad, which was proudly introduced when the waitress pushed over the trolley with a huge bowl of ice on it, and a large metal bowl sitting atop. With one flick of her wrist, the metal bowl spun on the ice, as she poured a stream of salad dressing over the spinning salad. A bit of a novelty, and quite cute to watch. I don’t normally like eating salad alone, so would have preferred if they’d asked if I wanted it served alongside my main meal. However, it was delicious and I did eat it alone, yet enjoyed it. The dressing wasn’t too overpowering and the salad itself was incredibly fresh.
I opted for the Pan-fried Salmon with Mandarin butter sauce and asparagus as my main. Yes I know it’s a prime rib place, but we wanted to go 50/50 each and decided salmon would off-set the heaviness of the prime rib. The salmon was a generous portion, lightly pan-fried and sitting in a bed of mandarin-butter sauce. I would have preferred the salmon to be a little more on the rare side (it was well-cooked) but despite that, it was still smooth and creamy and soft. The small slices of sweet mandarin were a refreshing change to the creamy saltiness of the fish and butter sauce. Delightful!
And of course, the Roast Prime Rib of Beef – The Lawry Cut. The carver wheeled his MASSIVE metal cart over, opening it to reveal massive chunks of prime rib. He deftly carved off a thick 2-inch slice before laying it carefully on the plate. The beef was just sublime. It’s a no brainer why Lawry’s is famous for their prime rib – it honestly is the best. Absolutely tender (they don’t even serve it with a steak knife), the flavour is so rich and delightful that it’s easy to eat the whole thing in a jiffy 😉 I would have preferred a small pouring pot of extra gravy, as it quickly soaked in and our last few bites were of just the beef with no gravy.
The potato mash that was served on the side was not much to write home about. It was nice, but average. I was expecting an ultra-creamy, buttery, whipped potato mash, so was a little disappointed when it didn’t have much flavour at all. We also ordered a side of Shitake, oyster and button mushrooms sauteed in butter, garlic and fresh herbs, which was also average. Lovely, sizzling hot mushrooms, but they tasted of just plain mushrooms and oil…. barely a garlic flavour and not a shred of ‘fresh herbs’ was detected on it. I’ve eaten amazing mushrooms that pack a flavour punch and this would have been a spectacular dish if it had just that extra bit of *oomph*!
We obviously just had to have dessert too 😉 It was an easy choice, the Warm chocolate fantasy cake. I’d actually expected it to be a round mound of chocolate cake with a molten centre.. but it was a slice (obviously cut from a large chocolate cake) that was warmed so that the chocolate icing outside and in the middle melted. It was odd, because it looked cheap, instead of a carefully crafted stand-alone chocolate cake. It tasted amazing though, beautifully rich flavours and a creamy vanilla ice cream on the side. It was surprisingly tiny, just a sliver of a slice – which kind of shocked me, other restaurants serve slices twice as large as this.
The most exciting part of the night was when Chris popped off to the loo and in there was a guy. He turned to Chris and said “I noticed your date taking photos of the food….” and Chris explained that I took photos for my food blog, yadda yadda. The guy was all interested and turns out HE WAS THE OWNER OF 7 LAWRY’S RESTAURANTS AROUND ASIA – including this one! How coincidental is that?! Boy, what I would do to be in his shoes…. eating like that every night 😉 Some people have all the luck!
I do wish Lawry’s was a little more affordable, as we had an amazing date.. just sitting in the candlelight talking to each other and enjoying each other’s company. No one knows and understands me better than Chris does, and no one makes me laugh like he does. Sometimes, nothing beats taking some time out of a busy schedule, indulging in a wonderful meal, and being totally wrapped up in love. Ahhh bliss! 🙂
Lawry’s The Prime Rib
Going up the stairs to the restaurant on the 2nd floor (their bar is on the 3rd floor)
The luxe interior
Lawry’s history, printed on the menu
Waiting patiently for the food
Delicious warmed French baguette. Would love it with some garlic herb butter!
Lobster Bisque (75? / US$11)
The signature Spinning Salad
A simple garden salad, but with a special salad dressing
Pan-fried Salmon with Mandarin butter sauce and asparagus (295? / US$43)
Carving up the prime rib
Roast Prime Rib of Beef – The Lawry Cut (460? / US$67 !!!!)
Freshly baked Yorkshire Pudding. Desperately needing a big pot of gravy to dunk into 😉
Shitake, oyster and button mushrooms sauteed in butter, garlic and fresh herbs (48? / US$7)
Warm chocolate fantasy cake (65? / US$10)