137 Fuzhou Lu (???137?)
I’ve been to Hamilton House around 2-3 times for lunch, but never for dinner. It seems much more enjoyable in bright daylight, with it’s lofty ceilings, clean white decor and airy ambience. Usually pretty empty, save for a few tables with lunchtime diners, it makes for a nice quiet lunch sitting in the sunshine streaming in through the massive glass windows overlooking the busy street outside.
As part of Shanghai Restaurant Week, they were offering a 3-course menu for 150? (USD$22). It’s actually more expensive than their regular set lunches, but I noted that the quality of the ingredients was better with the 150? menu.
The ambience is chill and relaxed, but the service makes the restaurant fall a little flat. The staff were neither friendly or welcoming. When I arrived, no one was there and I ended up waving frantically to the lone waitress hidden in the back corner before she came out to seat me. Throughout the meal, the waitresses were all utterly unsmiling. Not even one tiny smile. Dressed in head-to-toe black, the waitresses looked like they were attending a funeral. They weren’t flat-out rude, but just so sullen and unfriendly that it was a bit of a downer to the meal. For a quality restaurant such as Hamilton House, we were expecting friendly, accommodating and professional service.
On a more positive note, the selection for the set menu was excellent – 3 choices each for entrees and mains, and 2 choices for dessert. I feel I need to call this out, as I heard some other restaurants were offering only ONE choice (can that even be called a “choice”?) for their set lunch. Impressively, the quality and presentation of the food really stood out. The portion sizes were small-to-average, so I left fairly filled up but not full.
The food was overall excellent, and the ambience and decor of the restaurant just lovely. Stepping up the quality of their service staff would make Hamilton House top-notch.
How beautiful and lofty is the interior?!
A long thin baguette
Fig and goats cheese tart – delicious (but thin) base, with a beautiful blend
of flavours. Slightly sweet, slightly tart, it was divine.
Tart flambee with snail bourdelaise – well, they certainly didn’t scrimp on the
snails! Dad liked it but it was all a little too scary for me 😉
Poached egg on toast with bacon, shallots, spinach and red wine butter –
the brioche-style toast got soggy really quickly, but this tasted good, despite
looking quite frightening with the red wine staining everything an odd shade of red.
Crispy duck confit with foie gras and pineapple – OUTSTANDING. Very moist
and tender, and I love the pineapple pairing. Foie gras was fantastic, but so
small I couldn’t really taste it.
Seafood ravioli with basil vinaigrette – the 2 giant ravioli amused us. Great
flavour but largely unidentifiable what was inside (mashed to a pulp)
Vanilla creme brulee – the best creme brulee I’ve ever had. Not too sugary,
perfectly smooth and creamy. Luscious. I’d come back for this alone!
Pistachio nougat parfait – looked very impressive but the taste didn’t suit
any of us. I probably would’ve preferred plain, creamier, pistachio nut infused ice cream
Tucking in 🙂