When Le Royal Meridien, one of Shanghai’s most prominent five-star hotels, rolled out its red carpet and snipped the ceremonial ribbons, we got a taste of Allure, its flagship fine-dining French restaurant. Allure feels understated and compact in this massive hotel, but the decor suits the restaurant’s restrained methodology. Dishes here emphasize flavor over flair; Allure serves straightforward French food imbued with Mediterranean flavors. The menu is succinct and approachable, as is the all-French wine list (which could use a few more by-the-glass options). We tried a velvety white bean soup fragrant with truffle, and simple, seared sea scallops with a mushroom-laced beurre blanc. These delicious starters were followed by a tender lamb saddle, cooked to a perfect medium rare, with an eggplant mash topped with pinenuts, and a tender steak draped with foie gras. After petit fours and coffee in the adjoining lounge, we were both sated and pleasantly surprised by chef Michael Wendling’s take on French fine dining.