The buzz: An Italian restaurant and wine bar occupying the outdoor terrace area of the (still relatively) new Yueda 889 shopping mall in the Caojiadu area where Wanhangdu Lu meets Changshou Lu and Kangding Lu. It’s a 10 minute walk from the little crop of restaurants further east on Kangding (Legend Taste, Chiang Mai, Pomodoro), and a hop away from the Finest Foods import goods store.
The décor: The terrace is great, but the view onto busy Wanhangdu Lu ain’t the prettiest. The way things are laid out means that hapless pedestrians tend to wander between the rows of tables thinking it’s a through-route. This means that you’ll spend your meal looking on anxiously, wondering when the waiter will put them right. Inside it’s polished wood panels, floor-to-ceiling windows, trendy ornaments: minimalist Italian.
The food: When we saw the menu, we were surprised. For a mall restaurant on the borders of Putuo District, charging around the 70 RMB mark for an appetizer, and up to 500 for a main seems steep. We also wondered why a caprese salad of basil, tomato and mozzarella cost 98 RMB while a Wagyu carpaccio u beef was 73 RMB. However, the aforementioned beef was delicious. The grilled mixed vegetable plate was a neatly arranged selection of well cooked capsicum, mushroom, carrot, and zucchini, with a side of sweet onion chutney.
As for the mains, both the gnocchi and the amatriciana pasta were tasty enough, but should have carried a 30 – 40 price tag instead of 65 – 90. The table bread selection was novel, and the waiter extremely friendly, but we fear that Fratelli has pitched things too high.
The drinks: We would definitely come back for the wine, and a wine bar in this area is definitely a valuable addition. There’s a huge selection of cab savs, merlots, sparkling and still, for slightly cheaper than you find downtown. There is also a selection of cocktails and virgin cocktails which makes a nice change if you don’t fancy boozing.
Why you’ll be back: With so many fantastic restaurants opening around town lately, Fratelli might just struggle. It’s not cheap enough to be a neighbourhood regular, but who knows - it may become a surprise hit with the residents of the surrounding compounds.
Find it: 1/F, Yueda 889 Plaza, 889 Wanhangdu Lu, near Kangding Lu, Jing’an. 3252 7911. Around 200 RMB per person with a drink.