Contributed by: alexisgw
There's a hidden café on Kangping Lu, a quiet street that separates the former French Concession from Xujiahui. Upon entry, it morphs into a small Victorian house that remains mostly untouched by time. Seemingly quaint with an abundance of fresh flowers and old photographs on the walls, Le Petit Jardin quickly loses its old-time charm when spotty service made us take a closer look.
After clumsily navigating through four separate menus, we opted for their signature salad (RMB48), a healthy serving of greens, hardboiled eggs, tomatoes and olives. Unfortunately, the red peppers, zucchini and onions were nowhere to be found, and our request for balsamic dressing was ignored.
Equally disappointing was the ham and mushroom risotto (RMB55), which turned out to be a plate of plain rice topped with melted Parmesan cheese. Our other entrée, the so-called Mediterranean braised sea bass with arugula (RMB128), was another letdown. Accompanied with tomatoes and olives (the only Mediterranean elements of the dish), the sea bass tasted more like some freshwater fish instead.
With most diners enjoying coffees and desserts, we decided to give the chocolate pudding cake (RMB35) a try. It turned out to be an over-baked lava cake, with a slightly dry body and thick center. Though this café was crowded at all times, we couldn’t see much appeal beyond its antique décor and laid-back ambiance.
After a substandard meal here, we’ll have to find another place for a quick bite on our next visit to this beautiful neighborhood.
What: La Petit Jardin
Where: 220 Kangping Lu (near Tianping Lu) 康平220号 (近天平路)
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