Simply Sophisticated at Mr & Mrs Bund, Shanghai

Simply Sophisticated at Mr & Mrs Bund, Shanghai

“Creative, playful, and updating the social concept of food, Chef Paul Pairet is reinventing French cuisine at his casual-yet-classy gastronomic playground, Mr & Mrs Bund.”

The Lowdown

Clustered with gourmands and oenophiles, bon vivants and night owls, Mr & Mrs Bund has established itself as the casual yet upmarket restaurant-come-hangout-spot to wine, dine and loosen your tie. Located in the heart of Shanghai’s historical, tourist enclave, Mr & Mrs Bund is a modern French eatery created and mastered by Chef Paul Pairet and the VOL Group. First and foremost, Mr & Mrs Bund is simple. No unnecessary bells and whistles. The restaurant is relaxed, erring on the side of understated chic, not show-off ostentatious. Denim and Converse-clad staff glide around diners. Guests leave their seats to mingle and self-serve wine, all to the tune of handpicked soundtracks. Open until 4am, five nights a week, the music may crank up a notch and the lights may drop a smidge as late night approaches, but the food still sizzles, and the corks never miss a beat. French at its very core, with international tweaks around the edges, the cuisine is served family-style, in a manner recast for the modern table. Formal service, course by course, is eschewed for a more casual sequence that has much in common with Chinese-style service. Some say the room brims with a certain je ne sais quoi; others know exactly what it is: a restaurant with a self-assured but relaxed attitude.

The Menu

The menu is seen as somewhat of a guideline – a map of choices. There is beef, there is chicken, there is veal or turbot – just to name a few – and with it comes a spectrum of sides and a choice of several sauces, all of which you can play with as you like. Steamed or sautéed mashed or puréed, salted or seasoned – I told you this restaurant was relaxed… It’s a straightforward menu that takes simple French classics to start, then let’s you add and play to create your perfect dish.

To Wash It All Down

The impressive number of wines on offer available by the glass – 32 to be exact – encourages guests to sip, savour and swap between grapes, regions and producers as the mood strikes, as the food prompts, or as spontaneity inspires. Available in a range of sizes, the wine can either be ordered from the menu, or self-served from the Enomatic wine machines, positioned upon a handsome communal table in the central lounge. Classic cocktails are also served, there to accompany you into the wee morning hours.

The Chef

Chef Paul Pairet is a culinary egalitarian. Whether using tinned sardines to produce sophisticated, avant-garde fine dining, or using sophisticated, avant-garde techniques to produce the simplest of French and global dishes, he approaches both with an equal lack of prejudice and unbiased opinion. But don’t be fooled by this somewhat laid-back approach to gastronomy, as Pairet is right up there with the culinary heavyweights of the world, sharing with no reservations his belief and study in food across the globe, speaking at The Best of Gastronomy in San Sebastian, World Gourmet Summit in Singapore, Madrid Fusion in Madrid, and more than once, Omnivore Festival in France and Shanghai.
Pairet has also recently opened the unique, daring and extremely exciting dining concept, “Ultraviolet”; a 10-seat restaurant uniting food with multi-sensorial technologies. Each course is paired and enhanced by lights and visuals, sounds and music, smells and atmospheres, tailored and choreographed. This French chef is housing some big ideas, so keep your appetites at the ready and watch this space.