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May 11, 2011

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The best al fresco afternoon dining

WHEN the climate in Shanghai reaches the comfortably warm period, there is no excuse to keep yourself at home or in the office. And if it's a breath of fresh air and a fantastic view you're after, the city has a wealth of outdoor terraces.

Imagine sitting down to enjoy a beverage served with delicate finger sandwiches and delicious pastries while taking in truly breathtaking panoramic views of Shanghai.

It's the ideal time for high tea!

Sky Restaurant & Bar

Gorgeous colonial building of the House of Roosevelt, the former headquarters of Jardine Matheson located at Bund 27, has been transformed into a high-end food and beverage complex.

The sleek, graceful restaurant design complements the original grandeur of the historic building. Old photos and small paintings of The Bund decorate the walls.

While the Roosevelt Club on the third floor is members only, the Sky Restaurant & Bar on the eighth floor is open to all.

The inside offers elegant decor, while the outdoor terrace captures the buzz of the city and the vintage feel of the Bund.

From 2pm to 5pm daily, an afternoon tea set is served. The set menu priced at 150 yuan (US$23) per person offers BLT sandwiches, mini truffle burgers, salmon with capers on whole wheat bread, chocolate mousse, assorted cookies and fruits.

The Western menu features stateside classics such as Boston clam chowder and international delicacies including Italian cold cuts. Classic desserts such as New York cheesecake and tiramisu are also available.

Wine lovers will take delight in the cellar which remains one of the biggest in the city.

As the restaurant is relatively new, a table is not as hard to get as in other establishments in the locality. The privacy and historical corporate roots of the House of Roosevelt make Sky an apt choice for both casual afternoon tea and business dinners.

3 Top

This modern Asian restaurant and bar features Asian gastronomy combined with the beauty of nature and a sleek modern interior.

Located on Xinle Road, the three-floor venue has floor-to-ceiling windows which look out on to the lush green scenery of the adjacent Xiangyang Park.

The restaurant serves selected Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Singaporean and Chinese cuisine, and the chefs add an essence of originality to each dish to provide diners with enjoyable new tastes.

The afternoon tea menu offers a range of sets including Southeast Asian and traditional English styles. Delicate dim sum, cookies, cakes, small sandwiches and mini hamburgers are among the delicious items offered.

Rather than using milk powder, there is real milk for the coffee and tea, the latter of which is boiled with red dates and longans, which are especially beneficial to female health.

At 88 yuan, the lunch set is great value and includes salad, soup, main course and a soft drink.

The signature curry-fried crab is priced at 158 yuan for 500 grams, while the deep-fried river fish served in light soy sauce and spring onions costs 128 yuan. The menu also includes Western-influenced dishes such as pan-fried goose liver glazed with red wine and fresh grape sauce (118 yuan/100g).

Opening hours: 11am-1am (afternoon tea: 2:30-5pm)

Address: 47 Xinle Rd

Tel: 5403-8625

New Heights

New Heights on the seventh floor at Three on the Bund is an ideal destination for afternoon tea. With one of the least obstructed views overlooking the Bund area, New Heights' wooden patio is definitely one of the most spacious and the interior has all the markings of a fine dining venue.

The afternoon tea set is 128 yuan per person and includes delicate snacks, coffee or tea.

The snacks include sandwiches with mimosa eggs, Comte cheese and truffles; mini baguettes with parma ham, eggplant caviar, dried tomatoes and black olives; mini bagels with smoked salmon, cucumber sauce, frisee salad; and quiche with crab.

Desserts include mini opera cakes, raspberry macaroons, chestnut financiers and scones with homemade mixed berry jam and whipping cream.

The chef's recommendations from the dessert menu are lemon and thyme cream brulée with caramelized banana, crunchy chocolate and mango cylinder, red wine sour cherry compote with black pepper granite, and mascarpone cheesecake with rhubarb confit.

Element Fresh

Serving a variety of Asian and Western dishes, Element Fresh has long been known for natural and nutritious food with great taste.

One of the restaurant chain's most popular outlets is situated on the fourth and fifth floors of the Kwah Center on Huaihai Road near Xiangyang Road. It was opened in 2006, following the success of their first outlet at the Shanghai Center in 2002.

Located in the heart of the former French concession area and featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lush Donghu Garden, the fifth floor terrace provides superb views of the Shanghai cityscape.

The restaurant added new specials to the menu last month, with more than 20 innovative dishes ideal for enjoying outdoors.

Highlights from the updated menu include: the seafood salad with wasabi dressing which has an air of spring - refreshing, light and zesty; gazpacho, the classic chilled Spanish tomato soup, garnished with fresh diced vegetables and black olives; the tuna with avocado which tastes just as beautiful as it looks - cooked with ahi tuna sashimi, sliced avocado, jicama relish, soy-lemon glaze, tobiko caviar.

The restaurant is known for its smoothies, and the raspberry and cranberry juice in the new Sour Berry Patch packs sweet andsour spring freshness that is full of anti-oxidants.


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