Shanghai Restaurant Week is a godsend for poor souls in the city (like me) who want to try some of Shanghai’s best restaurants but can’t afford to drop a few thousand kuai on one meal. It happens twice a year, and most of Shanghai’s world class restaurants offer set menus at a seriously discounted price.
This time around the bf and I decided to try Pasha, one of Shanghai’s Turkish restaurants. One of our favorite hang out spots back in Nanjing was a Turkish place, and I have been missing Turkish food ever since.
The set menu at Pasha was a four course meal (a cold starter, a warm starter, a main, a dessert and a drink) for 128 RMB (about 20 USD). I was really surprised at how small the restaurant was, only about 10 tables on the second floor of a very skinny building, we were painfully close to the couple next to us that were clearly on an awkward first date, so I spent most of the meal hiding my laughter behind pieces of bread.
The cold starters were hummus (naturally) and muhammara. I had never had muhammara before, and it was absolutely delicious. It’s made with Aleppo peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and lemon juice and it was served with a huge basket of warm Turkish bread. The hummus was good, pretty standard hummus, but the muhammara was excellent. I need to see if I can recreate this in my own kitchen to eat any time I want.
Next up was my very favorite thing to eat at the Turkish place in Nanjing, so I was really excited it was on the menu for restaurant week. I call it Turkish pizza, its real name is Lahmacun. Lahmacun is spiced, minced meat baked on a crispy flat bread. Although it was good, it wasn’t quite as good as the cold starters or the mains. I should have asked for a slice of lemon to squeeze over it, that would have taken it to the next level.
By this point I was already getting full, but then came the main course. I went with the chicken kebabs. The plate had 6 or 7 large chunks of spiced and grilled chicken with rice and grilled tomatoes & peppers. I have to say it was really quite good. The chicken was cooked perfectly! I asked for a little side of yogurt for some dipping action, and even the bf had to snag a few pieces.
Last but not least, the dessert. Now of course I can’t remember the actual name, but it was basically a small cup of a chilled rice pudding. It was good, but not great. I could only eat a few bites because I was so full, but Shiraz ate his in about 5 seconds. He said it reminded him of a dessert that his Mom used to make (awwww).
All in all I really liked Pasha, I think if I am craving Turkish food I will definitely go back to try other things on the menu. The food was delicious, the place was charming, and the service was really on point. The waiters were attentive and polite, but not overbearing, which is exactly what I like. Pasha is on Nanchang Road near the IAPM mall, definitely go check it out!
In other Shanghai Restaurant week news, the bf and I also went to Elefante to try one of Shanghai’s best tapas restaurants. They had an 8 course menu for 248 RMB (40USD) per person, quite a steal. I didn’t take my camera to do a review because we were celebrating our 3 year anniversary and I wanted to enjoy the moment (and the food & wine). I would highly suggest that all my fellow Shanghai expats and locals alike take advantage of restaurant week, be on the look out for the next one!