When you think of Shanghai, districts such as Xintiandi is not the first thing you think of. Restored old Chinese and European style buildings, cobbled pedestrian streets, restaurants with beautiful terraces set up outside, these are one of the many things that make Xintiandi such an interesting area. As we were strolling through Xintiandi, we came across Calix, an American restaurant located pretty much smack in the middle of the pedestrian street. We were so intrigued by their nice decor and their yummy-sounding menu, so we decided to give it a try.
The decor of the restaurant is very cozy and feels almost European. They had a nice, calming ambiance, which was quite a nice change. We were quickly served some lemon water, which hopefully wasn't tap. But it tasted nice and it didn't give us any stomach problems, so it probably wasn't. They had a lunch menu, which offered some very interesting choices of food. Plus, drinks are included in the meal price and you can add a soup for an additional fee. Being on a budget, opting for the special lunch menu is always a good idea.
I decided to take the crispy calamari salad with some iced lemon tea and cream of mushroom soup. The mushroom soup is the definition of YUM. It was very flavourful and the texture was just right. It was creamy without being too much, and it had itty bitty pieces of mushroom, which provided a really nice contrasting texture. We were very pleased with the soup! The iced lemon tea was very good too. It was just your simple but well-made iced lemon tea, not too sweet. Enough about the drinks, let's talk about the star of the show. The fried calamari salad basically consisted of crunchy Asian slaw with spicy miso mustard vinaigrette. The salad itself taste good, nothing special. It tasted like your regular coleslaw, but lighter. The fried calamaris are delicious and were definitely the star of the show! It was crispy, flavourful, and the calamaris themselves were well-cooked. Overall, I really liked my meal and it definitely satisfied my cravings for Western food.
Vero ordered the roasted cauliflower and Brussel sprout spaghetti. It didn't really have a sauce, just a light oil flavoured with some delicious herbs. It was a bit on the spicier side since it has some chili on it, and the addition of the pine nuts and feta cheese in the dish was excellent. Overall, it was a good dish, nothing special in particular, but it was very satisfying.
The restaurant offers some really interesting choices of food on their menu and we'd definitely want to try them. Overall it provides a nice option for Western dining in Shanghai and we'd recommend it if you ever have some cravings.