[Shanghai] BANG by Mr Willis
BANG by Mr Willis | mrwillis.com.cn | Dianping
Address: 淮海中路999号环贸广场5楼 – 5F/IAPM, 999 Huaihai Middle Rd (徐汇区 Xuhui District)
Date visited: 2014.04 for dinner
Total bill: RMB¥354 for two people
Will return: No, but I do like Mr Willis’ gelato, which I believe is served in most of his restaurants.
Recently opened BANG by Mr Willis at IAPM is under Craig Willis’ restaurant group (Mr Willis, Henkes, La Strada, etc), which is an extension of the Wagas group. One side of BANG is a cafe and the other is a sit-down casual Italian eatery whose menu consists of antipasti, bruschetta, pasta, pizza, and meat. While I am big supporter of Henkes’ brunch, I am afraid I cannot say the same for BANG’s dinner. My friend and I were disappointed by most of the dishes except for dessert.
I understand it is a new opening but service needs much improvement. The servers did not seem to know basic responsibilities they have to do without being asked. Common sense is not always common practice, I suppose.
- We did not get any water when I arrived, when my friend arrived, when the waiter came by to take our order, or after we ordered. I was patient and I waited for someone to offer without prompting but I was too forgiving. Even when our first dish came, no one had yet to offer water so we ended up asked for it. The server gave us the strangest look like I was asking for a favor or something.
- After we finished some dishes, no one came to clear the dishes for 10 minutes. I asked a servers to take away our empty dish plates and change our personal plates. She looked at our dishes which were clearly completely empty and asked, are you finished? … yes, there is no more food on these plates. And she left without taking our personal plates to swap for clean ones and I had to ask her come back. Again, a look in her face that told me she thought it was a strange request.
Fried squid, prawns, soft shell crab, pesto trapanese (RMB¥88)
The squid was tough but shrimp and soft shell crab were fine.
Bruschetta with red peppers, rocket & walnut pesto, pancetta (RMB¥42 for two pieces)
A generous heap of peppers (not spicy) topped with super crispy bacon. We liked.
I am not a pizza person so if I eat pizza, it better be damn good (Capo pizza is damn good, so that’s my benchmark). Pizza appears to be a full food group on the menu so we gave it a shot. A server informed us that we could chose two pizzas and do half and half. We tried the pizza, and I don’t recommend it.
Side note: I only noticed after we left that they had charged us the more expensive pizza as opposed to the sum of 1/2 price of each pizza. Maybe the server did not know how to input half and half or maybe the half and half pricing policy really is just to charge for the more expensive pizza of the two. It is not a huge price difference but just be aware this may be the case.
Quattro stagioni (RMB¥108) with tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, artichokes, olives, mushrooms
The pizza crust is super thin and crisp, which is not my preference when it comes to pizza but it may be for others. I like a slight fluff in my thin pizza, which Capo achieves. I know it is not fair to compare these two places but Capo is just how I like my pizza. This pizza is essentially a white pizza without sauce but it was too dry. Perhaps more olive oil or cheese would have helped because there were areas where it was literally just dry crust topped with meat and vegetables.
Quattro formaggi (RMB¥95 for whole) with mozzarella, parmigiano,mozzarella fior di latte, forgonzola
The tomato sauce on this was not good. A certain sweetness was absent from the sauce.
Spaghetti chicken, pesto, green beans (RMB¥58)
The noodles were overcooked and way too soft. This reminds me of Wagas’ pesto chicken penne with feta, which is really good. I digress. This was not.
Handmade salted caramel gelato (RMB¥58 for two scoops)
Earl grey tea, chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, and green tea also available
My friend immediately spotted the salted caramel gelato on the dessert menu and said if this is the same as the one at Mr Willis, it is amazing. And amazing it was. The manager told us the gelato is made in-house at Mr Willis. This gelato redeemed our disappointing dinner. I really like this gelato’s taste and texture and will pop back in to try the earl grey flavor just for dessert, but not for a proper meal.