Article By Thabo Jaffe
1419, Shang Zhong Xin, No.51, Gaoxin 1 Road.
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 110RMB
Just a short walk from the Keji Lu subway station, housed in a mostly residential building, you will find Fig Showroom. A quaint little loft apartment that has been converted into a cozy restaurant, bathed in warm afternoon light from floor-to-ceiling windows. The first floor will have you sitting diner-style at a long counter spanning most of the room, but if you’re looking for a more fine-dining-style set up, that can be found on the second floor. Both floors offer views overlooking Gaoxin, with sights more interesting than just the walls of other buildings. The décor is something I would describe as following a modern, minimalist-Mediterranean theme.
The size of the restaurant means that you’ll easily be able to speak to the chef, who spent a few years living and working in Europe, notably spending time honing his craft in Soho kitchens. You can rest assured that your meals will be instantly Instagram ready, as well as delicious. Sitting at the counter on the first floor, you can learn more about the different dishes if you’re so inclined, as this looks right into the kitchen.
The menu here is pretty uncluttered, or some might say limited. Upon further enquiry, I learned that the menu is pretty flexible, and changes more than just occasionally, so coming back a few weeks later, you could probably find quite a few additions. With a day or two’s notice, a specialized menu can also be arranged. Drinks are listed on the wall behind the kitchen.
On to the food! Lunch started with a course of Msabaha, which can be described as hummus with some whole chickpeas and a little more tahini than usual, from what I could taste. I can certify that this comes close to something you could easily find in Tel-Aviv, and wow did it remind me of home.
Finding myself on the heavier side of the scale since you-know-what, I then went with their Green Day salad (no relation to the band). I really like salads, but this is one that I can say I love. Greens layered with chicken tossed in a basil pesto, avocado, asparagus, poached egg, and topped with a walnut crumble; this is something anyone would enjoy. Sticking with the healthy options, my partner-in-crime had a sesame bagel with harissa chicken, having just the right amount of zing partnered with some rocket and a tahini/yogurt sauce. My only wish would be that the bagel were made fresh in-house.
To cleanse the palate and make a little room for dessert, we tried their Funky Plum (soda) and Pinky Soda. Both were truly refreshing, especially for these hot summer days, but I would lean more towards the Pinky soda, which contained some grapefruit and was not too sweet. I’m a beer and whisky type.
For our last course, we chose their Holy Fig dessert, a very well-balanced symphony of flavours. It consists of a rich labneh mousse (think light cream cheese with a bit of Greek yogurt), some sour citron drops, tart raspberries, and a nut crumble for some texture.
Fig Showroom is possibly not the easiest place to find, definitely not something you would stumble upon without the use of something like dianping, but it’s for sure a place that you will want to find for a healthy brunch or late lunch in Gaoxin.
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