As the world’s premier international curry club, the OCC was naturally excited to hear whispers of a new entrant to the Shanghai curry scene opening up in the new Ala Town complex in Minhang. We were therefore excited to venture out to Xianfeng Jie to put Grill Republik to the test.
Customer care 8.5
Directly attached to Shanghai Brew House, Grill Republik’s atmosphere is the first thing diners will notice. With colourful décor and art adorning the walls, the whole place exudes a chic, modern feel befitting the new complex in which it sits. Despite it being a new opening and us visiting late on a Thursday night, the venue was just full enough to give off a pleasant, busy atmosphere without being too overbearing.
Customer care and customer service is a tough beast to master anywhere in the world, let alone in Shanghai. As members sat down at Grill Republik though, it soon became clear that they do more than most to get this right.
The management team and the waitstaff were attentive throughout the whole night, offering recommendations when it came to what to order and – uniquely for curry houses in Shanghai – serving all dishes themselves directly on to our plates. A nice touch that makes all feel welcome, and no doubt the reason behind their stellar customer care and customer service scores of 8.5 and 8.6 respectively.
Having been buoyed by the service and the atmosphere, the OCC were pleased to see the food delivered just as much. Our starters of chicken curry puffs and masala pakora hit the spot well, but it was the main event that brought it home for Grill Republik.
Our mains of salmon tikka, lamb vindaloo, chicken saag and dahl makhani were all on point – with the vindaloo in particular a standout. Where many vindaloos can be guilty of not delivering enough spice, or relying on the heat too much to mask a lack of flavour, Grill Republik’s vindaloo managed to pack a resounding punch while still being enjoyable. Indeed, this was a common theme throughout the night, with all the dishes delivering the right amount of spice to elicit a few forehead dabs of the napkin, but not have us reaching for an emergency mango lassi.
With the food delivering well, and members consuming a number of drinks from the impressive drink selection – special note to the largely gin-based cocktail menu – the final bill came to 360 RMB a head, which was deemed very reasonable given the quality on display.
With its focus in particular on great customer care and service, Grill Republik overall scored a resounding 8.3 out of 10 – a sensational score not only means it receives a coveted OCC Approved sticker, but also puts it firmly in the running for the 2019 Shanghai Curry House of the Year (CHOTY) award.
All up, Grill Republik appears a stellar new addition to the Shanghai curry scene and one that well justifies the trip out to Minhang – the OCC is very pleased to recommend it.