[In Elephant] First Look into Shanghai's New Indian Restaurant
History was in the making in May, as the OCC visited “In Elephant,” previously “Bhrama at the Spice.” A quick google search of this new entrant into the Shanghai restaurant scene reveals absolutely nothing --you are now reading the world’s first review.
Before going on, it is important to note that we have been made aware of serious allegations of vote rigging and review manipulation of Indian restaurants in Shanghai on Bon App and Dianping. Let’s hope that these are proven to be untrue. One thing for sure is the OCC’s integrity and commitment to scouring the globe for the best Indian restaurants. Question is: are we about to find one in Shanghai at In Elephant?
Customer service is arguably an area that lets down a lot of restaurants here in Shanghai. However, most of our dining party was given red-carpet treatment with genuine smiles and warm greetings aplenty before even stepping foot into the actual restaurant.
This attention to customer care & service excellence led by Anil, the 27-year veteran originating from Kerala, was noticeable throughout the meal by way of exceptionally quick food turnaround, highly attentive staff, and the re-making of a spicier beef vindaloo curry. Even the OCC shot master who was made to work hard at the previous Ganesha meet had the easiest of evenings with shots being delivered even before the entrees had arrived. Small wonder then that the restaurant scored a very impressive 8.5 for customer care and 8.2 for service.
Typical Indian street food snacks were ordered as starters including; samosas, pani puri, aloo tikki chat, and masala papad. Food quality was mostly very good. The samosas were stuffed with a unique but fresh tasting mixture of salmon and chicken in a crispy but non-oily pastry. However, a few members noted that the portion size was a little bit on the thin side.
Onto the mains. These included lamb shank curry (voted as a favorite on the night), beef vindaloo (another favorite), and chicken tikka masala. Overall scoring for food quality was a very respectable 7.6.
Considering our meal was washed down with 35 Asahi beers, two bottles of wine, a round of shots, and 6 mango lassis (mainly to nurse the chili fines), an RMB 340 per person bill was very good value for money.
All in all, In Elephant is a major find and a very welcome addition to the Shanghai Indian food scene. A final score of 7.8 puts it into first place and pole position for the prestigious 2021 OCC Curry House Of The Year (CHOTY) award. Will it remain there until the end of the year?