Sidling up next to someone to slurp soup dumplings at the same table isn't out of the norm in Shanghai. Less common? Splitting a pot of beef bourguignon on The Bund with strangers. French eatery Mr and Mrs Bund
has launched family-style, changing set menu dinner Table d'Hôte every Friday and Saturday night where 450RMB gets you a seat at its long central table, with a cocktail and two glasses of wine to help the conversation flow.
Half a dozen starters like wide ribbons of Serrano ham and warm escargots dressed in a garlic parsley sauce are shared with whatever friends you've brought and neighbours you might not know. Servers plate out pumpkin soup with salty bursts of pancetta from a whole mini pumpkin.
Platters of sole meunière with a nutty hazelnut butter, crispy croutons and a squeeze of lemon and a rich beef bourguignon arrive as mains, and a chocolate tart for dessert. And thankfully, it's all in quantities plentiful enough you won't have to pretend to be polite.