At first glance, Goodfellas appears to be that rarest of sorts on The Bund: a casual, quality restaurant with a menu that won’t break the bank. Admittedly, neighbour Lost Heaven could also tick those boxes, but for the most part, dining in this area tends to put considerable stress on your wallet. No relation to the former Julu (then Fumin) Lu bar, Goodfellas’ cosy space comes with a stylish but relaxed decor that is at once suitable for both intimate dates and dining with friends.
The good first impressions are borne out by a starter of bruschetteria (38RMB), which comes with deliciously fresh chopped tomato and basil atop oil-dressed bread that is so beautifully golden and crispy that we almost wonder whether it may have been introduced to a fryer. The shrimp and zucchini pasta (68RMB, all pasta dishes come with your choice of spaghetti, penne or tagliatelle) is another quality delivery from the kitchen, though its cherry tomatoes and white wine sauce fail to harmonize with quite the same success as the bruschetteria.
Things falter slightly with the speck tirolese pizza (88RMB). The toppings of a rich tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella laying a foundation beneath wafer-thin slices of ham is excellent, but the base is a let down. Instead of crispy blackened bubbles of dough, the pizza features a disappointingly stiff crust which subtracts from the enjoyment of the other ingredients.
Overall, the quality of food is such that we’re not surprised when a waiter, bursting with pride, tells us that the chef is a graduate of the Da Marco’s kitchen. Coupled with a decent wine list, with glasses from 60RMB, and the easy, welcoming atmosphere, Goodfellas is a sturdy, budget addition to this part of town if you’re already on The Bund promenade, but it’s unless you’re on a tighter budget, the quality of food here isn’t enough alone to tempt your away from the exalted heights of Mercato or Capo.