Breathing new life into the large dining room that was previously New Heights, POP American Brasserie is a welcome addition to Three on The Bund. Opened last month, POP is serving contemporary American classics with a broad appeal from Chef David Chauveau, formerly of Sir Elly’s at The Peninsula Hotel.
Despite his fine dining credentials, Chauveau has been charged with creating a more relaxed, casual menu at POP. Dishes include both cold and hot appetisers (from 58RMB for a baby pumpkin soup), an array of fish, shellfish and meats (from 128RMB for a Wagyu beef burger and fries), and grilled meats and sides (including a 850g rib-eye for two at 1,080RMB). There’s also a selection of chilled seafood including a whole Maine lobster for 680RMB, Norwegian langoustines (240RMB/serve of three) and half a dozen Gillardeau oysters (450RMB).
Memorable dishes from an early visit include a glamourous interpretation of a shrimp avocado cocktail with tangy grapefruit (98RMB), a juicy 200g Wagyu flank steak (208RMB) with skinny cut fries (38RMB) and a sticky, sweet Pecan Tart (75RMB) with sour cherry and vanilla ice cream. Another highlight is the Jumbo Ice-cream Sundae – a huge bowl of eight scoops of ice cream, marshmallow, mixed berries, chocolate brownie, Oreos and caramel pop-corn (288RMB).
From the cocktail menu, The NBA Star (88RMB) is a refreshingly tart drink thanks to a mix of citron vodka, lemon juice and pear. The hints of ginger and lemongrass give it a savoury kick, making it a great spring thirst-quencher. For something a little stronger, try The Jazz Man (88RMB), which offers a generous and smooth serving of Rye whisky, dry vermouth, Campari and bitters.
The name and some of the artwork (the waitstaff’s bowties and braces are adorned with cheerful Americana collages, for example) hint at a more playful side, but ultimately the decor hews toward the Morton school of oldschool American design, from the leather bench seating to the ceiling chandeliers. They’ve still got that terrace though, and we can see POP becoming a very busy brunch spot on al fresco-friendly weekends.
Ultimately, while it may lack some of the inventiveness on offer at Three’s other outlets, POP is certainly an improvement on its predecessor, and ought to become a popular spot.