What a flour scandal can do in this country. After allegations of using expired flour, Farine’s sudden shuttering in 2017 was a sharp blow to the city’s collective gut. Even more so, when the whole of its empire toppled in the following weeks. RAC rising from the ashes, with a bounty of cheesy galettes and perfectly coddled eggs in hand, has already been one of the year’s best surprises. Helmed by Simon Briens, formerly of the Franck Pécol group, the sun-lit space is archetypal Shanghai casual French chic.
Moneyed young people who brunch shimmy up against Continental expats at communal tables, everyone equally joyously tucking into Parisian ham, egg and cheese galettes or eggs cocotte – a baked oeuf on creamy potatoes with bread for dipping – and sipping on natural wines from the bar. There are breakfast sandwiches on brioche (the Breakfast in a Bun is fabulous, spilling over with scrambled eggs and chive, cheddar cheese and a slick of onion jam and chilli mayo) and classic crepes filled with sweet fillings like salted caramel and Nutella. Really, you can’t go wrong.
RAC is our new favourite brunch and lunch spot – the only problem is it’s everyone else’s too. Be prepared to queue.