Last night Qi and I decided to try out the only Surinam (South American) restaurant in Shanghai. The restaurant is called Sweet Fajalobi – The taste of South America, and is located on 362 Shaanxi Bei Lu, just north of Plaza 66 (taxi: Beijing Lu/Shaanxi Lu). It’s a two-storey restaurant, with a small patio in the back. The atmosphere is relaxed, with South-American music (not too loud), and small tables with a candle on it. There is also a bar, with Hoegaarden (white beer) on draught. The walls have pictures and art from Surinam on it.
The menu was very interesting for me, because it contained lots of Dutch food items (Surinam used to be a Dutch colony until 1975). I am not a big fan of Dutch cuisine, as it is generally quite boring (potatoes, meat and vegetables), but there are some things that I like to eat every now and then. And this restaurant has some of them on its menu. I started with two appetizers: ‘kroket’ (made of chicken meat) and ‘broodje vlees’ (with meatloaf), both things that I’d eat as a snack in Holland. It was the first time for me to eat kroket in a restaurant in China (mainland China that is, in Hong Kong I think I had kroket once in 1998 in a Dutch snack bar on Lang Kwai Fong that has since disappeared). Broodje vlees was different from what I expected, but likely the Surinam version of this is different from Holland. Other Dutch menu items included for example bruine bonen (kidney beans) and zuurkool (sauerkraut, cabbage).
The Surinam kitchen has influences from many different cuisines, not only Dutch, but also Indonesian, Indian and Chinese. The menu reflects this with sateh and nasi goreng from Indonesia, curries from India and several Chinese dishes. The restaurant has several set menu’s, that are very reasonably priced (88 kuai for 3 courses). Our total price amounted to RMB 268 for 3 appetizers and 2 main courses plus drinks. The taste was very good and the service excellent, and I will certainly go back here soon. The restaurant is also open for lunch. Reservations: 021-6271 3300