The Yan’an Road branch of Marias restaurant has recently undergone renovation and expansion to include a deli, bakery and a culinary goods shop. Along with the European cuisine served in its restaurant, customers can now shop for imported cheese, sausages, freshly baked breads, pastries and cakes as well as dry pasta, Italian Arborio rice, sauces, condiments, olive oils, wines and copper cookware.
The bakery is run by a lady who used to oversee the bakery operations for Shanghai restaurant chain Wagas, so we expect the quality of the products to be fairly good. For imported cheese, they carry fresh mozzarella, Emmental, parmesan and big blocks of blue cheese – there was no specific name on it, but it most closely resembles Danish Blue. The prices are just slightly higher than an Taobao, but of course you get the instant gratification of walking into a store, paying for your purchase and taking it home to enjoy immediately. A hefty 215g block of blue cheese costs just 40RMB. For the sausages, they have German and Spanish style and they cost 28RMB for four.
Their menu also has some new additions. There was the tomato and fish pureed Mediterranean Fish Soup (38RMB), the Grilled German Sausages (108RMB) that comes with three different types of sausages and the Rocket Salad (48RMB) with pear, orange segments, cherry tomatoes and parmesan.
The large rustic pizzas at Marais are a popular choice among their customers and range from 68RMB for a Spicy Bolognese Pizza to 118RMB for a Seafood Pizza. For 118RMB you can order the Half and Half Pizza and select two varieties.
The Deep Fried Beer Prawns & Snapper (78RMB) has a batter that is more floury than crispy, giving it a more substantial bite. The Pan Fried Paris Foie Gras (78RMB) was my favourite dish of the day, a thick quivering slice served with apricot preserves and buttered toast.
If you’re in the downtown area and would like to combine a European meal with shopping for imported goods, you can give Marais a visit.