Shirani and her family are on a mission to find the best family-friendly restaurants in Shanghai. See what she has to say after they visited The Stage at The Westin.
The Place & Vibe
Many Shanghai-landers acknowledge the urban fame of the Westin Bund Center’s Sunday brunch. Curious to try it, we bravely booked with our 7-year-old and 1-year-old in tow on New Zealand Father’s Day. Walking into the hotel’s grand entrance just off the Bund, pulsating ‘clubby’ music with people standing around drinking champagne was admittedly not the first impression we expected. Any doubts of a child-friendly experience were allayed, however, once a highchair and children’s cutlery materialized and when we saw the well-equipped playroom.
Kids as well as adults are entertained throughout the course of brunch, with jugglers, a clown balloon twister, a 14-piece live orchestra, opera soloists, and traditional Chinese performances such as tea ceremony and drumming. The vibe is one of fun and celebration, with a common congeniality and excitement among guests that contribute to the party atmosphere. Our family left satiated and happy, the children delighted.
From the blini and caviar station to curries and pasta, two floors of international extravagance abounds, and its quality is good. There was Japanese Teppanyaki on offer and an Indian table featuring a luxurious spread of Rogan Josh and other popular curries. The Chinese station had interesting combinations such as roast rabbit with lotus root and gourmet mooncakes, which was the theme of the week as Mid-Autumn Festival was just around the corner. Foie gras, terrines and an appropriately pungent cheese table were interspersed between stations. As if this weren’t enough, the upper floor had an Italian feast from Prego’s restaurant, offering pizzas, pastas and a wine buffet.
The dim sum went down famously with our 1-year-old while our 7-year-old couldn’t finish her savory selections fast enough, after spotting the dessert offerings. These were beautifully presented with bite-size chocolate balls, flavored chocolate cups, popcorn, cotton candy, ice-cream and cakes.
Together with free-flowing Taittinger champagne, a ‘make-your-own’ cocktail bar, mojitos, ‘pink slushy alcohol’ station with non-alcoholic slushies for kids, there is little want for anything else.
Kids could be entertained by the food alone, given the sheer range of options catering to every little tastebud, including picky eaters. With the eye-watering dessert table, controlling sugar consumption is a difficult task in and of itself! The children’s playroom is a great attraction and kids up to age 12 can take advantage of a toddler slide and swing set, ball pit, movies and Wii on demand. There are two ayis, and the recommended age to leave kids is from ages 3 and up but they accept younger children at parents’ own risk. Our 18-month-old was happy there for a bit with her older sister.
Top Table and Tips: Get a table near the show area and ‘stage’ for the best views. The playroom is located on the second floor, so if your children enjoy using it, request a table on the upper floor. There are no changing facilities, so a pram might be useful for young children, also for naps if you intend to stay long!
Brunch Time: Sundays 11:30am – 2:30pm (entertainment starts around 1pm)
Price for Adults: RMB686 per person with free-flow champagne and alcoholic beverages. RMB569 without alcohol.
Price for Children: RMB292 per child, kids under age 4 dine free.
Recommended Ages: One and above would cope with the food given the variety, but if you wish to drop off the children at the playroom, age 3 and up.
See listing for The Stage