Lunch at Madam Zhu’s Kitchen

Madam Zhu’s Kitchen is a restaurant in the Pudong New Area. As such, it caters to Shanghai’s movers and shakers. The kitchen is very large and can easily accommodate 1,000 diners or more. If you have a very important business meeting you can request one of the many private rooms.

Like many high end Shanghai restaurants, the number of servers to customers ratio is nearly one to one. Labor in China is pretty cheap so companies hire a lot of people to do redundant jobs, like greeters at the door and even an elevator operator to push the button that gets you to the restaurant on the third floor. Our server was always within six feet of us. As far as I can tell, she was assigned to serve our table only. This level of service can be quite unsettling. Because our server was always within touching distance, I kept getting this feeling that she was watching us eat.

The food at Madam Zhu’s was very good, much better than the Fortune Restaurant we dined at a few nights ago. As lunches go, this one was pretty extravagant, with nearly a dozen courses. I never found out what the bill came to because person who invited us grabbed it before I had a chance to. I’m sure it wasn’t cheap.