Buco, Shanghai, China

By our guest writer Benny

Blink and you’ll miss it!

A common enough warning, but a very real one when heading for the aptly named Buco – or “hole” in Italian. Just a tiny hole-in-the-wall servery largely hidden by the expansive front of a classy modern Italian bistro, Gemma. Alternatively, you can order Buco gelati from Gemma’s bar.

Don’t expect a gleaming array of polished pozzetti, or even a mouth-watering display of mounds of freshly made gelati. Trays of gelati are simply stacked in a chest freezer by the servery window.

Double nut combo: pistachio paired with hazelnut gelato.
Double nut combo: pistachio paired with hazelnut gelato.

Not an auspicious introduction, but we had come with a keen anticipation for gelati. On offer is an apparently fixed menu of eight flavours, offering a limited range including gelati classics, a salted caramel and fruit sorbetti. There is no indication of daily specials, or even seasonal menu changes. Tastings were requested and granted.

And a double citrus hit: ricotta citrus paired with choc orange gelato from Buco.
And a double citrus hit: ricotta citrus paired with choc orange gelato.

Benny’s Bro and Midoly shared a cone combining pistachio and hazelnut, while I opted for ricotta citrus and choc orange. Given the offhand manner in which the gelati is stored, our expectations were not high, but the gelati were surprisingly good: The taste was what you would expect from quality gelati but the texture was a little icy, suggesting that it was stored in the freezer cabinet a bit too long, and a bit too cold. If made fresh daily, and better presented and stored, the gelati would be even better.

Buco’s gelati is served in cones or cups, with the associated Gemma restaurant offering coffee and full bistro service. There is a limited amount of seating for gelati customers at the bar.

That tiny window on the left is Buco.
That tiny window on the left is Buco.

Our rating: excellent

Good flavours and the potential to be much better. Try to time a visit soon after the gelato is made. To find Buco, navigate to Gemma Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria.


Buco (part of Gemma Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria)
20 Donghu Lu
Shanghai
China

T: 3356 5188

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