Pistolera's new joint sizzles with sumptuous bites

Li Anlan
Pistolera Mexican Cantina's new branch in Shanghai Center serves sumptuous nachos, grills and cocktails.
Li Anlan
Pistoleras new joint sizzles with sumptuous bites
Li Anlan / SHINE

Pistolera nachos with carne asada

PISTOLERA Mexican Cantina has just opened a new branch in the east tower of Shanghai Center, serving a generous supply sumptuous nachos, sizzling grills and pleasant cocktails.

The indoor space of the restaurant is not large so there’s a mirror wall to make the room look more uncluttered and relaxed. But, if you want to eat outside, they do have a lovely outdoor dining area that is perfect for brunch and an afternoon cocktail.

The menu is consistent with the other two Pistolera Mexican Cantina joints. The restaurant serves several Mexican delights, featuring some old favorites, such as tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas and grilled meats. The menu also offers Asian selections such as soba noodle salad and Osmanthus soy chicken.

The signature Pistolera nachos are a must-have, especially the carne asada that features a generous topping of grilled beef, refried beans, salsa and jalapenos. The portion size of the nachos is huge, and half (88 yuan) is enough for two to three to share as an appetizer. The full size portion is 128 yuan. They also offer a vegetarian option of fajita veggies for 70 yuan (half) and 98 yuan (full). The nachos are best to enjoy immediately served because the chips will get a little soggy from the toppings if left too long.

Pistoleras new joint sizzles with sumptuous bites
Li Anlan / SHINE

Bloody Maria in skull mug

Pistolera’s award-winning chili bowl (80 yuan) is more intensely flavored, a rich dish featuring spiced chili topped with melted Monterrey Jack cheese and queso fresco, that is served with cheddar and jalapeno stuffed corn gorditas.

The entrees are great for sharing, such as the chipotle barbecue pork riblet served with grilled corn and guacamole (168 yuan) and the cowboy meat parrillada (298 yuan) that includes flank steak, grilled pork ribs, chorizo sausage, chicken leg, vegetables and cheese quesadillas. My favorite is the black truffle beef short rib (188 yuan). It is cooked to perfection. The meat is so tender that you that can pull it apart easily with a fork. It is served with sides of grilled baby corn, broccolini, lafa bread and coleslaw.

For cocktails, try the Bloody Maria, served in a lovely skull mug, with quite a strong note of Tabasco. Their sangria pitchers are also good value at 220 yuan and perfect for a party. The virgin mimosa (55 yuan) is a refreshing mix splashed with ginger ale, a great recipe for the summer. The weekend brunch (also available on public holidays) now has a new free flow deal, including mimosa, Prosecco, Aperol Spritz and Bloody Maria for 158 yuan per person, from noon to 3pm, with the purchase of any brunch item.

The Shanghai Center branch offers great lunch deals on weekdays. But, because there are several office buildings nearby, there could be a queue if you arrive after 12:30pm, so get there early foodies.

Opening hours: 10am-1am

Tel: 6256-2265

Address: Shanghai Center, 1376 Nanjing Rd W.

Average price: 150 yuan

Pistoleras new joint sizzles with sumptuous bites
Li Anlan / SHINE

Black truffle beef short rib

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