The Shanghai Scoop by Rachel Gouk (June 2018 Edition)

Jul 03, 2018

The Shanghai Scoop is a monthly column dedicated to the latest F&B news and gossip happening in Shanghai. Here are the newest restaurants and bars, hotel news, and upcoming projects.

First off, World’s 50 Best.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 was announced on June 20. Rising 17 spots from last year to number 24 on the list is Shanghai’s own pride and glory—Ultraviolet. Congratulations to the team!

Ultraviolet, three Michelin stars, Shanghai Michelin Guide 2018.

Ultraviolet is a 10-seater, multi-sensory, immersive dining experience by genius mastermind Paul Pairet, who’s also behind Chop Chop Club and Mr & Mrs Bund.

Started in 2010, Ultraviolet recently launched UVC in 2017, the first new menu in four years. It costs ¥6,000. They have 25 staff for a 10-person table.

They have wall-to-wall immersive projections and are able to “scent” the room (sea, forest, fields, etc.) for each course. Will have to do a recap of my backstage visit at a later date.

Coca Cola Duck on the UVC menu. 12 years in the making.

Speaking of, Paul Pairet is opening a new concept in Shanghai. Job postings for kitchen staff and front of house have been circulating. The location hasn’t been revealed, but rumors point to Xintiandi.

New Restaurants in Shanghai

Tacolicious — Double shell crispy tacos in the former Goga space by Logan Brouse (Logan’s Punch), Saira Shazad and Thijs Oomens (BYFO Hot Sauce), and Adrian Wall (Joe’s Pizza).

Tacos are excellent, starting at ¥55 for two. The beef brisket is a no brainer, and the fish is a runner up, both ¥60.

House made horchata (¥25) scores high marks for its creamy, silken texture and mild sweetness. I would definitely return, most likely to quell a hangover on the patio.

Bird — Casual bar and kitchen serving small, sharing plates by newcomer Shanghainese chef Chris Zhu, brought to life by Camden Hauge (Egg, Social Supply, Shanghai Supperclub, FEAST Food Festival). Excellent wines.

The menu changes every month and dishes incorporate local ingredients. Chef Chris Zhu, a surgeon turned chef spent seven years in medical school before switching over. After a crash course at Cordon Bleu, plenty of study and research, Chris is pushing the boundaries with an ever-evolving menu, much to the dismay of Bird’s regulars.

A highlight: Chinese peppers stuffed with pork, shiitake, and crunchy lotus root, glazed with balsamic. Juicy and full of umami. New on the July menu.

It’s ambitious and refreshing, but with such a high frequency of change, it’ll be difficult to perfect recipes or study the wants of regular diners.

White Asparagus made three ways with shiso and salmon roe for garnish. From the last menu.

Bird’s rooftop will open at a later date, when the weather’s more forgiving. Looking forward to try more of Chris’ new dishes.

Gelato Dal Cuore — Gelateria in Jing’an that’s been blowing up Instagram.

Good quality gelato with a strong fan base despite having just opened. Known for its Instagram photos of the gelato peaks. Flavors are plentiful and good!

Local touches like Oolong and Sichuan Peppercorn alongside classics of Salted Caramel and Amarena Cherry. Have to stop in for fig and mascarpone. ¥32/double scoop, ¥45/triple scoop.

The same people have opened up Pie Bird down the street. They do…pies.

Blackbird 2.0 — A three-in-one concept by the people behind OHA Eatery and Bar No. 3. Relocated from its original location on Dongping Lu, this new iteration is an evolved, refined version with chef Blake Thornley heading up the kitchen. First floor is casual dining with stellar cocktails, second floor with fine dining concept Table Black and Bar Black, and rooftop casual drinks and bites The Third Floor.

First floor: Food is contemporary Western with Asian influence—Guizhou spices, nods to Southeast Asian flavors, and China-sourced ingredients like Guizhou salted ham. Bar snacks, sharing plates, desserts.

Standouts include: Cuttlefish Noodles, Foie Gras & Malt, Prawns, Sirloin and Potato Espuma with Guizhou Ham, Soft Shell Crab.

They use a Sonic Prep machine (it’s like a centrifuge) to make clarified juices and sauces for the cocktails. Machinery is high-tech and a huge investment, but it pays off! The drinks have a clean, concentrated flavor profile. No syrups or added sugars necessary. Not a big cocktail drinker myself, but the ones here are dangerously tasty.

Bar Black/Table Black launching in September.

Coming Soon

Confirmed: Kagen is reopening at 758 Julu! No, not in the same building as Lost Heaven Silk Road, but in the building behind it.

Others on the radar are the rest of Columbia Circle—Parlour, casual fine dining and Circo, Italian resto/bar.

Pirata: chorizo and clams.

Pirata, a popular Spanish restaurant that’s been known to be an after hours safe harbor for industry types, has just opened (softly) in Columbia Circle. (Rumor is that their lease for the Dongping Lu location is coming up soon.) The new space will house Pirata, Hulu Sushi, and Latin Woo.

Slightly north of Jing’an is a Chef Charmaine, a seafood-focused restaurant by Charmaine Cheung. Charmaine has had an illustrious career in Hong Kong as a chef, in addition to being a judge on TV cooking shows and as Executive Chef for CityShop. Brought up in LA, Cheung’s primary cuisine is Japanese.

During the preview, Charmaine emphasized a seasonal menu, serving only the freshest seafood and produce available. And she’ll keep to this by going to the market every morning to pick out her selection of the day. Charmaine also said she doesn’t plan to have a fridge, only keeping live seafood in fish tanks.

Waste not. Crab sauce is mixed with rice, topped with salmon roe as a second course.

Of the dishes, a crab steamed in a rich sauce of garlic, truffle, yuzu wine, and vegetable stock was a highlight. The remaining sauce didn’t go to waste either, and was taken back to the kitchen and fried with rice as a second course.

A branch of Burgundy’s Michelin three-star Maison Lameloise is opening in the Shanghai Tower. Their grand opening date is July 9.

Alimentari in Jing’an—bringing cheese and cold cuts closer to you.

QV is gone, and in its place is a bigger and better Alimentari (Alimentari & Degusteria). It will also be serving food soon, starting with brunch.

Up and across the street a number of bars have cropped up. Tribeca has turned into High Five, SIP has opened under 45 Degrees (Rambler is gone), and a beer bar called Cheer’s 1088 (they do some great deals on steaks).

Tock’s Montreal Deli has opened an outpost in Fengsheng Li, the complex at West Nanjing Road metro station where Goose Island, White Castle, etc. are located.

Brut Cake Eatery opened their third location in Pudong.

EKEKO closed abruptly last month, but there’s something new coming in its place already from the people behind Ginger. We hear it’s going to be a pop-up for now.

Other names on our wishlist: Boi Boi, AR Eatery, and UMI.

Hotel News

The highly anticipated Amanyangyun property is now open after nearly 16 years in the making.

While the word “luxury” may have been purposefully omitted, it is without a doubt a stunningly majestic campus that would not exist without unmistakable wealth. The resort has five F&B outlets, spa, multifunction rooms, 24 Ming Courtyard suites, and 13 antique villas…but I’ll have to do it more justice in a standalone post.

Middle House and Bvlgari Hotel both celebrated their grand openings, while W Shanghai celebrated their one-year anniversary.


Closings: Dope Shifu closed end of June.


That’s all for last month’s recap! Stay tuned for the next F&B news column.

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