Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our December 2017 issue.
For a cynical food critic, Jeju Izakaya is a unicorn restaurant – the kind of place that crops up once every few years. Seating eight across from an open kitchen, diners are served creative but affordable Korean fusion cuisine directly by the chefs. The place is so small it doesn’t have its own bathroom, though an agreement has been reached with The Cannery restaurant next door.
Price: RMB300-400 per person
Who’s going: Koreans and locals
Good for: dates, Korean food
A tavern-like entity on an otherwise 21st century stretch of Jing’an, Barbarian looks like it could moonlight as a movie set for Lord of The Rings. Rustic wooden tables populate the low-ceilinged first floor, from which chunky iron chain benches hang. Up one floor and a leafy, wooden-clad roof terrace awaits. You might be envisioning the horrors or a Renaissance-themed eatery, but Barbarian has a strange sort of charm to it, like you’ve stumbled into Bilbo Baggins’ homely local pub.
Price: RMB60-200 per person
Who’s going: locals and expats
Good for: casual dates
Large-format concepts are a tried and tested template for the Lost Heaven group. They’ve acquired fame, loyal regulars and the occasional copycat with their eponymous Yunnanese restaurants, Lost Bakery and Coconut Paradise.
The Beach House is the group’s first gastrolounge, an enormous place that looks like what might happen if Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren eloped and made a new life together in a Tommy Bahama store. WASPY in a way that's unusual for Shanghai, we almost expect Martha might jump out from behind a banana leaf plant and ask if we could take our shoes off lest we soil the rug.
Price: RMB250-350 per person
Who’s going: mixed crowd of locals and expats
Good for: groups, casual dining, cocktails, seafood
The changing of the seasons comes all too quickly in Shanghai. After a blazing 40-degree summer, a beautifully temperate but brief fall transitions to the bitterness of winter. It’s a pity that Barraco has opened after the weather has turned, because this is exactly the kind of bar we could have used this summer. This tiny Brazilian-run spot, named after the shanty town structures that characterize the outskirts of cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, has a semi-al fresco front patio complete with mini palms, beach chairs, pebbles, and whimsical swings for barstools that later proved near-lethal for one of our companions.