Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: January 2019

By Cristina Ng, January 8, 2019

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It’s the dawn of a new year, and we are eager to find out what delicious treats 2019 has in store for us. From the number of openings coming up this month, we predict a big year. 

Image courtesy Oysterlicious Group

We recently chatted with Chef EJ Holland of Oysterlicious Group about their new projects going on, starting with their Seafood Hong Kong Style Hot Pot Restaurant at 418 Dagu Lu. They are billing it as an East meets West take on hot pot complemented with a unique collection of S&T (sake and sparkling tea) cocktails. They are also collaborating with Chef Anthony Zhao (Holy Cow Group) on a Japanese-style barbecue concept scheduled for late January. Unfortunately, after three months of consulting on sustainable restaurant BLOOM, the group has parted ways prior to the opening. 

Image by That's Shanghai

Over at Three on the Bund, a Japanese concept in the vein of UMI or DOZO is in progress. Executive Chef Kelvin Chai, who previously worked at a Japanese restaurant before joining Mercato, will helm the kitchen. 
Back with a new menu and location, Fresh-Off’s creative take on the Taiwan-style fried-bun sandwich (yinyang sanmingzhi) are available Gala Bay in Lujiazui. Another restaurant we’ve been missing, Kagen is up and running on Fumin Lu with the addition of some excellent new cocktails to go with their high-quality teppanyaki. 

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

In addition to helping Kagen with a new menu of cocktails inspired by Japanese cinema, Aaron Feder will also assume his new role as bar manager at Meanwhile in Xintiandi. Opened at the end of December in Greyhound’s old space, this Italian restaurant and bar is shaping up to be a pretty promising spot. The core of the cocktail program builds drinks around the meal with aperitivos, palate cleansers and digestivos on offer. 

Just around the corner, The Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai has soft opened a new bar called Sugarcane. There hasn’t been a rum-focused bar in town since the demise of Rhumerie Bounty, so we are looking forward to this one.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

While checking out the prosecco drinks at Valpasso, we couldn’t resist taking a ride on the baggage carousel entrance at Twinkle Bar, where one of the drinks comes in a miniature bathtub.  At Dream Brewers across the hallway, a robotic arm serves beer. Crazy times, right? Speaking of gimmicks, it’s the end of the road for fragrance-based cocktails at 1/3 Blossom, which closed last month. 

Image by Betty Richardson/That's

The curtain has also closed on Eddy Yang’s Above the Globe, as Sleep No More reclaimed the space. If that has you down, drink your sorrows away at Specters II at 735 Yuyuan Lu, because they're baaack!

Image courtesy Pret A Manger

Finally, British cafe chain Pret a Manger has closed all of their shops in Shanghai, essentially exiting the Chinese mainland for good. While we’ll miss their grab and go concept, we hope that means the path is clear for more local upstarts like newly opened Daga Coffee (by Daga Brewpub), to peddle coffee and small eats.

[Cover image via]

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