Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: October 2019

By Cristina Ng, October 10, 2019

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For Shanghai foodies, the dawn of October means one thing: hairy crab season. We’re always on the hunt for new ways to shovel the tasty crustacean into our mouths, and we’ve got our eye on xiefen-stuffed fried crullers (aka youtiao) this year. We’ll be heading out to Hongqiao’s Archwalk to Jade Pavilion for a taste of that. 

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Image courtesy of UnTour Shanghai

It's also time for the third annual UnTour Hairy Crab Diner. They are only hosting two dinners this year, and seats for the extremely popular event are limited. Choose Oct 28 or Nov 12, and get ready for a full feast with a flight of Shaoxing wine. Highlights include crab roe lion's head meatballs, a how-to-eat hairy crab lesson and exploration of Shanghai's disappearing Old Town

Busy urbanites will be happy to hear that a new F&B lifestyle hub is going into 800 Show called T-Court. In addition to dining venues, expect a mix of retail, office and event spaces. Also coming to Jing’an is a second location for our newly appointed editor’s pick for Mexican Restaurant of the Year, Tacolicious.

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Image courtesy of Charcohol

Chinese celebrity chef Mandela Zhu (Borage, Hey Kau Dim Sum Hot Pot) just opened his third venture Charcohol. The concept focuses on primal barbecue techniques (charcoal) plus a top-notch drinks program from Epic’s Cross Yu (alcohol). Chef Kevin Han and head bartender Kris Guan are also on board. Early reports of offerings include whole-grilled Japanese croaker, five-spiced crispy beef tendons, tequila with cuttlefish ink (reminiscent of our favorite off-menu Epic drink) and kombu-infused gin. 

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Image courtesy of Lizzy's All Natural

Combine nutrition and philanthropy by purchasing 'The Warrior' green smoothie. Lizzy's All Natural will be donating 10% of the proceeds to the Rainforest Alliance for the entire month of October. 

Pizza Topolino on Madang Lu is temporarily closed, but visit their new venue next to Bistro Burger for your fix. In addition to the standards, they have a great selection of gluten-free and vegan pizza and pasta that are worth a try.  Jet Lo’s Malaysian street food eatery BOIBOI has also moved into a new hood, with a second location off Jiujiang Lu.


Image by Betty Richardson/That's

We saw this coming, but it still feels sad. After closing the Xintiandi Sproutworks, it seems that their Taixing Lu store is due to follow. Neighbors Little Catch have already shuttered, while Currify vows to stay open until the last possible second. Over at the intersection of Yanping and Wuding branches of Little Catch and Currify remain in business.


Image by Agata Holland/courtesy of Botanik

It's time for the tale of two Perches. Last month, we wrote about Perch (the cocktail bar), which soft-opened ahead of the Mid-Autumn holiday. Not to make things confusing, but Perch by The Nest also opened in September. Three evenings a week, the ten-course tasting menu pop-up resides at the Plump Garden (formerly known as Botanik), which is available for other events at other times. The Nest’s chef Freddy Raoult and ‘mixmaster’ Michael Chen are at the helm.


Image by Cristina Ng/That's

The proprietor of Bar Alcocase reached out to inform us that concept has changed to a wine bar with stone barbecue called ALCOCASE Wine & Bistro. While peeking at the menu, we saw wine bottles starting from RMB198, M5 Wagyu for RMB258 and cocktails from RMB78.

New York-famous jazz institution Blue Note has opened in Hongkou district, and one of the venue’s first acts was Kamasi Washington on September 13-14.

Remember Laowai Jie’s Shanghai Brewery? The location was taken by Shanghai Brew House, and the grand opening party held at the end of last month. 

Over on Xiangyang Lu, futuristic multi-concept Cypher also committed to a grand opening. Within its neon-lit geometric walls are coffee shop Foreplay, fusion restaurant Climax and whiskey speakeasy Aftertaste.


Image courtesy of Monkey

The shuffling continues for Monkey – the cocktail bar helmed by Jackie Lo has moved from Julu Lu to Wuyuan Lu.

If you like piña colada... you can head to Birds of Paradise for their new happy hour. Escape the daily grind daily from 3-8pm when beer, wine, frozen piña coladas and eight others cocktails for only RMB50. 

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Image courtesy of Birds of Paradise

In addition to the icy tropical tipple featuring Cuban rum, coconut cordial, fresh pineapple, lime and cinnamon, we like the sound of ‘Six Pence Hot Pot.’ That spicy number gets its kick from Peddler’s gin, thyme wine cordial and Sichuan pepper tincture. If you get peckish, the okonomiyaki fries are dank AF.  

Last but not least, from OHA Design (Blackbird, Bar No. 3) comes Dead Poet (see photo above) on Jinxian Lu. We love the creative drinks at their other venues, so can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next.

[Cover image image via tricycle.org]


Got a hot tip? Feel free to email all juicy rumors dining@urbanatomy.com. 

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