6 Fun Foodie Options for Dates and Team Building in Shanghai

By Sophie Steiner, September 22, 2020

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There’s only so many date nights you can spend going out to dinner or watching a movie. And how many times can you do team building hotpot and KTV? While they have their time and place, they can be repeated ad nauseum. So why not mix it up with these six fun foodie-focused options.

UnTour Food Tours

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

UnTour Food Tours is not your typical tourist experience. The small, passionate team of food lovers has been taking guests off the beaten path to eat shoulder-to-shoulder with locals since 2010. With tours available in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong, you can discover China’s delicious food, explore authentic neighborhoods and learn the fascinating stories that make up 5,000 years of culinary history. Make sure to arrive hungry!

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In Shanghai, UnTour currently offers seven distinct tours ranging from their most popular Night Eats Tour and Hands-on Dumpling Delights Tour to their newest addition, called Beyond Bulgogi: Shanghai’s Koreatown Tour. Take a deep dive into all things Korean food and gain a newfound appreciation for soju, kimchi and – surprisingly – spam. 

We also recently checked out the Shanghai Hairy Crab Feast Tour. Available from October to December, enjoy an epic journey across crustacean-filled dumplings, noodles and soups, all culminating in learning how to correctly take apart an actual hairy crab the proper ‘Shanghainese’ way. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Each tour is completely unique with trained guides who quite possibly love food more than we do. For upcoming tour dates, group discounts and tour booking, visit the website at www.untourfoodtours.com or scan the QR code.

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The Blending Room 

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Image provided by High Class Spirits Co. 

The Blending Room, a partnership between High Class Spirits Co. (the creators of 白8 Baijiu) and Pudao Wines, is an opportunity to enjoy an all-encompassing spirits making experience, from distilling to blending to bottling. During this two-hour interactive class, guests are guided through the methods, ingredients and nuances that make gin, baijiu and other distilled spirits the unique alcoholic blends that they are.

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Image provided by High Class Spirits Co. 

Each person is given a work station with nine different distillates infused with a single ingredient, such as juniper, coriander seed, licorice, cassia and other mystery exotic ingredients. After learning about the flavors imparted by each, guests work on developing their very own signature blend to bottle and take home. Each attendee will receive a 375ml bottle of their own blended spirit plus three 50ml bottles to give away as gifts to friends and family... or enjoy for themselves.

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Image provided by High Class Spirits Co. 

The next available class is this Saturday, September 26 from 3-5pm at Pudao in Ferguson Lane. Click this link to sign up and scan the QR code to join the Blending Room group chat for future updates and class schedule.

 

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Zotter Chocolate Theatre

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Zotter Chocolate Theatre is located in a 100-year old warehouse building, right on the banks of the Huangpu River. Roughly 2,000 square meters have been converted into an organic chocolate factory, offering daily 1.5-hour long tours in both English and Chinese. 

During the tours, guests can learn about the entire chocolate making process, from bean to bar, all while feasting (think lifetime quota of chocolate consumption levels of feasting) on every combination of chocolate imaginable. 


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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

During the tour, visitors sample their way through cocoa nibs, powdered chocolate, liquid chocolate, chocolate bars, drinking hot chocolate, balleros and hand-scooped chocolate, covering more than 200 SKUs of chocolate varieties. Don’t blow your load early and miss out on some of the craziest chocolate infusions that come near the end. 

There’s also a café at the entrance with the best homemade chocolate ice bars the world has ever known. Bonus: the chocolate theatre is across the street from a huge outlet mall, so after you stuff yourself silly, you can go buy some discounted Nike gear to work it all off. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Daily tours run in English every day on the hour from 11am-4pm on weekdays and 10am-4pm on weekends. Chinese tours run 10.30am, 12.30am, 2.30pm and 4.30pm on weekends, and 12.30pm on weekdays. Take advantage of the special promotion they have going on now through the end of Golden Week where all tour bookings (RMB180 per person) include a free DIY chocolate making lesson, a saving of RMB68. Group discounts are also available. Book ahead by calling 61390150 or email chocolate@zotter.cn.

Sophie’s Noodle Tour 

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Image provided by Sophie Galant

Test your chopstick skills at Sophie’s Noodle Tour, created by Sophie Galant, a local eats lover and noodle aficionado who has lived in Shanghai for 2.5 years. Born out of a want to show her visiting family members why she has chosen to make Shanghai her home, she (naturally!) chose noodles as the most convincing factor. 

Through loads of research and countless trials, her noodle tour took off, first through word-of-mouth and eventually by launching as an Airbnb Experience in 2018. Her noodle tour is now ranked one of the top activities in Shanghai by Airbnb.

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Image provided by Sophie Galant

Sophie’s well-established noodle walking tour starts in Laoximen, snakes its way through Xintandi, and ends near Huaihai Lu. Along the way, guests visit five noodle shops, where they can sample mian hailing from all different parts of China. 

After getting friendly with each noodle shop’s laoban, she encourages guests to interact and learn directly from the owner how the various varieties of noodles are made. This tour can also easily be made vegetarian too, making it all the more appealing to everyone, regardless of dietary preferences.

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Image provided by Sophie Galant

Since its inception, over 100 guests from all over the world have joined Sophie on her noodle tour. Slurp up Sophie’s noodle passion by reserving a spot (or two) on the next tour through the below QR code, and learn to share her love for mian with anyone and everyone.

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Food Theory

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Food Theory has positioned itself as the first ever ‘food hub’ in China, a restaurant meets cocktail bar meets cooking school meets pastry institute meets coffee bistro. Classes for cocktail-making, cooking, baking and coffee brewing are taught by co-founder Clara Ma, along with business partner and fiancé Jessie Chang. They also rent out the space to anyone who wants to become a teacher for the day and lead their own food and bev-related workshops. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Food Theory offers some interesting classes, like fresh pasta making, Basque cheesecake baking and Mid-Autumn Festival desserts baking that sound like they have potential for testing out that special someone’s kitchen skills. Check out which upcoming classes suite your fancy, and book directly by scanning the below QR code.

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Pierogi Ladies 

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Image provided by Pierogi Ladies

Pierogi Ladies, the first and to-date only Polish F&B brand in Shanghai, was born out of a desire to bring the highest quality Polish staple food, pierogi, to China. Filled dumplings, all of the pierogi on offer are handmade with the freshest ingredients, based on old family recipes with a creative twist. After a successful launch in 2016, Pierogi Ladies were ready for expansion by 2018, when they branched out into a larger variety of dishes and sides, from pickles to vodka infusions. 

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Image provided by Pierogi Ladies

Pierogi Ladies now offer a once-a-month Dumplings Unite cooking class as a collaboration with the mother-daughter duo known as ‘Eat Dumplings.’ In the Pierogi Ladies 2.0 space, attendees can take part in a 2-hour cross-cultural cooking class to learn the art of making everything from Polish pierogi to Chinese jiaozi, analyzing the differences and similarities between these two types of dumplings.

If dumplings aren’t your thing, Pierogi Ladies also offer a Pickling Class where guests can learn to jar and ferment different vegetables and fruits properly, and in a variety of flavor profiles. They'll also teach you how to best incorporate pickles into a healthy, balanced diet. 

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Image provided by Pierogi Ladies

Scan the QR code below to get information on upcoming cooking class dates and make a reservation.

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[Cover image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours]

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