Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: January 2022

By Sophie Steiner, January 28, 2022

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With the Western festive season rolling into the Eastern holiday period (plus a seemingly never-ending COVID rollercoaster), restaurant openings are kicking it up into full throttle, leaning in to the Shanghai crowd that has committed and is here to stay.

With that comes a playground of new cuisine options, ones we aim to hit up soon. Hey, if we still can’t travel, what’s left to do but eat our feelings?

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Italian Chinese fusion pasta shop Yaya’s by chef Dan Li (previously of Bird), Andrew Moo (Taste Collective, Le Daily) and Mike Liu (Lucky Mart), is finally opening a brick-and-mortar store of their own. 

Slated for March on Tongren Lu, the plan is to be open daily for lunch and dinner, offering a fuller menu of 6-10 pasta dishes, snacks, wine – heavy on the natural and organic varieties, knowing this trio – and fun drinks, with a rotating selection of food specials.

The idea is a casual neighborhood eatery; no frills, no fuss. We can’t wait for more of those tooth-some pastas to fill our bellies. 

READ MORE: Yaya's Italian-Chinese Pastas: The Exception to Fusion Failures

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Riding on the coattails of the success of their second opening of Azul Italiano in 1000 Trees, Colca Group is also opening Xouk on the 5th floor of the same mall.

The food concept will be casual western, like Gaga, with a focus on convenience, while the décor is Middle Eastern. Plus, there is a huge – and we mean huge – patio.

The ice cream shop component of Xouk is slated to open before CNY while the rest will follow suit after the holiday. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Da Vittorio’s casual new restaurant New Wave is causing, well, waves in the Jing’an dining scene, with more approachable bistro fare at – while still expensive – more pocket-friendly prices than its older brother.

The smaller menu focuses on pasta, risotto, grilled fish and meat and pizza, plus a smattering of Italian starters and sweets. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Bitter and Bird closed last month, only to be taken over by the team behind J. Boroski.

Bitter will stick to a similar format – the coffee and Italian aperitivo cocktail route – just renamed No Filter.

Bird, which is currently under construction, will become Bijou by Bistro 11, offering a brunch-centric menu, a smaller mini-me of the Bistro 11 below J. Boroski. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Beast of the East Social House by True Legend (PistoleraBig Bambooopened this month on the ever-popular Fumin Lu and Changle Lu corner, taking over Lucky You’s old digs. 

The huge space covers hightops and low tops for eating, drinking, hanging and dancing… there is a disco ball and a DJ booth after all.

The food menu of nearly 100 items dives into the world of smoked BBQ meats, bringing back to life some of The Blind Pig’ standout dishes, along with brick oven pizzas, salads and charcoal oven-grilled seafood. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As for the drinks, there’s a lineup of Beast of the East taps with everything from flagship beers to experimental brews, all created by none other than Beast of the East brewmaster, Matt Jimenez. Plus there are cocktails galore. 

READ MORE: Brewer Matthew Jimenez on the Beast of the East Beer Revolution

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Also on the Fumin Lu corner, Ha Tien, a laid-back Vietnamese eatery is planning to bring back the Mr. V Banh Mi trend of late night banh mi sandwiches.

For those who don’t remember, Mr. V was an institution, serving up authentic Vietnamese eats – particularly banh mi sandwiches until the wee hour. Finally, meat-laden crispy baguette sandwiches back on the Shanghai late night eating contingency's menu. 

Shanghai’s most successful all-in-one live sports bar Cages is expanding with a second location that just opened at One East. Expect the same Cages vibes you know and love, just in a “smaller” space. And by smaller, we still mean seating for around 400. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The food is just as solid, a collaboration between the longstanding Cages chef Jason Oakley and Sean Jorgenson (previously of The Cannery), that sees a lot of the favorites from Cages’ original location plus some newbies.

Speaking of crazy good American sports bar classics, Wayne Hou, the pizza master who specializes in Chicago tavern style pizza, is gearing up to open a full time spot above Jax Bistro on Fumin Lu. No more needing to anxiously await his next popup, now you’ll be able to pop in at your leisure. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Charcoal Player recently opened in TX Mall, a modern tribute to Sichuan cooking, in a Western creative style.

Offering a 9-course set menu for RMB780, diners can expect color-coordinated plates, each highlighting unique aspects of Sichuan cooking techniques and flavors. Think The Peacock Room, but more contemporary. 

Uncle No Name is opening another location across from Taikoo Hui, right next door to that too-cool-for-school Japanese fashion brand niko and … 

Uncle No Name’s Xintiandi spot offers a full brunch menu daily, so we are looking forward to the same, plus some of our favorite bakery goodies. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Speaking of freshly baked goodies, Yugo Grill is launching Yugo Baker to serve up all those tasty Eastern European delights, paired with coffee. 

The Mosto Group – the team behind Mosto in Beijing, Moka Bros and La Social – is opening Shanghai's own Mosto on the corner of Shaanxi Nan Lu by Julu Lu.

This casual eatery will offer Mediterranean flavors curated by Spanish-Venezuelan chef and co-founder Daniel Urdaneta. The sunlit filled fifth floor bistro offers Jing'an skyline views in an unpretentious yet intimate setting.

The restaurant just opened its doors on Friday, so make sure to be one of the first to snag a reservation.  

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The Radisson Hotel just soft opened a new Japanese restaurant, Sangou, with a focus on omakase sets, tempura sets and yakitori.

Three separate spaces incorporate the five elements of wood, fire, water, earth and gold. The food includes omakase sets of creative, modern Japanese plates in the two smaller omakase rooms, and order-by-the-skewer yakitori in the main izakaya dining room. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

BISOU is expanding the Oysterlicious Group empire (OsteriaPlump OysterC PearlThe Plump Gardenwith BISOU Seafood, a seafood-focused French wine bar slated to open soon on Henghsan Lu. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Also in the world of doubles, The Boiling Crab’s second location on Fumin Lu just opened with No. 18 Brewery’s first taproom attached, hailing all the way from Wuhan.

The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund’s Long Bar is bringing back the former glories of the Bund with a revamp to both the food and drinks menu.

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Image courtesy of The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

Most interesting of the lineup is the Colonel Sanders Margarita with ‘finger lickin’ good’ bacon-infused tequila.

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There’s also ‘The First KFC’ Mini Chicken Wings (how did they get the Colonel to give up his secrets?)

There will also be a new band performing live jazz every Tuesday through Saturday.

READ MORE: The Day in History: Shanghai’s First KFC Opens in 2 on the Bund

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Image courtesy of Teatro

Il Teatro is a two-floor Italian restaurant that just opened in Xintiandi, featuring an Italian bistro-style cafe and eatery on the first floor and Italian fine dining on the second floor.

Shake is shutting down in the end of January. But – don’t freak out – it’s only for renovations. They will reopen soon after the holidays with an upgraded interior look and more of the same live music paired with funky cocktails and nibbles to match. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Taco and mezcal hangout Mezcalito is looking for a new owner to take over the space, so unfortunately that may be another one to come and go in a matter of months. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Daniel An’s Atelier by Taste Buds sadly closed down last week in its spot on Julu Lu, but silver lining is strong for this group as hording has been spotted for a new location on Changle Lu.

Not to mention, the same group just opened a second location of Atelier Izakaya by the Bund, just next to Sakemate and Goodfellas. Plus, they revamped and transformed Taste Buds into 1Up – a retro gaming arcade co-owned with the Cages team.

That’s one helluva busy month for the group. 

Longstanding Malaysia restaurant Umami by chef Joey Cheong closed this month; we will miss the laksa and those wings.

Finally, like a flash in the pan, GRND CNTRL opened, and just a few short months later, already closed.

And so it goes...


Got a hot tip? Feel free to email all juicy rumors to sophiesteiner@thatsmags.com. 

Read more Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip.

[Cover image via tricycle.org]

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