Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: May 2023

By Sophie Steiner, May 29, 2023

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We are in the thick of it.

May Holiday saw a slew of new openings just in time for patio season to kick off, and now things *might* slow down as the city becomes more and more sauna-like.

READ MORE: The Only List of Shanghai Terraces & Patios You'll Ever Need

Probably not though, since, once the creativity starts flowing, it doesn’t quit. Without further ado, your monthly dose of Shanghai’s food & bev gossip is served.

Image courtesy of Eight

Chef Gabo’s (Anarkia, Joye&Sam) is opening his dream venue. Called Eight, it's a punky new concept where traditions are both respected and broken.

Taking over the Monkey space just above Diner on Wulumuqi Lu, this intimate dozen-seater venue will showcase the mad scientist’s level of creativity, with absolutely no rules and no boundaries – it's just you and the chef, inside his kitchen, with eight of everything. 

The menu will feature an eight-course dinner with eight drink pairings, that change on the daily based on the utmost seasonality and, really, just the whims of Gabo himself.

In true Chef Gabo fashion, expect ingenious fusion, playful elements of Chinese flavors and a consistent party. 

Image courtesy of EHB

We wrote about EHB’s anticipated opening back in January’s Gossip, but it looks like everything is finally coming to fruition, with reservations for the first seating opening in mid-May.

For a quick refresher: Chef Esben Holmboe Bang of Oslo-based three Michelin Star-restaurant Maæmo (and other restaurants and bars in Oslo, like Mon Oncle, The Vandelay and The Conservatory), is opening his first restaurant abroad, right here in Shanghai, in the old Sasha's villa across from the old Green & Safe spot on Dongping Lu. 

Called EHB – after his initials, of course – the venue is split across a bar/afternoon tea lounge on the first floor (with Nordic style tea sets, tea-inspired cocktails, Champagne, and traditional Chinese tea selections curated by a tea sommelier); and the dining space on the second and third floors.

The dinner spans The Living Room on the third floor, where the roughly 18-course meal begins, and moves down to the second floor, and more formal Dining Room, where the main courses take place. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Expect strong farm-to-table vibes from the tasting set menu (RMB3,688 per person), a *stellar* wine list worth the splurge that encompasses wine pairing options (RMB1,688 for EHB wine pairing, RMB5,888 for Prestige wine pairing), curated through blood, sweat, and tears by Head Sommelier Richard King (previously of The Showroom).

Nordic flair will abound. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

After closing last June, #5 bar on Asia’s 50 Best list in 2021, Sober Company is finally reopening in Fuxing Park, hopefully by August of this year.

In the past, the venue was split into Sober Café, Sober Kitchen and Japanese-style bar Sober Society – we can’t wait to see what updates they have in store for us with the reopening.

Cheers to bringing back a Shanghai institution!

Image courtesy of 1 Oak

Call it the season of comebacks, as 1 Oak Shanghai also re-opened on the South Bund near Lupu Bridge, after a major renovation just last month.

With outposts in major cities across the globe – like Manhattan in NYC, Las Vegas, Mexico City, LA, Tokyo and Dubai – we have our fingers crossed now that borders are open that we will once again be graced with celebrity DJs and performers. 

Another one for the late night crew, Stardust is a new dance club based in United Valley Mill on Changle Lu, positioning itself as a luxury lounge with an open terrace. 

Chef Juan Campos (RAW, Sakaba Malabar) is partnering with South American meat supplier Xiao Luis and opening Mediterranean-focused Terrakota Bistronomy upstairs in the same complex as F45 Jing'an, Little Catch, and Revolucion.

Final tweaks are in the works, so expect opening to take place this month. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

What happens when medical facilities branch out into fine dining?

You get venues like Circle restaurant, a modern French bistro that has taken over the old The Pine space at the InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin.

The UK's largest private hospital group, and its Chinese healthcare facility of Circle Health, launched Circle restaurant on May 21, on the first floor of Circle Harmony, with seating for 35 inside the villa and another 40 outside in the garden courtyard. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The name comes both from the parent company and the Chinese cultural symbol of a circle representing balance.

The chef, previously of L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, is working with certified nutritionists to present contemporary French cuisine with a healthier approach, utilizing local seasonal ingredients.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Meaning 'Mother Earth' in Kichwa – an indigenous language in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – Pachamama is a revered goddess of the Incan Empire of the Andes... and the inspiration behind this fermentation-focused venue.

Opened in April on Yanping Lu by co-founder and managing partner Ilyà Khokhlov (The Drinkery) and Max Modesti (Goodfellas), Pachamama is a concept designed to please both the health conscious and cocktail lovers of Shanghai through the wide world of fermentations. 

They serve up homemade kombucha, tepaches, pickles, hot sauces, and crafted cocktails centered around South American flavors and spirits, plus fermented chocolate and other Latin America nibbles to pair with lounge-centric drinks.

The space is currently open daily (except Mondays) in the evenings, but the plan is to open soon for daytime as well. 

Image by That's 

The Cannery celebrated seven years of existence this past weekend with a blowout, weekend long celebration that simultaneously kicked off the beginning of its collaboration with (the now closed) Beer Barrel owner Erik Liang Lu.

After sadly shutting its doors last October, Shanghai's top craft beer bar will post up shop inside The Cannery, installing 28 new taps that will flow with some of the world's best and rarest kegged craft brews, plus a walk-in bottle room offering a selection of bottled beers you are guaranteed not to find anywhere else in Shanghai. 

If you didn't know already, Erik is a BFD in the global craft beer community, and by aligning his brand with The Cannery – the two-time winner of the Drink Magazine Bar Award for China's Restaurant Bar of the Year – it will become even more of a libation haven destination than ever before.  

Image via Dianping

Giving Spread the Bagel a run for their money, Bagel & Schmears Café opened on Jianguo Lu last month, offering diners the first hand-rolled and kettle-boiled bagels in Shanghai.

There are breakfast and lunch bagel sandwich offerings, plus an expansive bagel take-away selection, plus 10 cream cheese “schmear” options to choose from. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Connected to Napoli pizza sensation Bottega, and backed by the same team, CocoCrew is finally expanding their “all things coconut drinks” theme into the night. As the name suggests, this spot is all about the detox and retox... with coconuts. 

While the street-adjacent spot has been open for a few months serving healthy, coconut water-based bevvies by day, Peter (previously of one of Beijing's premier cocktail bars: Black Moth) just launched the evening cocktail menu last week, offering refreshing sippers that all play on the global coconuts premise.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Tacolicious is spreading the tacos love to Pudong, opening a satellite kitchen in Jinqiao just last week. While it's not a sit-down restaurant per se, those out east will now be able to order up that good good without it crossing the river. 

Image via Dianping

Speaking of tacos, situated in the sun-soaked Columbia Circle, Los Pacos has opened its doors, spilling out tacos, nachos, burritos, and frozen margs into the Shanghai streets.

Well, not literally the streets, but certainly onto their expansive patio, a flagship restaurant of the area. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A play on the word charcoal, Chaco’b opened quietly in the Shanghai Centre in early April, a Western-Chinese fusion joint focusing on – you guessed it – charcoal and applewood smoked bites.

Chef Ricky Zhou brings together his experience interning at Mr. & Mrs. Bund, coupled with his time at Black Pearl-awarded venue Seul&Seul, to create a diverse fusion menu.

The common (albeit loose) thread is applewood smoke mingled with everything from Chinese, Thai and Japanese tastes to Spanish, French and Argentinian influences.

READ MORE: Chaco'b: Fusion Chinese Grill Bistro Hidden in Plain Sight

Image via Dianping

King’s Bottle, a high-end seafood and steak venue, is now open on Shanxi Nan Lu. The menu is chock full of all the good stuff – oysters, prawns, never-frozen fish, sashimi-grade tuna and salmon, and French-style buttery steaks of all cuts, with an impressive wine list to match. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As for branch expansions...

... Shanghainese institution Wei Xiang Zhai opened in Tianzifang, so you can crush your sesame paste-laden noods in a more upscale setting...

... Money Shops continues to grow its empire with a new – even bigger – locale on the corner of Wulumuqi Lu and Changle  Lu...

... pan-Western wine bar Cooperland set up its second shop on Ruijin Er Lu...

... 8 Pints beer bar is now on the corner of Xikang Lu and Xinfeng Lu...

... and Crave Bakery is opening on Xizang Bei Lu in Huangpu to supply more bread and bakery items to the carbie barbies of Shanghai. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As for closures, The Boiling Crab’s short-lived stint on Changle Lu has ended, but their original location by Xintiandi is still open. 

Oha Group's izakaya, 404, also shuttered its doors in the last few weeks, possibly due to a reshuffling of staff, as the team has now opened up a second location of their Guizhou hotpot joint, Maolago, just above their Italian venue Pass Residence.

Hyatt on the Bund also closed – we can only assume another luxury hotel will soon swoop in to take its place, and its stunning views. 

Got a hot tip? Feel free to email all juicy rumors to 

Read more Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip.

[Cover image via]

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