All The Wine & the Largest Terrace at Suzie's Garden

By Sophie Steiner, August 22, 2023

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The Place

Adding to powerhouse restaurant group Vos Families already impressive roster of lauded wine bars (SOiF, Ottimo, LeDAiLYtheWarehouse, Suzie, ma-ia-ki), Suzie’s Garden opened this past May in a 1937 heritage building on Fumin Lu, just south of Yan’an Lu – that same one that used to house Coconut Paradise for nearly 20 years. 

WechatIMG673.jpegImage courtesy of Suzie's Garden

Earning its name, over half of the 200 available seats in this expansive venue are al fresco – with 100 in the partially covered, partially uncovered garden, flanked by a bar and surrounded by a wall that affords the space tranquility in the middle of Shanghai’s most renao neighborhood.

WechatIMG672.jpegImage courtesy of Suzie's Garden

There’s also terrace seating for another 20 on the second floor overlooking the garden.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The restaurant’s interior is spread across two floors, with brighter private dining downstairs and dimmer, intimate bistro feels upstairs.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In a modern minimalist manner, white walls, white tables, white mid-century modern chairs and white tableware are accented by warm lighting emitted from hanging contemporary chandeliers, with pops of color from floral table arrangements.

Another smaller building sits at the complex’s entrance – a fully functioning bakery and café that pumps out French-inspired pastries – photogenic croissants, buns, canelés, and cakes – to pair with coffee and fruit tea, best enjoyed in the garden. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Wine is at the forefront of the concept, with the in-house sommelier providing suggestions from the lineup of more than 400 unique bottles, curated for pairing with the Mediterranean-leaning menu. 

The Food

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Vos Families group chef Freddy Raoult is behind the European Mediterranean menu, and it is notably lighter than sister restaurant Suzie’s indulgent French selections.

Think marinated seafood, FIReNACE charcoal and wood fire oven grilled proteins, a smattering of pasta and pizzas, and vegetable sides.

The menu begins with cold starters – oysters, meat and cheeses, aperitivos, and a few playful proteins.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Like the Pickled Clams (RMB48), marinated in vinegar, raw chilis, and ginger, finished with herbs and micro greens. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Fresh seafood abound, the King Crab Salad (RMB158) sees springy claw meat tossed in a punchy wasabi mayo that lingers with just the right amount of heat.

Juxtaposing tart grapefruit segments, fennel salad with quinoa, and alternating daubs of avocado cream and aioli round out the colorful palette for the pleasure of the diner's palate.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Continuing the ocean tidal wave, the yellowfin Tuna Tartare (RMB88) arrives tableside hooded by a hollow pita bread puff filled with smoke.

Upon cracking, the woody aroma mingles with the tuna’s sesame and chili marinade, working double time as the shards also become the ideal tartare scooping vessel. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A signature plate, the Carabineros Carpaccio (RMB138) is studded with crushed pistachio, a lashing of Xinjiang lemon vinaigrette, chiffonade herbs, dill and lime zest – supple and fresh in its simplicity. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Swimming in melted butter, the pan-fried Dover Sole (RMB348) is liberally sprinkled with a bread and roasted garlic crumble, the dairy’s oomph tempered by the briny prickle of capers, herbaceous parsley and chives, and a gasp of citrus. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The kitchen’s focal point, the FIReNACE oven combines charcoal and wood fire, imparting a uniquely smoky flavor and char that pervades everything cooked inside it.

Case in point, the 15 Days Aged US Prime Beef Ribeye (RMB438), a generous 350 gram portion, seared to a perfect medium rare, slathered in anchovy butter. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Diverging slightly from the Mediterranean theme, the specials section focuses on Yunnan mushrooms, with offerings like Chanterelles Pizza (RMB128), laden with mascarpone cream, thick cubes of torrefied bacon, and a liberal dusting of shaved parmesan cheese atop handmade dough, finished in a customized Napoli-style, domed pizza oven.

DSC05565.jpgShishito Chili (RMB48), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As the venue houses its own on-site bakery for all breads, pastries and desserts, we highly advise ending with something sweet – like the Apple Tart (RMB68) presented with salted caramel-dribbled homemade vanilla soft serve.

The flaky tart pulls away in decadent layers, sheathed by pleats of sugar syrup-soaked apple. 

Worth noting, dinner is served until late – 10.30pm on weekdays and 11.30pm on weekends – providing dining options for those still sipping into the wee hours.

There’s also a weekday lunch set menu of RMB168 for three courses from the carbs menu and RMB198 for three courses from the grill menu, with mostly lunch appropriate portions of dinner menu items. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Yonex Zhang, the wine mastermind behind all Vos Families venues, pulls inspiration from the wine concepts across the rest of the group: Suzie’s Burgundy and Italian fine wines; Ottimo’s new world wines; SOiF’s natty’s and boutique winery bottles; ma-ia-ki’s sparkling and sake selection, and more.

Together, this culminates in a cellar that showcases everything from classic bottles of large estates to rare finds from niche vineyards hailing from all over the globe – attracting a wider audience of wine experts and entrants alike.

The Vibe

The sprawling garden translates to a serene oasis, one where you can pretend to be on holiday in Europe; the only nagging reminder you’re actually in Shanghai arriving in the form of unrelenting humidity that makes the back of your knees sweat as much as your rosé glass. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

But, the end of summer is in sight, which means terrace time will be all the more appealing, and Suzie’s Garden daytime-into-nighttime offerings translate to a place you won’t want to leave. 

Price: RMB400-600
Who’s Going: The Vos Families followers, wine lovers, chef Freddy Raoult fan girls (and boys)
Good For: Date nights, outdoor afternoon work sessions paired with fanciful pastries and tea, late night dining

Suzie's Garden, 38 Fumin Lu, by Yan'an Zhong Lu,  富民路38号, 近延安中路.

Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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