Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 2

By Sophie Steiner, February 5, 2024

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And so we bid adieu to the Year of the Rabbit – a wild ride of high highs and low lows. Yet, the show must go on, and that means enjoying it in the way we know best – through good food and plenty of drink.

Here's our A to Z recap of some of the major restaurants and bars that swung their doors wide open and bunny-hopped through into the Year of the Dragon.

See Part I here, Part 3 herePart 4 herePart 5 here, Part 6 here, and Part 7 here.


Making the leap from Beijing, Neapolitan pizza and pasta joint Bottega landed on Xiangyang Lu in the old Beef & Liberty spot in the KWah Center with a bang.

Co-owners and brothers Paolo and Daniele Salvo man the kitchen and the wine / restaurant floor, respectively, with co-partners Nana Shinohara as the chairman and David Connolly running creative.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

After successfully opening Bottega to the pizza loving masses in Beijing in 2014, the team has got this recipe down to a science.

As one would expect from a Napoli restaurant, pizza is the star of the show – and not just by local standards; Bottega has received a slew of accolades over the years from international culinary authorities.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The space is loud: bold lighting; in-your-face retro colors; disco balls; glowing 1950s-themed ‘advert’ posters for Italian F&B brands; a brightly lit open kitchen featuring a racecar red Stefano Ferrara pizza oven; an entire wall homage to ‘The King’ Diego Maradona, who put Naples on the football map; and an illuminated DJ booth.

But the focal point is the lustrous bar, a could-be backdrop for a Campari and Aperol commercial. It’s prideful, demonstrative, frenetic and borderline excessive.

We love it. 

Read a full review here.

Bottega, 1/F, 101B, K.WAH CENTRE, 108 Xiangyang Bei Lu, by Huaihai Zhong Lu 襄阳北路108号101B嘉华中心1楼, 近淮海中路.


After a three-year historic preservation hiatus (further drawn out by COVID complications – you know the drill) vaudeville theater and cabaret lounge Candor is back, baby! 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Situated in the heritage building Lyceum Theater on Maoming Lu – Shanghai’s oldest performance theater – enthusiasts of burlesque / cabaret / drag / classical dance / contemporary dance / multi-media theater / multi-genre theater performance (and more!) now have a new home. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

They have also added a snack and dinner menu – courtesy of Andrew Moo (Yaya’sLe Daily) – plus a face-lifted cocktail and punch bowl selection – curated by Alex Mill

Image courtesy of Candor

The third floor is where the magic happens: a dinner theater show space replete with a central back-lit stage, seating for 80 across two-seater tables and VIP booths, and a side bar with all manner of poles to hang on, swings to leap from, and counters to dance on.

Read a full review here.

Candor, 2/F, Lyceum Theatre, 57 Maoming Nan Lu, by Changle Lu, 茂名南路57号,近长乐路.

Coco Crew

The team behind Bottega (see above) launched a second concept – Coco Crew – conveniently located right in front of the Neapolitan pizza and pasta joint, street adjacent with a sun-soaked patio.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As the name suggests, this spot is all about the detox and retox… with coconuts. Think healthy coconut water-based bevvies and coffee drinks by day, and creative coconut cocktails by night.

The concept is brought to you by Peter Kwok, previously of one of Beijing’s premier cocktail bars: Black Moth.

In addition to drinks, there’s also tropical island flavor-inspired desserts, all crafted in house by Jacopo Bruni

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In a city that boasts more coffee shops than anywhere else in the globe, this is a refreshing (pun intended) alternative – one with a focused theme that isn’t just whipping up the wackiest ingredients to score those coveted five-star Dianping reviews and wanghong snaps of cups full of more sugar than coffee. 

Read a full review here.

Coco Crew, 1/F, 101B, K.WAH CENTRE, 108 Xiangyang Bei Lu, by Huaihai Zhong Lu 襄阳北路108号101B嘉华中心1楼, 近淮海中路.


With a menu centered around the 24 solar periods of the traditional Chinese calendar, Collectif is an amalgamation – or collection, hence the name – of ingredients, recipes and memories gathered by co-owners and chefs Shane Wang (previously at INUA in Tokyo, Jean GeorgesSeul&Seul) and Malik Sie (previously Chef de Cuisine at Bloom) throughout their China and global travels. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

After studying and working around the world, the two have returned to Shanghai, empowered to honor the ingredients of their childhood (in Zhejiang and Taiwan) while also re-working lesser known flavors into a fine dining setting. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As a classically-trained French chef, Wang draws on her 'toolbox' of both French and Chinese cooking techniques to complete a dish, allowing diners to simultaneously indulge in both the familiar and peculiar in ingenious forms.

Expect to find curious ingredients like pungent Zhejiang Pinghu zaodan (糟蛋) – or koji-preserved egg; grassy jiuxiang caotao (酒香草头); flame-scorched Dalian Wagyu flank steak; barnyard funky Chinese toon shoots; jujube sponge cake; and custardy tofu pudding.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The venue currently offers a prix fixe seasonal menu (that covers 16 courses) for RMB648, with an option to add on three glasses of wine for RMB268 or five drinks for RMB588 – three wines and two bespoke cocktails, showcasing their newly launched Chinese tea-inspired cocktail menu.

Read a full review here.

Collectif, D-101, 850 Xikang Lu, by Xinfeng Lu, 西康路850号 D-101室, 近新丰路.

Eat by Diner 

Beloved Shanghai legend Austin Hu’s final remaining venue, Diner, has been rebranded as Qie Ve by Diner – or Eat by Diner, as it means in the Shanghainese dialect – now helmed by Chef Gabo (of 8 by Anarkialocated in the same building). 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Remaining true to its classic American diner roots – think elevated comfort food like meatloaf, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, burgers, French toast, and loaded 'disco fries’ – the lineup of dishes sees that same concept, but through a modern metropolis lens. 

American diners in cultural melting pot cities like New York, LA and Chicago no longer cut it with the standard stack of pancakes, instead opting for a mishmash cuisine that represents the diverse culinary makeup of these cities.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In true Gabo fashion, the first menu iteration is just that and then some.

Think salmon toast with a wave of ikura roe cascading down the volcano-shaped mountain of seafood; chipotle BBQ meats; Shanghainese hongshaorou-marinated pork ribs; a zero-to-60 gluttonous smash burger; carbonara Tonkatsu; and Baijiu marinated fried chicken atop a HK bubble waffle croissant... to name just a few.  

Read a full review here.

Eat by Diner, 145 Wuyuan Lu, by Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, 五原路145号,近乌鲁木齐中路.

Goose Island Tap Room

After opening their Jiashan Lu taproom in March, Chicago-native beer brand Goose Island's expansion is underway, with the opening of a venue on Yanping Lu: Goose Island Taproom.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

This 60-seater, all-American beer hall offers up 14 beers on tap (a mix of flagship brews and seasonal releases) plus live sports viewing, and a roster of American bar snacks – hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, pizzas, nachos, and the like. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

From crushable lagers to tropical hazies, from roasty porters to hop-forward IPAs, Goose Island brews run the gambit on flavor, pouring out something for everyone. 

Read a full review here

Goose Island Taproom, Unit 98-2, 97-4, Yanping Lu, by Wuding Lu, 延平路98号, 近武定路.

Guloo Burger 

Opening its doors in mid-May on Beijing Xi Lu, fast casual hamburger joint Guloo Burger can fit 7-10 people at counter space that perimeters the venue.

The kitchen is open, so you can watch (and smell) your meat frying, all while listening to hip hop in this overly bright spot.

Fine for a quick lunch; not necessarily a place to bring a date (the focus is clearly waimai). 


Guloo Burger made it a point to tell us that all of their meat is certified US beef, and they even have these nifty US beef-branded toothpicks that you can stick in your burger to flaunt it. 

And the meat quality is solid, presented in smash burger form and griddle-charred on a flattop, a slice of gooey cheddar on each patty gluing the lettuce, tomato, housemade pickles and 'guloo sauce' – a homemade ketchup of sorts – together inside a stellar brioche bun. 

DSC06877.jpgGuloo Burger. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Shoutout to those buns, y’all!

Like all good buns of the world, you just wanna wrap your hands around them and squeeze. 10/10. 

They also offer americanos, homemade sodas and lemonade, and a breakfast sandwich and americano deal that is worth getting out of bed for. 

Don't foret the free flow homemade spicy daikon pickles (seasoned with a hint of huajiao pepper), and homemade sweet pickles.

Read a full review here

Guloo Burger, 1124-3 Beijing Xi Lu, by Shaanxi Bei Lu, 北京西路1124-3号, 近陕西北路.


Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 1


Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 3


Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 4


Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 5


Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 6


Year of the Rabbit Recap: New Shanghai F&B – Part 7


To read the full Year of the Rabbit New Restaurant & Bar Openings Recap click here or scan the QR code:


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