Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: April 2024

By Sophie Steiner, April 24, 2024

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This month, an April shower of food news is raining down upon us, beginning with none other than burgers – Shanghai's only solely smash burger dedicated venue, no less – with the impending opening of GOODMAN

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Image courtesy of GOODMAN

Griddle-fried, crispy, and juicy, look forward to the purest burger form there is, brought to you by a powerhouse team of Yaya’s (Andrew Moo, Dan Li, and Warren Pang) and Bastard (Jiro Hsu and Michael Janczewski) – some of the hottest names in Shanghai F&B right now. 

Set to open in a hole-in-the wall spot on the trendiest locale – Fumin Lu / Changle Lu / Julu Lu area – construction is well underway, with doors set to officially open in June.

Expect a streamlined menu (no 'fancy' necessary, just classic burgers done right with quality ingredients) plus a beer and highball program (curated by Warren Pang, previously of Janes and Hooch Beijing, DIY Shenzhenthat is conducive to late night drinking on the street. 

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Image courtesy of Park South

Menu creator and chef Andrew Moo (Yaya’s, and menu design for Candor, The Cannery, and Duli) has been a busy man, also revamping the food offering at Park South in Changning.

This hip establishment is owned by a handful of young architects and designers with Minnan 闽南 backgrounds, sporting a restaurant  the eponymous Park South  on the first floor and a bar – called Bark  on the second

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Image courtesy of Bark & Park South

The Minnan diaspora refers to those from Taiwan, Fujian, and parts of Guangdong, and is highly represented through immigration across Southeast Asia and the world.

Inspired by his recent food research trip in Taiwan, Moo has put together a modern Taiwanese-leaning menu that focuses on interpretations of Minnan comfort foods, with bold flavors that pair well with cocktails and wine. 

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Image courtesy of Park South

Open for lunch and dinner, Park South serves fusion comfort foods, Minnan-inspired cocktails, infused liquors, and a fun selection of global wines.

Situated across the road from Huashan Park, the street-side eatery is the perfect spot for an afternoon tipple, quick weekday lunch or date night.

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Image courtesy of BONBON

Shanghai Oude  the team behind J. Boroski, The Upper Room, Bijou, No Filter, and Most Izakaya  is opening a new establishment, BONBON.

Situated above Charbon in iapm Mall, it is a collaboration with chef Paul Pairet of the esteemed three Michelin-starred Ultraviolet.

The venue will showcase a welcoming rooftop bar just in time for summer, with an opening slated for May 11.

Expect creative cocktails, gourmet bar snacks, and some of the city’s top DJs, all against the backdrop of breathtaking city views...

Weixin-Image_20230711122800.jpgImage courtesy of The Upper Room

That same group is also working on another new high-end venue, a modern Xinjiang concept called Hoxa that is set to open in the Somekh Building  the same 1920s heritage building as The Upper Room on Beijing Dong Lu  this June.

READ MORE: UK-Inspired Sippers & Stunning Views at The Upper Room

Guests can look forward to sprawling balconies for shisha, coupled with curated cocktails and Middle Eastern Soho House vibes and eats. 

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Image courtesy of Yone

Japanese establishment HIYA on the 27th floor of The Shanghai EDITION has been completely overhauled into Yone, a Japanese fusion restaurant with a menu designed by Japanese chef Fumio Yonezawa.

The roster of dishes spans Shrimp Butter Miso Soup, M5 Australian Beef Tartare, Atlantic Cod in Clam Stew, M8 Australian Wagyu Sirloin in Wasabi Stock and Matcha Tiramisu, to name a few. 

On the drinks front, famed SG Group owner Shingo Gokan (Speak Low, Sober Company, The Odd Couple) is shaking things up, consulting on a lineup of Japanese ingredient-inspired sippers. 

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Image courtesy of Swirl

Speaking of the SG Group, the team has just soft-launched Swirl, a wine cocktail plus Central and South American kitchen concept.

Also known as Swrl., this wine bistro first opened in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood in October 2021, and then closed – as originally planned – in July 2023.

That same concept has now been revamped and relocated to our own backyard (on Fuxing Lu) and is in soft opening now. 

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Image courtesy of Speak Low

Revamping is what the SG Group is all about these days; after months of being closed, world-renowned, iconic Shanghai cocktail bar Speak Low reopened mid-April, with a sleek new space and a slew of completed renovations  just in time for its 10 year anniversary party.

Looks like it's time to 'sip and guzzle' (the meaning behind the SG in SG Group)  for celebration sake, obviously. 

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Image courtesy of 66Brix

More bar news – Allen Fang (Dreamsicle, The Nest) opened another contemporary cocktail hangout a few months back, 66Brix on Wulumuqi Zhong Lu.

With brunch offerings and coffee cocktails by day; dinner, cocktails, and wine by evening; and bar snacks and creative libations at night, the bar's ethos entails “no rules, no limits, no boundaries” so as to “break away from the ‘in the box’ standard while incorporating the concept of restaurant ingredients into cocktails.” 

Cocktails employ recycled ingredients, bringing the kitchen into the drinks, with bevvie categories like vegetable, tropical, butter, and winetails. 

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Image courtesy of Shai 晒

LGBTQ-friendly cafe and neighborhood bar Shai 晒 began welcoming patrons to its Xingfu Lu digs (across from Baker & Spice) in February, with a heap of craft coffees (with beans ranging from El Salvador to Ethiopia) by day, rolling into craft cocktails by night.

No surprises here: the Espresso Martini is the top seller – merging the best of both worlds. 

The intimate, all-day spot offers plenty of sunshine – owed to the open bay windows – and pet-friendly vibes rolling into the evenings.

Bonus – free snacks at all hours!

Moving to American BBQ, Shanghai is really hitting the meats hard, with the opening this month of both Parlay in the old Bubba’s place in Shankang Li – backed by Smoke KCQ’s Matty Waters...

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Image courtesy of Matty Waters

... and Smokin’ Hog in Post No Bills' previous spot on Wuding Lu.

DSC096092.jpegSmokin' Hog. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Both venues are all about the low-and-slow smoked meats – brisket, ribs, sausages, and the like – but with their own twist.

While Parlay hosts more of an elevated sports bar vibe, Smokin’ Hog is all about the Mexican flair, with a spread of tacos, quesadillas, and soon-to-be-launched Mexican-inspired brunch items. 

READ MORE: Smokin' Hog: Low-and-Slow Texas BBQ on Wuding Lu

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Beefzilla at Cages. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

If that wasn’t enough, Cages also launched their Saturday BBQ this month, with the most artery-clogging, grease-dripping, carnivore’s dilemma of a sando, the Beefzilla, as the star. 

READ MORE: 3 Meaty New Menus: Cages, 18 Hours BBQ & Alimentari

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Totino Panino. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Also in Shankang Li, Totino Panino has opened its new shop (as hinted in our January Gossip edition), with an expanded sandwich and snack menu and a roomier restaurant to match. 

Think arancini for everyone. 

Plus – of course – the same beloved behemoth paninis that feed the hearts and souls of the Shanghai masses. We dutifully promise to report back soon (with drool-worthy photos to match). 

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Image courtesy of Thai Nine

Taking over Homeslice’s previous locale in Found 158 is Thai Nine, a casual pan-Thailand eatery, with conventional – yet loved, for good reason – dishes like Tom Yum Soup, Papaya Salad, Yellow Crab/Prawn Curry, and Pineapple Fried Rice.

With most plates clocking in at RMB38-88 a pop, it's all about the easy-going, pocket-friendly Thai comfort eats that we look forward to checking out.  

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Duli. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In other takeover news, Pho to Shop on Wuding Lu is now a Moroccan restaurant named Madina.

Down the street, Dreamer has become Birdman Yakitori.

And around the corner on Yanping Lu, Just Pocket is now vegan resto Duli, the new pet-friendly outpost also has outdoor seating coinciding with their spring menu launch, curated by none other than Shanghai's busiest chef, Andrew Moo – more details on that to come! 

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Over the river in Pudong, Bamboo Riverhouse on Jinqiao's Hongfeng Lu (previously known as Big Bamboo) re-opened April 12 with an upgraded menu, layout and vibe. 

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Garlic Barbecue. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Also in Jinqiao, the east half of the city’s largest opening of the year is surely EKA Tianwu.

The architectural wonder and creative space boasts a huge lineup of heavy hitter F&B outlets: Garlic Barbecue (set to open next month), Beef & Liberty, Baker & Spice, Uncle No Name, Peet’s Coffee, Lenbach Fountain, Somewhere Kitchen (sister to Something in Wukang Market), W Coffee... and so, so many more. 

Plus there are numerous art exhibitions, galleries, shopping destinations, movie showings, a monthly popup market, and photography destinations. 

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KOR Shanghai. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Onto the closures: famous Taiwanese club chain KOR Shanghai has abruptly bolted shut its award-winning, glamour lounge doors.

The lux design, oriental-inspired cocktails, mouth-watering Taiwanese fusion food, and hip-hop dance music were apparently not enough to keep it in the limelight. 

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Charlie's Burger. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A sad day for burger lovers – all Habit Burger locations around town are now officially shuttered, along with Charlie’s Burger on Wuding Lu.

(Don't worry, the rest of the Charlie's locations are still open and dishing out those damn good burgers.)

The Cactus on Changping Lu also met its fate earlier this month, leaving a gaping hole in the Shanghai board game-loving community, as did Vietnamese haunt Cyclo

Lastly, pioneering grocery store City Shopthe go-to destination for imported goods back in the day, has officially closed its final outpost, leading to much hand-wringing amongst aging expats. 


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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