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

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 2 here, Part 3 herePart 4 herePart 5 here, and Part 7 here.


Second Sister

Second Sister Yunnan Restaurant is a new venue by the Azul Group, taking up residence in the old Xouk spot in 1000 Trees Mall.

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The team kicked off their opening mid-September, with dishes like Lemongrass Grilled Seabass, Pu’er Braised Fish, Beef Rolls with Mint, Small Pot Rice Noodles, Xishuangbanna Bamboo Rice, and much more.

The rest of the menu – created by Lijiang native and Dai minority Chef Li – centers around approachable Yunnan dishes, pulling from regional specialties and minority traditional flavors, with an emphasis on local products. 

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Situated on the mall’s 5th floor, the space is split evenly between outdoor and indoor seating, with expansive, sun-soaked views over Suzhou Creek all day long.

Read a full review here

Second Sister Yunnan Restaurant, 开业酬宾 狂欢派对, 5/F, 1000 Trees, 600 Moganshan Lu, by Changhua Lu 大洋晶典5楼, 莫干山路600号, 近昌化路.


Sloppy Gin 

Shanghai’s most wanghong hipster donut shop – Sloppy Gin – opened along Nanchang Lu at the beginning of the 2023 and has systematically risen in the ranks since then.

After its ever-growing popularity, the pastry shop made the jump to Jing'an, along Yanping Lu, for a larger space to accommodate its growing fame.

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With a name that belongs more to a dive bar, plan to arrive with low expectations, and then leave with a sugar high… plus a few extra kilos around your midsection. 

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Most praised for their berliner-style donuts, the team plays around with creative fillings, like pina colada, pistachio cream with mulberry jam, and lemon 'n' sage.

There are also cinnamo rolls, bear claws, croissants, and the like. 

Sloppy Gin, 425 Yanping Lu, by Changping Lu, 延平路425号,近昌平路.


Smokey Project

An ode to the American backyard BBQ – but with Chinese nuances – Smokey Project opened in the old Fan Tang food court space on Yanping Lu just over a month ago, serving up a roster of slow-roasted brisket, ribs, BBQ sides, and the like.

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The firepower comes from an Alto-Shaam Combi oven, one that took six months to get through customs. 

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The oven combines convection and steam cooking through charcoal and electric means to produce the highest quality meat, monitored to the exact temperature to control consistently melt-in-your-mouth beef, regardless of Shanghai’s widely varying weather conditions. 

In short, get excited to sneak a peek at that meat.  

Read a full review here

Smokey Project, 98A Yanping Lu, by Xinzha Lu, 延平路98A号, 近新闸路.


So Mezze

The newest addition to the Pasha group, So Mezze is located in the former Kesshō coffee shop spot in Shankang Li, sandwiched between Homeslice and Tap House

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It offers mezze style Turkish-inspired ‘tapas’ – small plates made for sharing – paired with extremely affordable wine from around the globe. 

The majority of the menu is light and fresh, with Mediterranean brunch items served all day, as well as dips and other nibbles ideal for picking at with a glass of wine in hand. 

The front of the house boasts a ‘Mezze Market’ concept, with pre-prepared grab-and-go bites, dips, meats, cheeses and sweets that can be enjoyed both in the restaurant or for takeaway, like a Turkish version of an alimentari market. 

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Chef Mehmet from Pasha designed the menu at So Mezze – hence many similar dishes found at both venues – with So Mezze focusing more on the starters and all-day brunch, where diners order a handful of dishes, combining complimentary and contrasting flavors from varying plates into one bite.

In the evening, plush, heavy Turkish curtains are pulled, creating a more intimate setting, ideal for private conversation coupled with more wine that flows into eventually into dancing. 

Read a full review here

So Mezze, Shankang Li, 358 Kangding Lu, by Shanxi Bei Lu, 康定路358号, 近陕西北路.


Sober Company

One of the most anticipated (re-)openings of the year, Sober Company is back full time.

Shanghai’s once top-rated bar (No. 5 bar on the 2021 Asia’s 50 Best Bar list), the much-celebrated venue shocked the city when it closed unexpectedly in June of 2022.

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Owned by SG Club CEO and founder Shingo Gokan, the Japanese bar industry tycoon with venues in Tokyo, New York, Dubai and Shanghai (Speak LowThe Odd Couple), Sober Company originally opened in 2017 at 99 Yandang Lu, but has now reopened in INS. 

The revamped space’s biggest change comes with the addition of a first-floor sushi bar, upping the total number of concepts to four under one roof, progressing from lightest to heaviest, casual to swanky. 

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There's Sober Kissa (coffee and tea cocktails-focused lounge); Sober Izakaya (the aforementioned sushi bar with global temaki); Sober Sakaba (a second-floor bistro with a more substantial menu of Western and Japanese fusion bites, as well as 10 classic cocktails with a twist – based on flavors and ingredients from different cities around Japan); and Tipsy (a hidden speakeasy that you can only enter with a special token received after drinking at each of the three previously mentioned locales). 

READ MORE: Sober Company Becomes 1st Big F&B Casualty of Shanghai Lockdown

Read a full review here

Sober Company, F106, 109 Yandang Lu, by Nanchang Lu 雁荡路109号F101室, 近南昌路.


Stiller

Before there was the Three Michelin-starred Taian Table, there was Stiller – an everyday, approachable venue, led by lauded German Chef Stefan Stiller.

The original Stiller in Shanghai had a solid run from 2008-13. It was then revived in 2021 in Guangzhou. And the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit saw a reincarnation of the original in Shanghai, this time in the heart of Xintiandi.

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Stiller provides a space to play with more easy-going options compared to Taian Table. Keep that in mind during your visit, and you will still easily find value in what is being placed in front of you, especially given the location and the name above the door. 

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“I am German, so why should I cook Italian or French food?” says Stefan Stiller, leisurely sipping a glass of Spätburgunder, a cool-climate German Pinot Noir. I should cook what I know while breaking the stereotype of what German food actually means.”

So, it’s no surprise that Stiller is a far cry from your typical German restaurant – one that is customarily filled with lederhosen-clad waiters carrying heaving trays brimming with sausages and thick slabs of pork knuckle, paired with overflowing frothed mugs of beer. 

Instead, it’s all about a refreshingly contemporary take on traditional dishes at the forefront, with creative spins on tried-and-true favorites. 

Read a full review here

Stiller, Building. 22, 181 Taicang Lu, by Huangpi Lu, 太仓路181弄22号, 近黄陂路.


Suzie's Garden

Adding to powerhouse restaurant group Vos Families already impressive roster of lauded wine bars (SOiF, Ottimo, LeDAiLY, theWarehouse, 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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Expect wine-worthy pairers like marinated seafood, FIReNACE charcoal and wood fire oven grilled proteins, a smattering of pasta and pizzas, and vegetable sides.

Read a full review here

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


Read More...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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