Yaya's Neighborhood Pasta Bar

Last Updated: 20/03/2022 | Posted by: SophieSteiner
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Unit E, 329 Tongren Lu, by Nanyang Lu
199 2134 4145
Monday-Sunday 12pm-12am

Yaya's Neighborhood Pasta Bar Description

After the glaring success of their test R&D popup kitchen at X Bar – a key milestone along their 1-year journey to opening – Chef Dan Li (previously of Bird), Andrew Moo (Taste Collective, Le Daily) and Mike Liu (Lucky Mart) officially opened Yaya’s brick-and-mortar shop on Tongren Lu.

Named after the Chinese word for ‘tooth,’ the goal is to serve perfectly al dente, toothsome pasta, with that springy chew you’d expect from an Italian restaurant but incorporating evidently Chinese flavor profiles. 

Yaya also has a connotation with family – meaning ‘grandma’ in Greek and ‘grandpa’ in Shanghainese, further linking the name to the goal of making honest, homey dishes that act as comfort food with a dose of surprise. 

‘None of us are Italian, but we aren’t trying to serve Italian classics like everywhere else. We want to specialize,’ says Moo, slurping down a wriggly, sauce-coated pappardelle strand. 

The concept – in a sentence – is Chinese flavors with an Italian pasta backbone in a neighborhood pasta bar setting. Sounds like something that would come out of the trendiest Brooklyn backstreet, but only in a city like Shanghai does the successful execution actually come to fruition, resulting in a bastardization of multiple cuisines, in the tastiest of ways. 

The team of imaginative creatives– at their core – understand true regional Chinese flavors, and have coupled that with a deep dive in Italian pasta making. And we mean deep. Like hand-making-pasta-every-day-for-the-last-six-months deep. 

The result? Arguably more authentic Italian pasta than most Italian joints in Shanghai paired with lick-your-plate-clean sauces, stewed meats and unique produce-highlighting bites. It’s still comfort food, jut a wildly creative version of it. 

Map of Yaya's Neighborhood Pasta Bar

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