Like reading restaurant reviews in That's Shanghai? We get it, there are a lot of them. Here's a list of the ones from 2016 we liked the best, scoring 4/5 or higher on our restaurant rating system that takes into account food quality, atmosphere, service and value for money.
These are our high scorers, but what places are we missing? Tell us about your favorite restaurant in the comments section below, and the most beguiling commenter will receive a RMB200 Sherpa's voucher. That's better than a kick in the teeth, no?
The third project undertaken by wandering chefs/restaurant consultants Anna Bautista and Sean Jorgensen, Calix is a new restaurant by the Barbarossa Group, with an Americana-inspired menu. We loved their generous burgers, mac and cheese and threw some charred octopus in the mix, which proved to be delicious.
Price: RMB150-300 per person
Who's going: locals and expats, wandering Xintiandi tourists
Good for: al fresco dining, set deal, cocktails, Western food, burgers, Mediterranean food
Far-West Crêpes & Gallettes 4.5/5
Far-West is the newest eatery from restaurateur Franck Pécol that trains its focus exclusively on crêpes and gallettes, thin and crispy French-style pancakes that can be plied with toppings both sweet and savory. We were big fans of these delectable treats, both the savory and the sweet options.
Price: RMB30-95 per crêpe
Who’s going: locals and expats
Good for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, families
Alan Wong's 4/5
Some people love it, other people hate it. There's little doubt that Alan Wong's has been the most divisive new opening of the year. We fall firmly into the Wong Camp, and can't get enough of the gochujang glazed shortribs with ginger prawns (RMB328). Neither can President Obama, so we're in good company!
Price: RMB600-900 per person
Who's going: well-heeled locals, the occasional group of expats
Good for: special occasions, expense accounts, dates, seafood, Hawaiian food, private rooms
Opened by Spaniard Julian Remirez Rentero, Cabra (meaning ‘goat’) is a minimalist, high-ceilinged second floor spot on Wuding Lu in Jing'an offering simple and cheap tapas to accompany a wide selection of reasonably priced drinks. We found it to be well worth it and offer good value for the amount of money spent there.
Price: RMB100-200 per person
Who's going: Spanish expats, the odd Chinese hipster
Good for: tapas, casual food, pre-drinks, large groups, hangouts, cocktails, wine
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon 4/5
Another new restaurant that set opinions blazing, we couldn't fault the exceptional quality of the ingredients nor execution of the food and service at this temple to French fine dining on the Bund. As for the price, well, let's just say we'll wait until we our Bitcoin shares skyrocket before we pay for another return visit.
Price: RMB800-1000 per person (à la carte), RMB758-1388 per person (degustation set menu), +10 percent service
Who's going: well-heeled locals, French expats
Good for: special occasions, dates, impressing guests, French food, fine dining
Tepito head chef Edgar Hernandez hails straight outta Mexico City and brings us genuine Mexican food offerings that transcend the typical soggy taco often found in Shanghai. We're talking about mole made using 70 percent dark Belgian chocolate, Corralejo Blanco margaritas and rougie duck here. No shredded lettuce or squirty sour cream invited to the party.
Price: RMB150-300 per person
Who's going: young locals and expats
Good for: casual dinners, groups, Mexican food, tapas, groups, dates
Anthologia doesn't just give you a meal, they give you a complete multi-sensory experience. Traditional Kaiseki style dining is taken the the next level in an auditorium-like restaurant complete with an enormous screen, surround sound and a rapping MC.
Price: set menu only, RMB980 per person
Who's going: mainly locals, couples, business people
Good for: special occasions, Japanese food, fine dining
Chez Maurice 4/5
We were happy to find Chez Maurice to be a good value for money French steakhouse well worth the hype after indulging in their specialty steak and house-cured charcuterie. We would be remiss not to mention that their foie gras, sausage and cured hams were on point, too.
Price: RMB250-600 per person
Who's going: local society gals and French expats
Good for: French food, steak, dates, medium groups, wine, casual and formal dinners
In & Out 4/5
A shopping centre in Xintiandi is one of the last places you’d expect to find authentic Yunnan food, but we did, and it's to be found at In & Out. The menu is a hefty book filled with beautiful photos that actually do the food justice, and we found the selection to be varied and spicy in all the right ways.
Price: RMB120-140 per person
Who’s going: young locals mainly
Good for: Yunnan food, lunch, dinner, dates, casual dining
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