Welcome back to the December issue of Shanghai F&B Gossip!
This month in unexpected upheavals, the Yongfu Lu taco truck caught fire last Saturday night. According to an eyewitness, local partygoer Bridget O'Donnell, the truck's grill was the first thing that caught alight, quickly spreading and filling its cab with smoke. In what was either a very brave or stupid move, the truck's proprietor reportedly dashed into the burning vehicle to pull out two propane gas tanks after a fire extinguisher did little to calm the inferno. We bet the Xuhui Mayor is having a field day over this one...
Earlier in the week, Bocado, a popular Spanish restaurant and bar, sprung a surprise closure on us. According to owner Charles Cabell, the team had originally sought to find a new location for the place but decided against it in favor of focusing on new and existing projects, including Jing'an's Husk restaurant.
In further troubling news, Wishbone, one of our favorite rotisserie chicken places, will be closed while the team look for a new location. No word as of yet on where that'll be... might we suggest Found 158?
Speaking of Found 158, local cuisinier Nat Alexander is opening a pizza restaurant in Shanghai's new favorite/only subterranean open air mall. Dubbed Homeslice, the restaurant will offer 20-inch pies by the slice. In typical Alexander fashion, he's taking the whole thing up a notch and making his pizzas with 48-hour aged sourdough crusts.
We can also reveal that a new Farine concept will soon be sprouting forth from the fertile imagination of Franck Pécol: Farine Lab. According to a source, the concept will still be dessert focused, though more "experimental and playful" than the traditional offerings at Farine. Due to open in December.
Xintiandi also got served a new resident this month: Cobra Lily. The latest brainchild from the Liquid Laundry gang, the bar-cum-lounge restaurant serves craft beer and an Asian menu designed by Kelley Lee herself and LL head chef Simon Sunwoo.
This new opening comes simultaneously with a second branch of Liquid Laundry, known colloquially as Lil' Laundry, inside the Shanghai Centre on Nanjing Xi Lu.
Over at the glitzy Pullman Hotel, a glamorous new bar and restaurant has been installed on the 50th floor. FED, short for ‘Flowers, Eats, Drinks,’ offers a decidedly floral ambience alongside a Western menu and craft cocktails.
Also coming soon to Shanghai is Dodu, gourmet rotisserie chicken bistro by French expat Hugo de Mondragon, who has apparently spent the last year researching France's best rotisseries in search of their secrets. Management tells us they won’t be serving any old broilers, either; they’ll be roasting fancy hormone-free Yellow Red Label hens bred on a free-range farm.
It was revealed earlier in the month that culinary power couple Sean Jorgensen and Anna Bautista were to take the reigns of newly opened all-day dining lounge Highline. This venture will mark Bautista and Jorgensen’s first permanent kitchen gig since their respective posts at Coquille and Liquid Laundry.
Further surprises were in store with the unveiling of Shanghai’s first hot sauce tasting bar. Cheekily named The Hot Box, the shop sells a fiery range of imported, local and housemade hot sauces.
Over in barland, biggest news of the month is Eddy Yang's new cocktail bar, Above The Globe, to be situated in the McKinnon Theatre, built specially for incoming production of Sleep No More, an updated version of Macbeth. With a subtle Shakespearian theme running through it (the name is a nod to the Bard's Thames-side theatre, The Globe) the menu will be divided into three genres: 'histories,' of vintage cognac, classics and gin led cocktails, 'comedies,' featuring floral, herbal, fruity and refreshing numbers; and 'tragedies,' which will be "strong and bitter." Figures. Grand opening pegged for December 16.
Last but not least, our pals over at DRiNK Magazine, China's leading bar industry magazine, held their inaugural awards ceremony in the sumptuous Wanda Reign on the Bund hotel. Voted for exclusively by industry leaders, winners like Speak Low, The Nest, Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hakkasan, The Long Bar and Union Trading Company (surprise, surprise!) all scooped up prizes.
There wasn't a dry glass in the house.
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