Biggest news this month comes in huge portions – Austin Hu’s new restaurant, Diner. Think slightly elevated versions of classic diner food – burgers, fries loaded with grilled pork and gravy, pancakes, French toast, and house-made meatloaf and spam. Go hungry, and go ‘Gold Standard’ (you’ll see what we mean.)
They’ll have competition in the burger department from new eatery OH.MY.BURGER! on Jianguo Xi Lu. The fast casual concept will apparently serve just eight burgers, each with an Asian twist. There’s also talk of a cocktail menu and an al fresco courtyard. The below picture ought to give you a hint of what's in store:
Yes, ramen burgers. You had it coming, Shanghai.
Over on Hongqiao’s Laowai Jie (literally, ‘Foreigner Street’) a new ‘bourbon and smokehouse’ has cropped up: The Blind Pig. They’re offering smoked chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and a smattering of Tex-Mex eats too. Oh, and plenty of booze with which to wash it down. Stay tuned for our review next month.
Meanwhile on Fumin Lu, a new takeout sushi place has popped up: FUKU Sushi (nice name!) Operating from a tightly branded shop that looks like it may also sell the latest Yeezy drop as well as sushi, FUKU offers takeout or delivery only. Offerings are geared more toward fusion than tradition.
A few doors down is new Korean export, Kiss the Tiramisu, which supposedly uses mascarpone, Dutch coffee and crushed cookies to reimagine the classic Italian dessert into ice cream format. We're not sure we catch the hype with this one, tastes like a McDonald's soft serve sundae, but three times the price.
Ling Huang’s popular tapas joint Pirata is back on the radar after provoking the ire of noise-sensitive neighbors. They’re installed at a new location on Dongping Lu, just next to the beuverie behemoth that is Sasha’s… Bet they won’t have noise complaints there.
In a curiously colloquial message for the normally austere French eatery, the official Franck WeChat account says only dinner service will be available for the time being, and to contact them "if u want to make a booking. Thx." Insides look the same, but the 'Franck' name has been removed... The new name is Bistrot de Tradition, as far as we can discern.
Booze Booze Booze
Modern Sky have at long last made good on the promise of a brick and mortar music venue – the Modern Sky Lab – inside the Ruihong Tiandi shopping mall over in Hongkou District. The venue has capacity for a 1,200-pax concert hall, a club, café, gallery and beer bar.
Longtime underground club Shelter said zai jian to the city on New Year's Eve 2016, but we're happy to say the owners are indeed plotting a comeback, though with an all-new concept: All. Set to open this month, the club will host a mix of local and international talent, and serve as a lounge during the week.
The location and opening date is still under wraps, but with VJ and artist Kim Laughton in charge of the visuals, we're guessing it'll look different from Shelter's stark black bomb shelter interiors.
A second coming is also on the cards for Eddy Yang's Tailor Bar, which closed for relocation last month. The new digs will be inside 20s-style boutique hotel Le Sun Chine on Huashan Lu. Yang hints that Tailor Bar's no-menu policy will still be enacted, and that will also be a rooftop BBQ space for pop-up events.
In luxurious news, Wanda Reign on the Bund hotel has launched an opulent new brunch at their signature French restaurant, Marc. They’ve laid out all their Sunday best – think caviar, oysters, charcuterie, foie gras, wagyu beef, lobster, duck confit, egg dishes and even xiaolongbao made à la minuit. RMB588 sans booze; RMB718-888 to include free-flow wines or Champagne, plus 16 percent tax and service.
The Nest also has a brand new menu to coincide with the summer season. Regulars of the popular Bund gastrolounge will find plenty of new treats, including Alaskan king crab legs smothered in a really delicious and foamy burnt butter sauce and flat leaf parsley.
Yongkang Lu émigrés Funkadeli have also settled into their new Fumin and Changle Lu spot. Dare we say the change has been a good thing for the casual Italian eatery – the outdoor terrace is packed when the weather's nice.
They've also got a new, very boozy brunch courtesy of Austin Hu, offering free-flow Prosecco or wine for RMB125 until 3pm. Switch it up to RMB158 for Bloody Marys, Moscow Mules; RMB188 for Aperol spritz or London No.1 G&T’s.
Vegetarian eatery Pure & Whole also has new menus for the summer. Find a selection of nutritious and enormous salads – our favorite is the 'Popeye' (spinach, mung beans, edamame, broccoli, 'coconut bacon', scallions, wakame and miso dressing), as well as old favorites like the pesto matchstick pasta and that vegan chocolate cheesecake.
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