Biggest news of the month is undoubtedly the Michelin Guide 2018, which dropped stars on 30 Shanghai restaurants on September 20. This year's selection included a couple of big name entrants, namely Jean Georges, Wujie (Bund) and Alvin Leung's Bo Shanghai. Ultraviolet also got upgraded from two stars to three – something that illicited cheers around the room.
Oh, and we gave away a few awards too at the 15th Annual That's Shanghai Food & Drink Awards at a ceremony that was decidedly more boozy than Michelin's – c'mon, we're a media organization. Check out the full list of winners here.
With autumn just around the corner, we’ve got our eating calendars scheduled for one thing: hairy crab season. This year we’ll be booking ourselves on UnTour’s brand new hairy crab food tour, allowing them to do the hard work and guide us to various spots specializing in Shanghai’s signature fall delicacy. The tour includes five to six hairy crab dish tastings (including hairy crab xiaolongbao!) a whole crab, two non-crab dish tastings, and blood-warming Chinese brandy to wash it down, lest you unbalance your qi.
Uh oh, looks like American restaurateur and TV legend Mario Batali didn't register his Eataly brand name in China – a Chinese namesake has popped up on Wulumuqi Zhong Lu. Aside from a shared name, the similarities end there. One is a sprawling gourmet marketplace where you can savor the magical produce of Italy without actually being in the country, the other is a small bistro that focuses on local expectations of the latter.
French restaurateur and chef Nicholas Le Bec has opened up a follow-up café and wine bar called Épicerie 62 to his to his beloved restaurant Bistro 321 Villa Le Bec. Find delicious patisserie, sandwiches and coffee in the front, and a simple bar menu with an enormous French wine selection at the back. Pro tip: order the RMB30 croque monsieur.
More wine at newly opened Vinism. This super cute little French bar and restaurant might be one of our favorite new openings of late. Come for a glass of wine and a tour round the cave (French for 'cellar'); stay for the affordable tapas bites. Oh, and the vintages are exclusively biodynamic, and with prices more likely to make you say 'Bon marché!' than 'What the fuck.'
Frequenters of Le Baron – there's a rumor they've opened a new, millennial pink lounge bar and terrace one floor up from the club called Beverly. The name feels like a continuation of the mid-Century SoCal mood that proprietor Cody Allen channeled at his other venue, Highline; perhaps a beautiful but damaged housewife with a 23-inch waist and a righteous stash of barbiturates.
In less pleasing news, retro bar Arcade is closing down, with a farewell party courtesy of the STD crew on September 30. We're going to assume this fresh smite is from the Gods of city zoning again.
More closures on that front: SMASH will also be shuttering its doors, on the same day, no less. According to a statement, the team behind the popular low-key bar and club "Can't achieve what they want at the current location, and have decided to look for a more suitable venue." The place will reportedly continue to operate, albeit under a new name and ownership.
Back to the good news: Sherpa's is looking for four taste testers to 'separate the wheat from the chaff' when it comes to which restaurants get on their food delivery platform. The requirements seem pretty low – applicants must have a command of English, not ask for money (it's an unpaid but expenses reimbursed position), not be allergic to any food, and have a pulse. Sherpa's, if you're reading, call us.
Another month, another celebrity chef lining up to open a restaurant in Shanghai. It's Jamie Oliver's turn this time; the British TV chef and cookbook impresario will be bringing a branch of Jamie's Italian ('Italy via Essex', as our intern put it) into the newly-opened Taikoo Hui complex by December. Lovely jubbly...
Fans of Taco Bell, your prayers have been answered: a Puxi branch will be opening very soon on Maoming Bei Lu, just a few doors up from White Castle and Goose Island Brewhouse. Let’s hope it’s as gut-rumblingly authentic as the first in Lujiazui.
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