Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: February 2019

By Cristina Ng, February 1, 2019

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The gossip lines have been ringing off the hook these days, but let’s start with some good news, shall we?

Image via Grom

Famed Italian gelato experts, Grom, have opened in the dead of Shanghai winter with flavors as tasty as the original, although the staff could improve their scooping skills.

More seasonally appropriate is the avalanche of hot pot openings. Just as we wrapped up this month’s feature on new hot pot joints, more invites for the winter favorite arrived, including Yasmine's Hot Pot (opened next to each location of their eponymous butcher shops) and Yuanyang (from the same people behind Sense 8 and The Peacock Room).

Image courtesy of Yasmine's Hot Pot

Also open is PS.Cafe from Singapore, which we hear has an excellent laksa and decent Western-style casual eats. The Nest’s new concept Rye & Co is finally serving baked goods and cocktails out of Xintiandi Plaza. Elsewhere, Rastaco’s tacos and Papito’s pancakes have new homes, while the True Legend group has just installed a new Pistolera on top of Jing’an’s The Blind Pig.

For Chinese food lovers, there’s a new location of Michelin-famous Moose in Lujiazui and FULU for modern Cantonese on Julu Lu. 

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

This month’s confirmed RIP list includes Paris Rouge, Paris Blanc, Paris Bleu, Mendo (the group behind all these venues is focusing on higher-end ones), EQ and Sushi-O (both on Yanping Lu), P.F. Chang’s (and five other HMS Host concepts), Roast and the original Seesaw on Yuyuan. Plus we’ve seen realtors trying to sell GOD and Hooters (Huaihai Zhong Lu) locations on WeChat.

Thankfully things are looking better on the ‘B’ side of F&B.

First Round by Boxing Cat has moved into Kaiba’s old Dingxi Lu digs. It’s the same old beer that you know and love, with the implementation of a very modern dispenser that fills your glass from the bottom. Another cool innovation is Chef Simon Sunwoo’s use of spent grains from the brewing process to make flatbread dough.

Image by Betty Richardson/That's

Over in Jing’an, the Boxing Cat crew’s old 45 Degrees location has been taken over by Bites & Brews. This should make for a larger, but still cozy extension. 

Other bars that we are eager to check out include an insane mashup of Bar Flow (formerly affliated with Eddy Yang) concept with Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel (named The Grand Bar Flow Hotel) and Jameson’s Smooth Co (another Julu 758 spot).

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

From the team behind Laundry Co. and Barber Shop comes the members-only speakeasy, Liquor Store (in the old Craft spot). How do you become a member? No big deal, you just have to spend RMB38,000 in one visit. Alternatively, long-time regulars or good friends have been given memberships.  As a last resort, sneak in on the coattails of somebody who is, because members can bring up to five friends.

In closures, Mansion finally called it quits in early January and rooftop bar NYX is closed until March.

[Cover image via]

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