New Shanghai Bars and Restaurants: February 2019

By That's Shanghai, February 12, 2019

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Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our February 2019 magazine issue.


Restaurants

Bistro Bonbon

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

We first started hearing murmurs of a cozy new joint with small plates bearing the flavors of Taiwan about a year ago. Alas, before we got the chance to visit, they closed. It seems their popularity overran the original Bistro Bonbon’s size. Now relocated within Julu 758 in a slightly larger space, the restaurant is back serving up the greatest hits of the island’s cuisine. These recipes come straight from proprietor Jason Tsai’s mother. While Mama Tsai isn’t a professional chef, her methods (executed by local chefs) certainly make for a lovely meal. 

Total Verdict: 3.5/5

Price: RMB140-250 per person
Who’s going: mostly locals and Taiwan transplants
Good for: post-work nightcaps and nibbles, weekend dinners

Read the full review here. See listing for Bistro Bonbon.


Fish+

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

While fish and chips grace the menus of many fine establishments in Shanghai, there are few are solely devoted to the beloved British staple.

Remedying that situation is Fish+, brought to you by Harry Belford Spencer (aka Mr Harry) and his partners. After relocating the Nanjing Xi Lu location of his namesake British-themed restaurant to Jinshan, Mr Harry returned to a short-lived spot on Yan’an Xi Lu. He has since taken over a space in front of Jing’an dive bar BnC (formerly the home of Detroit BBQ), and edited down the menu transforming it into Fish+.

Total Verdict: 3/5

Price: RMB80-100 per person                       
Who’s going: nearby office crowd and British expats
Good for: casual comfort food, fried food enthusiasts

Read the full review here. See listing for Fish+.


Meanwhile in Xintiandi

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

If you’ve been paying attention, many impressive openings are happening around the Xintiandi area, including excellent new venues such as super hip bar, The Odd Couple and world-famous American burger joint, Shake Shack. Amidst this windfall, one of the neighborhood’s newest residents is an Italian restaurant called Meanwhile in Xintiandi by the PizzaExpress group.

We are the first to admit that we have found the quality at the ubiquitous chain lacking on recent visits, and had no idea what to expect from this new venture, with its promise of an “all-day dining experience that can nourish comfort or awaken the soul – all delivered with a refined simplicity and relaxed attitude.” That’s a big claim, but the group has made savvy hires by enlisting Shanghai bar veteran, Aaron Feder to head up the outstanding drinks program and bringing over a talented chef, Jose Graziosi, from London.

Total Verdict: 3.5/5

Price: RMB200-350 per person                    
Who’s going: Mixed crowd of locals, expats and Xintiandi tourists
Good for: Drinks, snacks and pasta

Read the full review here. See listing for Meanwhile in Xintiandi.


Bars

1945 Chinese Tavern

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

When a group of huangjiu enthusiasts comes down with a case of Old Shanghai nostalgia, you end up with something like 1945 Chinese Tavern. It’s a bar that serves exclusively Chinese spirits founded by Gordon Zhang (of Speak Low and Sober Company), a Kunqu Opera artist, a huangjiu producer and their friends.

Located on the stretch of Yuanmingyuan Lu between an outpost of % Arabica and Arsenal Football Club’s official sports bar, 1945 Chinese Tavern is a place you’d mistake for a teahouse if not for the collection of Chinese-produced booze behind the bar. Caged birds bookmark the entrance for good feng shui, while walls and cushions feature colorful floral patterns reminiscent of a qipao shop.

Read the full review here. See listing for 1945 Chinese Tavern.


Monkey


Image by Cristina Ng/That's

We fondly remember the wild nights of sneaking into the secret Monkey Lounge’s back entrance. Later, when they transformed into Monkey Champagne, the drinks got pricier but weren’t necessarily memorable. Sticking to the speakeasy theme, you will find Monkey 3.0 behind a restaurant serving chili burgers, cheeseburgers and fries. This Monkey has also held on to the infectious mix of hip hop that made both of its predecessors so much fun. 

They have enlisted Jackie Lo to head the mixology program. Recently named the 2018 DMBA Bartender of the Year for China by DRiNK Magazine, Lo has put together a short list of well-considered cocktails (all RMB98), although standard mixed drinks and shots are also available.

Read the full review here. See listing for Monkey

[Cover image by Cristina Ng/That's]


Leave Your Review

Have you been to any of these venues? Post your reviews on their listings for a chance to win a Saucepan voucher


Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews & Shanghai Bar Reviews

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