New Shanghai Bars and Restaurants: October 2019

By That's Shanghai, October 9, 2019

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


Cafe on Air

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

One of our favorite low-key coffee hangouts now has a third location on Sinan Lu. The well-designed cafe follows the minimalistic model of the group’s two other coffee shops. This one has added their well-lit and functional design touches where Brian Tan’s Hof chocolate and cocktail lounge used to be – just next door to Cha’s Hong Kong-style cha canting.

First and foremost, Cafe on Air is devoted to coffee with food intended as a complement to complete the experience. In addition to specialty coffee, Cafe on Air has some nice food options. Seeking to add something unique for a venue this casual, the cornerstone of the menu is handmade pasta including lasagna and fettucine. They also have all-day brunch and some sweets.

Total Verdict: 3.5/5

Price: RMB50-120 per person
Who’s going: laptop warriors, local hipsters
Good for: work sessions, friendly catch-ups

Read the full review here. See listing for Cafe on Air.

Hu Hu Tang

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

With the arrival of Hu Hu Tang, two of the three floors at 50 Tai’an Lu are under the management of restaurateur Betty Ng. Just below her contemporary Chinese fusion joint Dao Jiang Hu, Ng’s latest endeavor takes a crack at hot pot just in time for autumn. You have your choice of five collagen-based, MSG-free soups: Hainan Wenchang chicken fish maw, Yunnan wild morel, tomato beef, Sichuan spicy mala pork and hot sour fish maw. When the pot comes to the table, your stock is still in gelatin form.

Total Verdict: 4/5

Price: RMB250-300
Who’s going: healthy hot pot fans
Good for: groups, long dinners, cocktails   

Read the full review here. See listing for Hu Hu Tang.


|Image by Cristina Ng/That's

As one of the first tenants open for business in the new mall One Museum Place, Dodonpa is well-positioned to satisfy the hunger of the neighborhood’s office workers. This bento-based joint comes from the same team as Ifuku and Ifuku Isaribi, including their namesake chef. As for the ninja theme? Well, these folks see similarities between the lives of frazzled Shanghai worker monkeys and ninjas. While we aren’t currently planning any sneak attacks, we do think we are both equally deserving of a good lunch.   

Total Verdict: 3.5/5

Price: RMB70-200 per person
Who’s going: worker bees, families
Good for: midday dining, early dinners, fast-casual Japanese cuisine

Read the full review here. See listing for Dodonpa.


Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Popular Spanish tapas joint Tomatito reopened in the Xintiandi area in early July, following its rather unceremonious departure from Zhang Court, the charming shikumen-style complex which is slated for redevelopment. While the mall it is now situated in doesn’t possess the vitality of its previous abode, fans of Tomatito will be glad to know that the restaurant itself hasn’t lost its character. Past a nondescript entrance tucked away on the corner of the third floor of Infinitus Mall, this new venue is brighter, sleeker and more colorful than before, with neon signs screaming chef Willy Trullas Moreno’s effervescent personality.

Total Verdict: 3.5/5

Price: RMB250-400 per person
Who’s going: mixed crowd of expats and locals
Good for: easy date nights, casual dinners

Read the full review here. See listing for Tomatito.



Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

There are a lot of different types of people in Shanghai, and Curfew strives to be a fluid and welcoming space for all of them. That space presents itself as a boldly-colored yet moody interior with a mix of high tables and comfortable lounge areas, located on the backside of Fengyang Lu’s Howard Johnson Hotel.

While primarily a cocktail bar, Curfew has already played host to LGBTQIA+ events from Plastic, POP! and Qmmunity, ensuring busy weekends. They aren’t as busy during the week, which might appeal to shyer sorts, although we imagine that situation changing once the food menu is up and running. For now, we suggest popping over to Tiger Bites if you get hungry.

Read the full review here. See listing for Curfew.

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

[Cover image by Cristina Ng/That's]

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