Shanghai Cafe Review: Dosage, the Desserts You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

By Sophie Steiner, November 12, 2020

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Cafe culture in Shanghai is strong, real strong. You can find specialty roasted beans from every coffee-producing country, pastries from Italy, France, Japan and everywhere in between and coffee machines that look more like spaceships than a mechanism for producing a liquid that most people consume daily.

So if you’re going to open another cafe and actually make a name for yourself amongst the thousands that already exist, you’ve got to do something different, and do it well. Dosage on Julu Lu does just that.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Cafe by day, the cozy space switches into more of a wine bar vibe after 6pm. Coffee drinks are available throughout the day and into the evening, as is wine, and if you want a pastry in the evening or a cheese board in the morning, no one will tell you off. 

The wine lineup is also quite unique, which is getting harder for a venue to boast, given the explosion of niche wine bars around town over the last few years. We sampled a crisp yet juicy orange natural wine from Ningxia, the only venue in Shanghai to offer this specific, delicious variety. Wines by the glass go for RMB58-88 and bottles generally range from RMB300-700. 

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Whether you like sweets or not, you will finish your plate at Dosage – recipe creator and pastry queen Vanessa Miao has made sure of that. From the Cinnamon Buns (RMB20) that resemble twisted dough balls of joy, served warm with a canelé of melty butter, to the spiced Carrot Cake (RMB42/slice), coated with tangy layers of cream cheese frosting and carrot flecks, you’re guaranteed to be on a sugar high for hours. 

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To keep things interesting, the flavors for some pastries rotate seasonally. For example, the carrot cake is currently topped with torn chunks of ripe, fresh fig, and we are looking forward to strawberry (most likely) for the winter seasonal flavor. 

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The mint-flavored panna cotta is refreshing and light, rather than nose-tingling peppermint-y – a nice palate cleanser of sorts if you’re diving into a tableful of other sweets, like us. 

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On the other end of the spectrum, the Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt (RMB36) is served warm and insanely moist. A rich dark chocolate donut bomb that melted our hearts like the gooey chocolate glaze spread on top of it. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The cakey but light Madeleines (RMB12 each, 36/four pieces) are available in four flavors – rosewater pistachio, honey lemon, black sesame and matcha – each of which is bolder in taste than the last, and we mean that in a good way. If something is advertised as matcha flavor, we want to taste of an earthy, roasted, herbaceous tea with a slightly bitter finish, and the madeleines definitely deliver. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Oolong Tea Roll (RMB36) isn’t something we would necessarily order again; milder than the more decadent desserts, it is one of the most ordered items and quite popular amongst the Chinese crowd. Sorry, our Western sweet tooth is showing. 

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Aside from pastries, Dosage does dabble in savory snacks like cold cuts, cheese platters and avocado salad for those looking for something more substantial to pair with that bottle of rare wine. The always busy location and constant foot traffic keep the space bumping at all hours of the day, and with a stellar playlist and reliable WIFI, you will find us happily posted up here with a coffee (or a glass of wine, no judgement) for a few hours. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's


See a listing for Dosage. Cover Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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