4 Fresh Fall Menus to Warm Your Shanghai Soul... Part III

By Sophie Steiner, November 20, 2020

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Before you know it, we’ll be falling into winter, with minimal chance for escape to tropical destinations (sorry for the reminder). But, before you dust off those winter jackets and prepare for all-out hibernation, make sure to check out this round of four fresh fall menu favorites. We visited the Korean fusion-inspired menu at Jeju Izakaya, just before they switch over from two to three sittings per night (finally, more chances to get a table!), ball-so-hard seafood towers and aged grilled meats from Mr & Mrs Bund, their first menu change in over 11 years, La Scala’s updated Italian menu a la new head chef Antonio Corsaro, and Commune Social’s ode to all things fall (plus, they’ve brought back of the best Brussels sprouts of all time). From casual to lavish, we’ve got you covered. 

Jeju Izakaya

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Jeju Izakaya is a reservation-only Korean fusion restaurant, seating just eight diners across from an open kitchen. The menu is an evolving curation of comforting and often spicy Korean food that utilizes traditions from Italian and Japanese cuisine. Expect plenty of seafood, pastas, perfectly cooked rice and Korean-style pork to feature heavily. 

Starting in December, three sittings are offered, the earliest at 6.15pm, middle at 8.15pm and the last at 10.15pm. First two sittings are RMB580 per person and third seating is RMB400. Note that reservations can only be made by adding the Jeju Izakaya WeChat ID: jejuizakaya

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Although Jeju Izakaya’s menu changes monthly, they do gear each menu towards the season. During last month’s menu, we tucked into some excellent Korean fusion dishes, like Pumpkin Leaf Ssambob with Changnan-jutgal, Uni with Tuna and Caviar on a deep fried seaweed cracker, and a Spicy Octopus Fried Rice with Beef Radish Stew that screamed winter. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A visit to Jeju Izakaya is also never complete without the most lush, creamy bite that is the Uni Aglio E Olio Pasta (RMB128). In the words of James Taylor, ‘winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and [we’ll] be there, yes we will’ for that pasta. 

Mr & Mrs Bund

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

After closing for renovations during the summer, Mr & Mrs Bund launched a new menu (think 60%+ new items) for the first time in 11 years with a flashy new seafood bar and expansive grilled meat options. Grab your mink coat, satin gloves and oh-so-elegant Cruella De Ville cigarette holder, and get ready to drop some major Maos. Along with a meat fridge for aging cuts of steak comes more table side and trolley service, making the whole experience more interactive. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Overflowing seafood towers, ranging in price from RMB588 to RMB12,088 – yes, RMB12,088 – can be spotted on most tables. We tried the Mr & Mrs Tower (RMB1,288), a three-tiered assortment of oysters, shucked clams, poached whelks, tiger shrimp and half-shell scallops, an array of oils, dips, aiolis and other condiments as well as bread for sopping it all up with.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Grilled Beef Tongue (RMB140) is also a must-try – savory and slightly chewy, the thin, tender cut is a nice alternative to some of the fattier options. Like…the Porterhouse (RMB2,000) a 1,200 gram portion of Angus USDA Prime beef, carved on a trolley grill tableside and meant for sharing, unless your hulking. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Other do-not-miss items include the Charred Octopus (RMB129) served with lemon and pastis, the Roasted Leeks Mimosas (RMB80) and the effortlessly light and eggy Souffle Au Chocolat (RMB110), flambéed with rum. 


La Scala 

La Scala, a highlight of The Sukhothai Shanghai lifestyle dining experience, is a beacon of style for those who appreciate the fine art that is Italian dining. Seating up to 80 guests, the Neri & Hu-designed restaurant creatively combines contemporary sophistication and residential chic furnishings. 

Joining the kitchen team, head chef Antonio Corsaro is already making waves in Shanghai. Hailing from Naples, his 17-year career has taken him from Italy to Paris to London to Singapore and now Shanghai, where he plans to impart his experience working internationally into his Italian-roots cooking. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The fall menu features elevated versions of comfort dishes from Corsaro's childhood, with modern twists to make it more applicable to the Shanghai palate. Pizza Fritta, a common Naples street snack of fried bread topped with everyday meats and cheeses, is served with 18-month San Daniele ham, burrata and rocket (RMB148) or, our personal favorite, black truffle, fresh ricotta, and parmesan cheese (RMB178). A great starter to share. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Delicate Hokaido Scallops (RMB158) are marinated with ginger and honey and served as a carpaccio, sprinkled with pine nuts, roasted tomatoes and a dollop of black pearl fine caviar – a refined yet approachable antipasta that fits the new 'you're here, you're family' vibe that La Scala is going for.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Instead of the usual tomato-basil-burrata combo for a burrata salad, Corsaro plays with the natural sweetness in roasted king oyster mushrooms, balanced by bitter, seared radicchio, plump and creamy burrata and all drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar in his version of a fall flavor Burrata Salad (RMB138)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Other seasonal winter veggies, like beetroot, carrots, fennel and pumpkin, are showcased across the pasta, fish and meat entrees. We highly recommend the Cappellacci Pasta (RMB188) stuffed with snow crab and covered in a tomato bisque sauce with basil and cucumber foam, the Angus KILLARA M2 Beef Tenderloin (RMB368) topped with a hefty portion of foie gras, black truffles and red wine sauce or the Roasted Black Cod (RMB258) sitting atop carrot puree. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Whatever you do, do not miss out on the free flow Tiramisu, scooped tableside out of a large pan, just like your grandma would do as you try to push her away while pointing to your already stuffed-to-the-brim tummy. 

Commune Social 

As the brainchild of acclaimed chef Jason Atherton, neighborhood modern tapas restaurant Commune Social makes fine dining accessible, affordable and – most importantly – fun. With an open-air patio that gets just the right amount of shade from the nearby buildings without the street noise, you can easily spend a few hours here without realizing how quickly time has passed.

The newly available fall menu, designed by Spanish chef Sergio Moreno, really wowed us with its whimsical dishes and creative twists on classics that are even better when paired with their fall-spiced cocktails.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A classic negroni takes on edible form in the Foie Gras Panna Cotta with Negroni Jelly (RMB98), a texture playground of a dish that brings together luscious foie gras mousse, earthy toasted almonds, dots of herb oil and bright orange gems of negroni jelly, a citrus burst on the front end and rounded bitterness on the back of the palate.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

The Brussels Sprouts (RMB58) are making a comeback this year and are even better than before – we didn’t think it was possible either. A favorite for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the shatteringly crisp Brussels sprout leaves flake apart individually so each bite is filled with that satisfying crunch. Perched atop cubed sweet potato and a tangy parmesan foam, the sprouts are sprinkled with tart dried cherries and crushed walnuts. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Like your mom’s winter stew, the Iberian Pork Cheek (RMB108) is what you want to curl up on the couch with after a long day. Melt-in-your-mouth chunks of tender pork are mixed with creamy polenta. To cut through the dish’s richness, escabeche grapes are pickled and then grilled, a necessary pop of tart sweetness.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Other do-not-miss items include the Roasted Pumpkin (RMB68), the Apple Brandy Cocktail (RMB88) and the Dark Chocolate Mousse (RMB65)

See our full review of Commune Social’s fall menu here

Check out other Fall Seasonal Menus here and here

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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