4 New Winter Menus to Warm Your Shanghai Soul – Part III

By Sophie Steiner, February 5, 2021

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That winter chill has set in, and there’s no escaping it until spring graces us with her presence. These next few months are going to be all about the hearty, homey dishes that keep the cold from seeping into our bones, so thankfully we’ve got a handful of new warming winter menus to get you through the iciest of months. Click here for Part I and here for Part II.

Sui Tang Li

After receiving a Michelin Plate award just this past year, Sui Tang Li is now on even more people’s radar. This Chinese restaurant, with a name inspired by the meaning happy, free and relaxed, serves dishes that are ideal for sharing and presented in style. 

Chef Tony Ye, who has more than 20 years’ of experience, delivers the best of artisan dim sum and has curated a menu composed of creative and contemporary dishes influenced by Shanghainese, Sichuan and Cantonese regional cuisines. 

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The winter menu features many Chinese New Year must-eats, like whole fish, stewed fish head, dumplings of all varieties and glutinous rice cakes. Start your CNY feast off with dim sum-inspired small bites to share, like the Crab Meat & Shrimp Dumpling (RMB88) – stuffed to the literal gills with hairy crab – Wok-Fried Taro Cake (RMB78) and addictingly saucy Sliced Beef and Handmade Rice Noodles (RMB118)

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No Chinese New Year feast is complete without some form of roasted fowl, and the Crispy Baby Duck (RMB168) acts as the ideal option. Served whole with a bow-tied ribbon around its neck, this Yunnan bird is roasted to perfection, resulting in the crispiest of skin hugging fat-laden juicy meat. 

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Satisfy the most important Chinese New Year meal's tradition with fish in multiple forms. The Stewed Abalone, Catfish Maw & Fish Head (RMB1,288, serves 8), served with homemade pork and fish-stuffed meatballs, sports a luxuriously thick broth made from fish bones, resulting in a collagen-rich broth. 

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The Deep-Fried Yellow Croaker (RMB988) comes in the most vibrant of sweet and sour sauces, like the more elegant cousin of a squirrel fish or the more refined version of Dongbei's sweet and sour pork. 

Many of the dishes will only be available from now through Chinese New Year, so act fast to get in all those bites of luck and prosperity. 

See a listing for Sui Tang Li


Duli

After perfecting their original menu, last month Duli – Shanghai’s first fully plant-based casual bistro – launched a set of four new dishes to help us keep the cold at bay. Through the use of bold flavors and Duli's focus on honoring each ingredient for what it is rather than trying to make it into something that it’s not (aka ‘meat’ in a vegan disguise), they have created something truly unique that normalizes the whole experience of eating vegan for plant-based eaters and carnivores alike. 

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We have found ourselves craving the Corn Pottage with Yunnan Spiced Potato (RMB58), a more filling meal-worthy version of traditional corn chowder. The crispy potatoes are coated in a house spice blend, while the aromatic chervil, basil and cilantro add a pop of herbaceous freshness. 

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Mapo tofu, usually served with ground pork, sees the meat replaced with a creamy Mediterranean hummus in the Mapo Tofu Hummus (RMB72). Crunchy pine nuts, ripe cherry tomatoes and fried basil add color and texture, while the freshly baked, warm pita bread acts as ultimate vessel for scooping directly from plate to palate.  

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For the bigger appetites, the Gnocchi with Dandan Sauce (RMB78) serves as an interesting mishmash of Italian and Chinese cuisine. Conventional seared potato gnocchi are tossed in a Sichuan style toasted sesame dandan sauce, with the addition of shiitake mushrooms, zhacai pickles and chilies. 

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For dessert, the new cold option involves a Strawberry Cream Tart (RMB48) made fully vegan with oatley pastry cream, or try out one of their many new oat milk based beverages, like the Strawberry Matcha Latte (RMB38), the Banana Avocado Oat Milk Shake (RMB48) or – our personal favorite – the Duli Bubble Tea (RMB35), made with coconut cream and brown sugar boiled tapioca balls. 

See a listing for Duli 


Polux

Paul Pairet's answer to a casual French café comes in the form of Polux, the lower-priced, more approachable everyday version of Mr & Mrs Bund. Keeping consistent with the main pillar of the menu – French comfort eats – the new winter menu sees homey dishes at the forefront and creative spins on tried and true favorites. 

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Pumpkin isn't just for autumn anymore, and the Roasted Pumpkin Soup (RMB80) proves that. An ultra-creamy, thick broth is dotted with flecks of roasted pancetta, toasted hazelnuts and housemade croutons for an extra crunch. 

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If The Real French Toast, an RMB110 piece of bread that is worth every damn mao, had a playful younger brother, the Polux Waffle (RMB70) would be it. What appears to be a monster-sized waffle goes down all too quickly because of how effortlessly light it is. 

That signature sugar glaze we all know and love from the French toast adorns the top, making each crispy bite go that much more with the homemade pannacotta ice cream and Chantilly cream it's served with. Upgrade to raspberry Chantilly or toffee ice cream for an extra RMB20. 

Other new winter menu items we highly suggest checking out include the Cod Fish Essential, Veal Morels, and Charred Creamy Cauliflower.

See a listing for Polux


Lucky Diner

If small town middle America in the 1950s got mixed up in a time warp with a retro 1970s Tokyo diner, Lucky Diner would be its love child. The food is mostly a Japanese spin on timeless eatery options we all know and love. After the menu's first iteration this past summer, Lucky Diner has launched a few new items for the colder months. 

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The restaurant's signature Tokyo Disco Fries (RMB58) take a Japanese twist on the 70s late-night American diner dish of fries coated in gravy and cheese. A generous portion of shredded beef in a thick curry gravy is smothered in melted gruyere cheese and served up in a deep skillet. Every Monday, all orders over RMB88 receive a free disco fries!

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The Nori Fried Boneless Chicken Wings (RMB45) are the most creative boneless wings in the city (read more about wings around town right here). Instead of being more traditional ‘American style,’ they are fried with nori wraps and served with sauce on the side – a tangy teriyaki Buffalo and a funky blue cheese. Wednesday is wing night at Lucky Diner with each wing going for RMB5.

READ MORE: We Ranked Shanghai's Best Wing Deals, Here Are the Results...

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For brunch, lunch or late night, the New Yorker Steak 'n' Eggs (RMB98) is a protein bomb, coming with 200 grams of medium rare steak, a sunny side up egg, crinkle fries and a citrus-forward yuzu hollandaise. 

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And for those who like it sweet, the Classic American Pancake Stack (RMB78) is a three-tiered behemoth of alternating layers of fluffy, light griddled cakes, fresh berries, sliced banana, and a tangy yogurt cream, topped with whipped cream and a homemade pecan butter. On the weekends, order the pancake stack and get a free black coffee. 

See a listing for Lucky Diner


READ MORE: 3 New Winter Menus To Warm Your Shanghai Soul Part I or 3 New Winter Menus To Warm Your Shanghai Soul Part II 

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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