4 New Spring Menus: Mr. Willis, Egg, Acqua & Strictly Cookies

By Sophie Steiner, June 4, 2021

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With spring just around the corner, both the weather and Shanghai’s F&B scene are heating up. Shanghai’s greatest mover and shaker chefs are putting pen to paper, meaning a fresh round of spring menus featuring the most seasonal of ingredients. Screw the approaching swimsuit season; we’ve got new dishes to try! Check out Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, and Part V here

Mr. Willis 

Cosy, loft-style kitchen meets dining room space, Mr. Willis is a Shanghai institution; one of the longest standing restaurants on Anfu Lu, it helped usher in a new dining era more than 10 years ago. To this day, the venue stays true to its roots of homestyle cooking, serving family style meals made for sharing.  

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

This spring sees the addition of Salmon Roe Taramasalata (RMB88) – a Greek meze made with salted and cured cod roe, olive oil, lemon juice and bread. Adorned with shiny salmon roe sphere and a side of black pepper water crackers, the dish is layered with evolving flavors and textures. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Mr. Willis also just launched a full vegetarian menu to share for 4+ people, coming in at RMB280/person for 10 dishes. Yet, the Smokey Eggplant Tahini (RMB58) is for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, with charred, soft eggplant served atop a batter-like layer of homemade tahini, sprinkled with crunchy pine nuts and tart currants. 

DSC02687.jpgSmoked Salmon (RMB118), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Utilizing a typically Chinese ingredient in a Western presentation, the Three Abalones (RMB158) are roasted and sliced, served with similarly chewy shitake mushrooms for a play on texture. The smoked lemon butter sauce and citrus peel slivers add an acidic pop to cut through the buttery char. 

DSC02699.jpgBurrata Cheese (RM128), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

DSC02705.jpgMr Willis Roast Chicken (RMB135/half, RMB248/whole), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Craig Willis crushes the dessert game, baking up everything from Australian classics to southeast Asian-inspired sweet treats, making it impossible to narrow it down to just one (or three).

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

For the spring dieters, there’s the pleasantly tart Splice (RMB58), a heaping scoop of coconut-dusted pineapple gelato perched on a base of whipped cream, passionfruit curd, fresh mango cubes and toasted meringue crisps.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

On the other side of the spectrum sits the Rocky Road (RMB68), an indulgent scoop of chocolate gelato and mousse, honey comb shards and macadamia nougat, rich and crunchy like a cold Ferrero Rocher. 

See a listing for Mr. Willis


Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As one the OG spots n Shanghai for Western brunch, Egg continues to pump out those brekkie classics, keeping it straightforward and simple to give you exactly what you crave most. A timeless egg, bacon and cheese sandwich is served on a pretzel bun as the BEC (RMB65), with soft, velvety eggs cooked just right, smothered in a healthy portion of shredded cheddar. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

With spring in the air, it’s all about the peas, and the Garden Omelette (RMB60) sees it served two ways – with crunchy shelled peas and a pea shoot salad flanking a fluffy omelette wrap that encases spinach and feta. A sprinkling of more feta on top adds an extra hit of salt and decadent creaminess. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

On the sweeter end of the spectrum, the Carrot Cake Waffles (RMB60) are fluffy and light, speckled with shredded carrots and dusted with cinnamon sugar, crushed pecans and a whipped coconut cream quenelle. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Jumping across the pond to Middle Eastern breakfast, the Shakshuka (RMB60) is a comforting bowl of stewed tomato, topped with a soft-poached egg and dukkah – a blend of Middle Eastern spices, nuts and herbs. Buttered toast slivers act as a yummier spoon alternative.. 

Other new dishes to look out for include green-hued Matcha Pancakes (RMB65) topped with seasonal berries and salted caramel syrup, and NYC Deli Smoked Salmon (RMB65) – rye sourdough toasts smothered in a liberal lashing of crème fraiche, topped with a poached egg, red onion and “everything bagel” salt. 

See a listing for Egg


Capturing the essence of the Italian spirit within the Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai, Acqua is an inviting eatery graced with stunning panoramic views. Chef Ping Jiang has upgraded dishes this season from both land and sea to satisfy the taste buds at every turn. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

To begin, a paper-thin Prawn Carpaccio (RMB108) is equal parts delicate and elegant, hit with a drizzle of pesto olive oil and lemon jus, while naughty, seared polenta cubes, known as Sgagliozze (RMB48) are coated in a snow-like dusting of shaved parmesan and truffle. A thin layer of truffle mayonnaise leaves a creamy slickness on the tongue, urging you to take another crunchy bite. 

DSC02797.jpgHomemade Pickled Olives (RMB48), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Scallops.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

Springy and buttery, the seared Scallops (RMB128) rest on thick stalks of grilled asparagus, topped with an herb salad and tangy tomato-basil vinaigrette. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Half of a roasted lobster is decadently served atop Squid Ink Spaghettini (RMB288) with a refreshingly sweet cherry tomato sauce. Roasted cherry tomato halves become entangled in the chewy noodles, popping in your mouth as you chew.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Tasting of the sea, the Langoustine Green Pea Risotto (RMB168) sees a filling portion of green pea and asparagus stewed rice adorned with two large langoustines and umami-rich sea urchin for the ultimate velvety texture. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Continuing the green trend, the Green Pizza (RMB138) is sprinkled with sweet green peas and diced white asparagus, along with buffalo mozzarella and salted egg yolk for extra richness. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Four tender slices of Slow Cooked Lamb Loin (RMB228) are encrusted with parmesan and flanked by roasted carrots, a sweet quenelle of carrot emulsion, more of the addictingly sweet spring peas and a smoked eggplant caviar. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Similar to the flow of the rest of the meal, dessert is light and subtle – a pairing of caramelized hazelnuts and pistachios coat the mascarpone-filled Cannoli (RMB58), served with a palate cleansing lemon sorbet, and the trembly Vanilla & Peach Panna Cotta (RMB58) arrives cold with vanilla ice cream and seasonal fruits, like stewed pears or sugar-reduced strawberries. 

See a listing for Acqua

Strictly Cookies 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Everyone’s favorite cookie guilty pleasure, Strictly Cookies, is celebrating all things summer by bringing back the best Ice Cream Sandwiches (RMB40-45) in town (and yes, we’ve clearly done the leg-work to verify that statement). 

READ MORE: Bargain, Balanced, Ballin’: 15 Ice Cream Sandwiches For All Budgets

Our go-to flavor, the Salted Butterscotch, is made of creamy vanilla ice cream smooshed between two superbly chewy cookies, then rolled in butterscotch crunchies.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The newest addition to the Strictly Cookies lineup includes a classy take on the trashy McFlurry in the form of Cookie Swirlies (RMB38) – vanilla soft serve ice cream studded with brownie bites and chewy chocolate chip cookie dough. Snag one of these (preferably poolside) via delivery through their WeChat store or Sherpa’s. 

Image courtesy of Strictly Cookies

Bonus! Strictly Cookies' rainbow PRIDE cookie is back for the entire month of June. The soft, cake-like cookie is filled with the colors of the rainbow and topped with vanilla frosting and a sprinkling of gold dust. This year, 15% of the proceeds are being donated to Trueself, formally known as PFLAG, so you can crush cookies for a good cause.

See a listing for Strictly Cookies


[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

Got an F&B company you would like to promote? Contact us by email on billyxian@thatsmags.com and by WeChat through the ID: billyjunior317 or by scanning the QR code below:


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