A Bottle Shop with a Wine Bar Vibe at theWarehouse

By Sophie Steiner, September 3, 2021

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Coming at you from Li Ze (Ottimo, SOiF), theWarehouse is another novel concept recently added to the team’s growing empire of locations. Located on Yongjia Lu, just below Ottimo in Surpass Court, this spot is actually a two-for-one, split across unit 217 and 312 for a distinct dine and sip experience in both. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The latter offers dimmed lighting, with a walk-in cellar and a large, dark wood table, providing diners with a ‘private chef’s table’-like experience, while the former is breezy and bright with countertop-lined walls and a circular central table bedecked with flowers and candles. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

But, theWarehouse is not necessarily a restaurant. In fact, as the name suggests, it’s a glorified warehouse. Think Beer Lady, but for wine and centrally located – hundreds of wine labels in a ‘factory décor’ retail setting, with charcuterie and nibbles for those choosing to drink-in rather than take away. It’s a bottle shop with a wine bar experience. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The main business, however, is delivery. All wines can be ordered on elema, meituan and the like, plus their own wine delivery platform, powered through youzan.

Bottles generally go for RMB350-800, with a strong focus on Burgundy wines. You’ll find a few New World wines, some natural wines and even a cheeky bottle of sake or two sprinkled throughout.  

The food menu, curated by chef Freddy Raolt (The Nest, SOiF), is tight and modest, centering fully around – you guessed it – wine pairing.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Two must-orders are the Smoked Salmon Rillete (RMB38) topped with sour cream, dill and mustard seeds and the Duck Liver Mousse (RMB48), adorned with a top layer of Shaoxing wine jelly.Both are served in tin cans with toasted sourdough, and are exactly what you crave with your glass of Pinot. 

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A bite of that liver mousse-shmeared toast isn’t complete without the piquant Pickled Veggies & Roots Plate (RMB18) – a mix of beetroot-cured cauliflower, daikon kimchi, hot pickled peppers, garlic cloves and crunchy scallions that add a vinegary sharpness to cut through the liver’s rich minerality. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A cold globe of Fresh Burrata (RMB68) is crowned with ribbons of pickled pumpkin, a drizzle of honey and crunchy homemade granola and seeds.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

While flaky filo crust encircles the Mushroom and Sausage Roll (RMB58), best enjoyed dipped in a Marmite jus.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

It’d be a cardinal sin to not offer some sort of meat and cheese board, and the W312 Charcuterie Platter (RMB138) is just that: truffle ham, artisanal coppa, iberico ham, olives, dried and fresh berries, homemade pickles and whipped lemon-zest dusted labneh.

A W312 Cheese Platter (RMB168) is also on offer, featuring generous chunks of mimolette, isigny brie, fourme d’ambert and comte. 

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For something more substantial, diners can choose to order a few mains from Ottimo, like Roasted Chicken (RMB128/half) or Dry-aged M5 Ribeye (RMB398/300 grams), plus Oysters (RMB199/half dozen, RMB299/dozen) or a Seafood Platter (RMB1,288). But, at that point, we suggest just booking an actual table at Ottimo for the true restaurant experience. 

All of theWarehouse’s menu can be ordered through the wine delivery mini program, alongside the wine bottles, for those looking to DIY their own wine bar experience at home in 30-45 minutes or less. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

We can see theWarehouse serving as an easy-going date spot, when dinner still feels too formal, but a solid bottle of wine, recommended by the sommelier or sommelier-in-training staff, and a few bits and bobs during the early evening seem more fitting.

It’s also a reliable option for when friends are on the way but your fridge is empty – a one-stop snack and wine shop, if you will. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The concept is in no way revolutionary, but it doesn’t need to be; where there are people, there will always be a demand for a curated wine list and canapés, and theWarehouse fits the bill. 

See a listing for theWarehouseRead more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover Image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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