Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip: September 2021

By Sophie Steiner, September 23, 2021

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Just in time for a break from the daily grind, the National Week holiday is almost upon us, which means ample free time to either roll the dice on traveling domestically or stay in town to eat and drink all the things. 

We vote for the latter. So here’s some new openings (and a few closures) to get your consumption-related plans started.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Colca Group is expanding further with more venue concepts, including a second Azul Italiano opening on Moganshan Lu near M50 Creative Space that’s slated to open by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Honest, Italian-Inspired Bites at Azul Italiano

They are also opening a new grill-focused space, similar to an elevated version of Burnt Ends in Singapore, on Wuxing Lu called Azul Grill. The latter is scheduled to open by Chinese New Year.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's 

Tiffin, a satellite kitchen brought to us by the team behind Klay, will soon begin delivery from Xuhui. While the menu by Chef Hardeep Somal is Indian-inspired (it is named after the lunch box-esque holders used in India, after all), not one dish will be the same as those at Klay. Rather, the entire menu is specifically designed with delivery in mind.

READ MORE: Klay's Hardeep Somal on Showing Shanghai What Indian Food Can Be

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Image courtesy of The Sukhothai

The Zuk Bar in The Sukhothai expanding, adding about 50 seats plus a Thai garden with gazebo. In the same building, Urban Café will become fully Thai, dropping other southeast Asian dishes for a strictly Thai menu that dives deeper into the nation’s diverse cuisine.

The restaurant décor and dishware will also get a facelift, with a more modern look that will spread out into the newly developed garden which will be adorned with imported plants from Thailand. 

READ MORE: New Menu Alert! D.O.C. & Urban Café

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A True Legend (Pistolera, Big Bamboo, The Blind Pig) hoarding can now be seen on the forever popular corner of Changle and Donghu Lu, taking over Lucky You’s old digs. 

So what will fill this massive space? None other than a Beast of the East haven dedicated to everything from a core lineup of flagship beers to experimental brews created by none other than Beast of the East brewmaster, Matt Jimenez. Plus there will be cocktails galore. 

The food menu will dive into the world of smoked BBQ meats, bringing back to life some of the Blind Pigs’ standout dishes, along with brick oven pizzas, salads and charcoal oven-grilled seafood.

READ MORE: Brewer Matthew Jimenez on the Beast of the East Beer Revolution

Charlie's Burger Restaurant Shanghai

Too many burgers is not a thing. Ok, within the scope of physical health, caloric consumption and macro balance it most definitely is. But for overall well-being, enjoyment and happiness, we are on team burger. So, we are counting a fourth location of Charlie’s opening up under La Social on Wuding Lu as a win. You can choose not to agree; we just can’t be friends then.

Just around the corner from the new Charlie's, you'll also find the newly opened second location of Slurp, a casual Yunnan resto with everything from Kunming ersi noodles and fried cheese to pork with lemongrass and – of course – all the mushroom dishes.

However, this Slurp 2.0 of sorts is actually called Slurp&Sip because it sports a cocktail lineup as well. The libations focus mainly on ingredients hailing from Yunnan – like rose, coriander, Yunnan rice wine, wild Yunnan chilis and more.

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Image courtesy of 1 Oak

The hip hop-centric club, 1 Oak, aims to open in Shanghai by the end of this month on the South Bund near Lupu Bridge. The original 1 Oak first started in Manhattan in 2007, and has since expanded to Las Vegas, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Dubai.

Famous DJs like Swizz Beatz and celebs spanning The Weeknd, Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Jay-Z and Beyonce have been known to grace these opulent, high-energy venues, and we hope the same will be true for Shanghai’s outpost. 

Speaking of late night partying, Revolving Door is a new neighborhood joint with most drinks clocking in under RMB80. “We’re not a poncy cocktail bar, although we do love our spirit forward drinks,” tout the owners.

Beastie Boys, Nirvana, The Smiths and the like are on the playlist, and its open late (until 3.30am). This cheerful hangout just soft opened on Hefei Lu near Danshui Lu.

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Image courtesy of PAWON Saji 8

An Indonesian-inspired menu is what you will find at PAWON Saji 8, an affordable option for satisfying your craving for everything from gado-gado and ikan bakar to beef rendang and ayam goreng. Plus, sweet treats like es teler and es campur – one of our favorite forms of shaved ice – are on offer.

It’s located in the basement of the Jing’an Kerry Centre, so you can crush those Indonesian comfort eats while sitting in the comfort of AC. 

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Image via Dianping

Chopia, a spin on Chipotle but with a “healthier” leaning menu, opened this summer in More Than Eat on Julu Lu. Burritos, burrito bowls and tacos are mainly what you’ll find, but with buzz words like “keto” and “protein explosion” sprinkled throughout the menu. Vegan options, using mainly Omnipork, are also available. 

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Image via Dianping

Spanish wine bar El Rincón is now on Maoming Lu, sporting cheese and meat plates, steaks and – strangely enough – frozen ice cube bear-topped milkshakes. Everyone needs that wanghong pull, we guess. 

The second location of Evolution Park is now an option on Changshou Lu, on the border of Jing’an and Putuo. Expect the same photogenic fare – ruby-colored beetroot avocado eggs Benedict, glowing orange pumpkin purée encircling fried tilapia – along with energy platters and equally colorful loaded salad options. In a sentence, you come here for the pictures more than anything else. 

Paulaner in Xintiandi closed back in June, and we’ve recently heard that Shanghai Brewery is taking over the second floor of the lease to open – what we can only guess – will be another tap room. But with the word “brewery” in the name, one can never be too sure. Will it be another wine bar? Kidding…

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Image courtesy of The Red Box

After just over a year, reborn venue The Apartment has closed again. The space has quickly been taken over by a new interactive entertainment company called The Red Box that focuses on the combination of theater and dining. Expect live performances of Cabaret coupled with Western fusion food. The soft opening kicks off this weekend.


Got a hot tip? Feel free to email all juicy rumors to sophiesteiner@thatsmags.com. 

Read more Shanghai Food & Drink Gossip.

[Cover image via tricycle.org]

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