Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our April 2019 issue:
Image by Luis Campos/That’s
Situated right next to Brownstone, Oy Oyster in MixC World is another of the shopping center’s ever-expanding food offerings. A smaller space in comparison to the many restaurants in the area, Oy Oyster may be intimidating to those who aren’t oyster lovers.
With a name like Oy Oyster, it doesn’t take a NASA scientist to figure out what is on offer at this mid-upscale restaurant. What is surprising, however, is the vast selection of ‘fruits of the sea’ that Oy Oyster has to offer.
Their oyster options alone cover almost 20 varieties of mollusks from all over the world. At the suggestion of the restaurant’s staff, we tried the French emerald (RMB39) and the Irish majestic (RMB39), a gentle introduction into the brave world of oyster eating.
The restaurant’s electric blue and neon orange chairs and the American pop music that blasts over the speakers quickly disrupt this fantasy. While a bit expensive compared to other dining options, Oy Oyster’s eclectic environment makes it an interesting spot to get your oysters shucked.
Who’s going: fearless eaters, the Bourgeoisie, land pirates
Good for: decadence, slimy salty treats
Nearest metro: Houhai (Exit G), 10 minutes’ walk
Image via The Key
A lot of the time we are required to preserve balance for balance’s sake in these reviews. In a rare turn of good fortune, however, we recently stumbled across The Key, a new cocktail bar located in the quiet streets behind Shopping Park that we can say without reservation is one of our favorite new bars of 2019.
We began our evening with their Queen Victoria Sling (RMB118). The British reference in the name is homage to the Beefeater Gin used to make the fruity, smoothie-based cocktail. A variation on the classic Singapore sling, this drink comes topped with a bite-sized fruity Macedonia complete with dragonfruit, candies and sugared fruits like mango and cherry.
In terms of bar snacks, The Key offers a range of seafood and tasty treats. We decided to chow down on the scallops (RMB68). This dish is beautifully presented, the plate decorated with pesto and tiny carrots and the scallops practically explode in your mouth upon biting down.
Whether it’s the drinks and food presentation, the friendly service, their funky, ambient music or the bar’s commitment to reusable straws (bamboo, metal and compressed apple), the level of thought and focus that has gone into The Key makes the bar an experience you’ll want to have again and again.
Who’s going: cocktail connoisseurs, intimate couples
Good for: long chats, date nights, quality food and drinks
Nearest metro: Shopping Park (Exit G), 10 minutes’walk
Image via Craft Head Tap House
Ask Shenzheners what made Craft Head’s now defunct Shuiwei venue special and you will hear different answers: the staff were friendly, the drinks were cheap, the vibe was fun. While all of these still hold true, our impression of their new venue in Xinzhou was of an unpretentious outlet eager to connect with customers and to experiment with food.
With that being said, we encourage readers to have a go at the line-up of brews available at the outlet, including Craft Head’s own Bucket List pilsner (RMB40), which is sweet and easy on the palate. Alternatively, try out their kiwi cider (RMB45), made with golden kiwi, a less tart and less bitter variant of its green cousin, allowing for a much smoother drink.
Additionally, food choices like the lamb jam (RMB55), which combines a Philly cheese steak and a roujiamo, blew us away. Also take the opportunity to try out other roujiamo in the form of their island jam (RMB48), a BBQ chicken pizza-style dish based on roujiamo pastry.
Who’s going: craft beer lovers, fusion fanatics
Good for: Chinese fusion snacks, cheap evenings out
Nearest metro: Shawei (Exit D), 5 minutes’ walk
New Ice Creamery
Image by Jonathan Zhong/That’s
Initially run as a side business by a Shanghai-based crab restaurant during the offseason, Bonus has quickly developed into a wanghong (internet famous) brand over the past two years. With two outlets already firmly established in Shanghai, this gelato-focused venture has now launched a third shop at MixC World.
However, it appears the establishment has yet to gain a firm foothold in our city. One thing we struggled with was the unavailability (sometimes month-long) of certain flavors, even though they are still advertised on their Meituan page.
When we visited the shop, Bonus happened to have their unique salted duck egg gelato (RMB25) in stock. This ice cream not only tastes like it sounds, but also maintains the rough texture of a hard-boiled egg yolk, all of which make it unpleasantly thick and rather chaotic.
Moving on, we sampled the mango and passion fruit flavor, as well as the jasmine tea flavor (RMB25 each). Though the overall taste of the fruit-based sorbet leans slightly towards the passion fruit, we found it enjoyable and refreshing. The same can also be said for the very fragrant jasmine tea flavor.
Who’s going: gelato gluttons, wanghong-shop chasers
Good for: quality ice cream, unique flavors, taste testing
Nearest metro: Houhai (Exit F), 10 minutes’ walk
[Cover image via The Key]