High-caliber omakase lunch at Ochiyo 1710, modern Korean food at ZARI, and Spanish tapas at Pirata.


Ochiyo 1710

Address: 1710 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Gao’an Lu 淮海中路1710号, 近高安路
Tel: 18301714918
Hours: Tue-Sun, 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; closed Mondays

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Ochiyo 1710 is a Japanese restaurant that does high-caliber omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku, helmed by chef Sun-San. The omakase dinner (¥1,280) is excellent, and they also have an omakase lunch, which is a steal for ¥680.

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Located on Huaihai Lu, Ochiyo 1710 has a somewhat speakeasy entrance—the façade is simple if not bare, and you wouldn’t notice it if you passed by.

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Omakase bar

The interiors are sleek and refined with hardwood floors, textured stonewalls, lacquered countertops, and quirky artwork. There’s even a little Japanese garden. There are three rooms, one each for omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. The omakase counter seats 10.

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Yakitori bar

I went for the omakase lunch (¥680), which I highly recommend. It’s an incredible bargain! You get the same high quality sushi, sashimi, and hot dishes as you would dinner, minus a few premium ingredients like wagyu and oysters. When I went, I had about 20 bites for lunch.

Here’s what I had:

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Sashimi to start.
Edamame to snack on
Followed by chawanmushi

Then comes the sushi. A quick succession of nigiri including scallop, sweet ebi, sea urchin, yellowtail, amberjack, tuna belly, squid, etc.

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

A couple of hot dishes are interspersed in between the nigiri; teriyaki-glazed sautéed beef with matsutake mushrooms and cuts of highly marbled beef.

Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tuna belly roll and tempura foie gras.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Teriyaki eel over rice.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Ochiyo 1710, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai serving omakase, yakitori, and yakiniku. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Followed by dessert, an ultra-smooth yuzu sorbet.

ZARI

Address: 181 Jinxian Lu, near Maoming Nan Lu 进贤路181号, 近茂名南路
Tel: 32302595, 18017551176
Hours: Daily, 5pm-1am

Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

ZARI is a modern Korean bistro by chef-founder Rosie, a proud advocate for Korean cuisine who’s garnered plenty of accolades for her diverse expertise in the field. She’s opened a handful of restaurants in Shanghai and often hosts private dinners, and was the co-founder for Halu Bistro (now moved to Shaanxi Lu).

Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

The dining room at ZARI is smart and stylish, worlds apart compared to the mom-and-pop shops on Jinxian Lu. It still has a casual ambiance, one that’s often lively, fueled by the chatter and clinking of glasses from die-hard followers of Chef Rosie.

Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Here’s what to order:

On the menu are Korean favorites with a contemporary spin, mostly in presentation. The signature here is the octopus and beef intestine hotpot, a hotpot of tender octopus, beef intestines, shrimp, glass noodles, and a hefty scoop of house gochujang. Most, if not all tables will have one of these bubbling away next to a wall of Cass beers.

Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Octopus and Beef Intestine Hotpot (¥158)
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Once you’ve eaten most of what the pot has to offer, it is customary to add in rice to soak up the remaining stock and to let the rice sizzle and crust up. It’s delicious and it really maximizes the dish.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Soy Marinated Crab (¥218/two) – I would order a bucket load of these and a whole pot of rice if I could. Raw crabs marinated in a soy-based sauce with rice wine and aromatics, served cold. The crabmeat cooks in the brine, retaining a deliciously custardy texture imbued with the savory sauce.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Scoop rice into the shell and eat it by the spoonful. This is an off menu seasonal dish. Call to inquire if you really want it.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Scallion & Seafood Pancake (¥68) – A Korean staple. Egg-based pancake laden with octopus, shrimp, charred scallions, and onions.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Squid and Pork Belly (¥88) – Thin slices of pork belly and tender squid tossed in a fiery gochujang-based sauce. Best enjoyed with a bowl of rice. A favorite.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Fried Chicken (¥88) – Chunky chicken thighs with a shatteringly crispy crust, served alongside deep-fried noodles and a spicy-vinegary dipping sauce.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Kimchi Cold Noodles (¥68) – Korean-style cold noodles in an icy broth flavored with kimchi.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tiramisu (¥58)
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Hotteok (¥48) – Korean sweet pancakes, a popular dessert and street food that’s usually topped or filled with cinnamon, brown sugar and nuts. It’s crisp on the outside with a tender and chewy interior. Served with ice cream, cookie crumble and chocolate shavings.
Zari is a modern Korean bistro in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

For drinks, start with a bunch of Cass beers (¥33/500ml), then move along to soju, bottles from ¥238. There’s also wine, house red or white for ¥60/glass, and bottles from ¥198.


Pirata

Address: No. 101, 110 Xingfu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu 幸福路110号101单元, 近法华镇路
Tel: 13501687096
Hours: Mon-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight

Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Pirata is a Spanish restaurant and tapas bar by Chef Ling Huang. First opened on Xinle Lu in 2014, Pirata is now in its fourth iteration on Xingfu Lu. It has returned in full force, serving pure, unadulterated tapas in an energetic space.

Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s located on the ground floor of a mixed-use commercial building on the quiet side of Xingfu Lu. It’s homey and bursting with character, each corner and shelf festooned with knick-knacks and keepsakes amassed over the years.

There’s a cozy tapas bar for eight that overlooks the food assembly line, a deliciously dangerous pew that will entice you to order more than you should, a cluster of tables packed in the main dining room, and a small patio with outdoor seating.

Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

At full capacity, it’s busy and electrifying yet doesn’t feel crowded. It’s an energy that is reminiscent of Pirata’s first location, a sincere and convivial atmosphere that is hard to find these days.

Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Tapas make up the bulk of the menu, of which most are Chef Ling’s original “tins,” the moniker given to the smart little bites made with preserved seafood and peppers imported from Spain. (Though, they’re no longer served in tins, and are instead tastefully presented small plates.)

Overall, the tapas are comforting and simple, but simple is best when you’re working with high-quality ingredients.

Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Codfish Liver with Tomato (¥95) – A cold dish of codfish liver, which has a soft, foie-like consistency, over tomato salsa. Served with toasted baguette.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Croqueta Ham (¥60/3) – Smooth and creamy potatoes with bits of fried ham, deep-fried.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Boquerones Tahini (¥85) – White anchovies cured in vinegar served over a punchy tahini with shredded vegetables, served with toasted baguette. This is delicious.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Grilled Coalho Cheese (¥68/2) – A fantastically firm yet light cheese grilled to crust and topped with thick mildly spicy green pepper sauce. Coalho is a “squeaky” cheese that’s similar to halloumi.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Fried Spicy Peppers (¥48) – Fried and blistered chilies dusted with flaky salt. A perfect snack in between the other tapas.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Squid Wings a la Plancha (¥75) – Superbly tender squid with rough sliced potatoes topped with a poached egg in a savory soy-laced sauce.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Valencia Chicken Paella (¥225) – A big ol’ pan of paella cooked in a flavorful stock, studded with bone-in cubes of chicken and romano beans.
Pirata is a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Basque Cheesecake (¥40) – This is so perfect, I can’t even. It’s crusted, served cold, and yet still has an oozing and melty center. Definitely order this.

As for drinks, there’s Estrella Gallicia on draft fro ¥25/¥45, wines by the glass starting from ¥50 and bottles from ¥185, and a handful of G&Ts from ¥65.