Sangou is a creative high-end Japanese restaurant in Gubei. It’s a three-pronged concept, serving omakase, yakitori, and tempura.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s located within the Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel, though, it isn’t associated with the hotel—Sangou is just a tenant.

The space is split into three different rooms, each with its own theme. Omakase is set in a traditionally clean, cypress-paneled room with two booth seats opposite the bar counter.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai.
Omakase room, bar counter, booth seating opposite a live moss wall.

The yakitori room is loungy and upbeat—there’s a DJ booth, and wall projections on both sides of the counter. It’s unusual for sure, but it makes for a fun experience. They even had DJ Wordy, one of China’s most notable entertainers do the sound system and music selection.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Yakitori dining room

The tempura room is a complete 180. It’s intimate, awash in gold tones, and has a bar counter with only six seats.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tempura dining room

The Food

The food at Sangou has traditional roots, but leaves room for creativity and exploration. The menu sees local ingredients and flavors like hairy crab and rock sugar, and inspirations from other cuisines like the soup course in the omakase, a rich Cantonese-style broth instead of the light miso soup.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai.

The menu changes daily, depending on the freshest available seafood and ingredients, but a few signatures will remain.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chef Xiong

Leading the omakase is Chef Xiong. Born and raised in Shanghai, Chef Xiong has been trained in Japanese cuisine since 1992. He was most recently the head sushi chef at Utusemi, a respectable high-end Japanese restaurant near the Bund, for the past three years. Executive Chef Ben Kwong from Hong Kong, previously of Nadaman, Shangri-La Hotels, oversees the entire operation.

Here’s what to expect from the omakase menu:

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Starter course of shanyao (mountain yam), crab in huadiao yellow wine, sea urchin, ribbons of squid, garnished with mildly spicy sansho leaves. A punchy first bite.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
The appetizer platter is the first big turn of flavor, if you’re comparing Sangou to traditional Japanese omakase that is. The bites here are anything but delicate, and draws inspiration from Chinese and Western flavors.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
There’s a dense white sesame tofu with porcini sauce and prawn, tamago egg roll with dried krill, a luscious foie gras dumpling with figs to cut the richness, and a sweet persimmon cheese roll with confit duck.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Usually, the soup would be a light miso base. Here, they do a generous hairy crab meatball, a homage to Shanghai, in a Cantonese-style “golden broth”. It’s delicious and very rich, and can be quite filling.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Then, there’s sushi, six pieces per set.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
“Double Toro” – Scored tuna belly, lightly torched, topped with tuna belly tartare. Heavenly.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Flounder (hirame) with engawa and herbs. A lean cut with a bite paired with the fatty wing muscles of the fish.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Snapper with torched snow crab roe.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Japanese horse mackerel with ginger and a dab of soy sauce.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Arctic surf clams with sweet-sour fingerling limes.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
And on the ¥2,880 set, you get this: 一口幸福, “a bite of joy”. It’s wagyu beef, truffle oil, and an almost offensive amount of sea urchin. Definitely not just one bite.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Steamed egg custard with lobster, edamame purée and salmon roe. A comforting course.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Smoked wagyu and Wellington pomfret, topped with fried scallions. It’s smoky, rich, and divine.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Okinawa-Style Angel Hair Pasta with salmon roe and caviar. Usually, it would be soba, but they’ve changed it, giving a nod to Japanese-Italian cuisine.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tempura: Spotted grouper with sea urchin wrapped in shiso leaves.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Yakitori: Deboned chicken wings wrapped around abalone glazed in teriyaki sauce.
Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Dessert: Japanese melon and sesame custard with red beans.

As for drinks, the selection is heavy on wine, champagne, and sake. They also have a cocktail menu, created by the people behind Shanty bar, a “secret” Japanese bar on Wuyi Lu. Cocktails from ¥80. A few beers available from the people at Brewlosophy.

Sangou is a modern Japanese restaurant in Gubei, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Sei Ryu sparkling sake (¥390/bottle) – This is wayyy too easy to drink. Tiny bubbles, light floral notes, not very sweet. Highly recommended.

If you’re looking for a purely traditional omakase experience, you won’t find it here. All the nigiri was exceptional, as was the soup and beef course. There are already so many excellent traditional Japanese restaurants in Shanghai. Sangou’s route to step out of the norm with their “creative fusion” take is certainly ballsy, but it presents something new for diners looking to explore.

Nomfluence Readers Deals

The omakase has three sets available, ¥1,880, ¥2380, and ¥2,880. The tempura is also set menu only, ¥2,280 and ¥2,680, serving tempura-ed live seafood and other a la minute fresh cuts. Yakitori is a la carte and has an average check of ¥300-400.

Special deals for Nomfluence readers when you book via the QR code below! Deal is valid until March 10, 2022. Applicable for omakase, yakitori, or tempura.

  • Get 10% off your bill

Click here to book your seat NOW!


Sangou 三合
Address: 1/F, Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel, 2099 Yan’an Xi Lu, near Zunyi Nan Lu 延安西路2099号, 上海扬子江丽笙精选酒店1楼, 近遵义南路
Tel: 62299398
Hours: Tue-Sun, 5pm-2am