CHARCOHOL is a gastrolounge in Shanghai that serves craft cocktails and global cuisine inspired by the charcoal grill.

The Space & Location

It’s located in Fengshengli, a lifestyle development rife with restaurants, bars, and cafes, right by the West Nanjing Road metro.

Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai serving craft cocktails and global cuisine from the charcoal grill. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

The cocktail bar takes center stage, seating 11 around the counter with a view of the kitchen. The dining room is spacious, seating a total of 75 people in the main room and atrium sections.

CHARCOHOL also commands an expansive terrace, sharing it with coffee car Number. The outdoor seating wraps around the building and extends to the back.

Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai serving craft cocktails and global cuisine from the charcoal grill. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Dining room
Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai serving craft cocktails and global cuisine from the charcoal grill. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Atrium seating
Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai serving craft cocktails and global cuisine from the charcoal grill. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Group table

Cocktails at CHARCOHOL

Drinks are courtesy of Cross Yu, a talented mixologist with showman flair to rival the city’s hardiest performers. Shanghai born and bred, the world-class bartender has been in the circuit for nearly two decades. He was recently honored with the prestigious title of Bartender of the Year and presented the Founders Award by DRiNK Magazine Asia at the DMBA 2019.

Award winning bartender Cross Yu,  DMBA 2019 Bartender of the Year and Founders Award by DRiNK Magazine Asia.
Cross Yu

There are 16 signature cocktails at CHARCOHOL, all beautiful and stylish, with a spectrum of flavor profiles to woo every varying palate. Each cocktail is ¥88. Cross employs a few crafty methods to amp up his spirits, fashioning fat and butter-washed bourbons and clarified milk punches for his drinks.  

Cocktails at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Chocolate Raspberry Punch – Tastes like you’re drinking a clear raspberry and chocolate milkshake with bubbles. Made with gin, raspberry puree, chocolate “milk punch”, topped with champagne.
Cocktails at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Pink Mary Me – A twist on the Bloody Mary, made with cheese-infused rum, cherry tomato, basil syrup, and grenadine.

I have two favorite cocktails, which lean towards my preference of “sour, not sweet, and savory.” These are the Black & Co and Pickle Bramble.

The Black & Co is made with tequila, hazelnut syrup, and lemon juice, colored black with squid ink, and foamed with egg white. A dusting of rose sea salt gives it the savory profile. The Pickle Bramble is similar in that it’s savory, but with an earthy aroma from beetroot juice. The gin base is completely masked, elevated by lemon juice, pickling juice, and litsea oil.

Cocktails at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai.
Black & Co (image provided)
Cocktails at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Pickle Bramble

Global cuisine from the grill

Conceptualized by chefs Mandela Zhu and Kevin Han, the food is inspired by the charcoal grill and borrows from American, Asian, and French cuisines, set to grilling, fermentation, and smoking. It’s a full menu with ample selection for a hearty dinner, followed by a late-night menu of bar-appropriate snacks. Lunch and brunch to launch soon.

Bar snacks at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Mini Crab Cakes

Starters double as bar snacks, which include mini crab cakes (¥58) made with jumbo lump crab and shrimp, a spreadable chicken liver parfait (¥78), and hunger-sating guabao with smoked iberico pork belly (¥58/two).

Guabao with pork belly at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Excellent baos. Juicy slices of pork belly with yuzu chili aioli, coriander, and smoked peanuts.
venison tartare at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Venison Tartare (¥119) with scallion purée, juniper berry mayo, house honey mustard, and rehydrated blueberries.
Baby napa cabbage at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Baby Napa Cabbage (¥49) is charred whole, then hollowed out and recooked with buttery truffle cream. Super umami, excellent dish.
Scallops at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Black & White Scallops (¥68/piece) dusted in nori and onion ash and cooked in brown butter vinaigrette.
Smoky salad at  at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Smoked Salad with Burrata (¥78). The smoky theme carries throughout, including a musky scent on the crisp salad.
Smoked chicken, a signature dish at  Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Maple & Applewood Smoked Chicken (¥139) – A favorite and must-order. The chicken is brined for 18 hours and then hot smoked for two hours, allowing the smoky aroma to permeate the tender flesh.
Atlantic cod at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Allium-Glazed Atlantic Cod (¥169), inspired by the traditional Shanghainese scallion fish head dish. Buttery fish perfumed with chives served with char-sautéed green peas.
Prime beef brisket at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Smoked USDA Prime Beef Brisket with Confit Egg Yolk (¥98) with sweet and sour purple cabbage, turnip, and potato purée.
Dessert at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Flavor of the Earth (¥68) with root vegetable ice cream and sweet pear jelly.
Dessert at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Love For Bacon (¥68) with bacon ice cream and dehydrated persimmon.

In Summary

The cocktails are unmistakably world-class.

As for the food, most is relatively new in comparison to what’s around town. Signature dishes like the whole-grilled baby napa cabbage, maple & applewood smoked chicken, and black & white scallops are original, inventive and memorable.

Cocktails at Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

Great for groups, entertaining, and smashing a ton of cocktails.

Favorite dishes: Venison tartare, guabao, baby napa cabbage, smoked chicken, cod.

Favorite drinks: Pickle Bramble, Black & Co.

Charcohol, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Fengshengli, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

CHARCOHOL
Address: 1/F, Fengshengli, No. 18, 245 Maoming Bei Lu, near Nanjing Xi Lu 茂名北路245弄18号1楼, 近南京西路
Tel: 32265752

Hours: Sun-Thu 5:30pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-2am
Click here to book CHARCOHOL NOW!