Rye & Co is a café, restaurant, and bar that gives the casual all-day brunch a Nordic-inspired twist, coupling it with an upstairs cocktail lounge, complete with outdoor seating on their exclusive rooftop space.
It’s the latest venture from the same team behind popular venues The Nest and The Cannery. It’s in a mall, the newly refurbished Xintiandi Plaza, but don’t let that deter you from going.
The food menu at Rye & Co is by The Nest Executive Chef Freddy Raoult.
The Nest is the place for cocktails on the Bund. It’s one of those “top 10 bars in Shanghai” spots. It’s a gastrolounge, which has been defined as a cocktail bar and lounge that also does upscale Nordic-inspired food. Here, Raoult’s dishes are impeccably executed, refined yet casual, with new dishes every season.
Rye & Co, however, is a completely different beast.
It’s an all-day dining restaurant on the upper floors of a newly refurbished mall in Xintiandi. The food is casual, also with hints of Nordic influences. It’s about being approachable, affordable, and sustainable for mall dining.
The cocktails, served at the upstairs bar, are by Michael Chen, the head bartender at The Cannery.
Beautiful open-faced sandwiches and egg-stuff at Rye & Co
For now, there is only one menu that is served all day. It’s very brunchy, well priced, and easy-going. After all, Rye & Co is going for casual, everyday vibes.
Fresh baked breads are a big part of Rye & Co’s offerings. The Rye, Sourdough, and Savoury Whole Grain breads are available ¥8/slice, served toasted with fine French butter or for ¥38 per loaf to go. These are fantastic.
There are plenty of fresh pastries for dessert and to go.
Other bread things include the Smørrebrød selection. These are open-faced sandwiches made with dark brown bread and high quality ingredients.
The Gravlax (¥38) has house-cured salmon with fennel, green apple, horseradish, and skyr (fresh sour milk cheese akin to Greek yogurt). It’s simple and instantly a favorite, and something I can see myself eating every day.
The Tempura (¥42) option has tempura vegetables, flaky battered plaice (a type of flatfish), pickled carrots, and tartare sauce. There’s a Beef (¥42) and Icelandic shrimp (¥38) version too.
The Nordic Benedict (¥42) is on point. Perfectly poached eggs on toasted sourdough with high-quality smoked salmon and hollandaise. For ¥42? That’s a steal.
A modest, healthy option is the Nourish Bowl (¥58), made with quinoa, grilled vegetables, avocado, and seeds, served with yogurt sauce.
Meatballs may not seem enticing on a menu, but you have to try the ones at Rye & Co. These plump and juicy Swedish Meatballs (¥108) soak up a tomato sauce base fortified with North African spices, and are accompanied by bulgur and dehydrated tomatoes. The portion is small, but worth trying all the same.
How about the drinks?
I have not tried any cocktails at the bar yet. Will save that for another visit.
Fresh juices available as small (¥35/38) or large (¥45/58). Espresso ¥15.
The Berry Crush (¥48), one of three smoothies, is a meal in itself. Made with raspberries, mulberries, yoghurt, oat milk, granola, and honey.
Other drinks like beer, ciders, wines, bubbly, sakes, hot chocolates, and teas make up the rest of the menu. The cocktails are only served at the bar upstairs.
Moving into malls is inevitable
The move from quaint French concession villa to shopping malls is inevitable.
The rising rent, the limited number of these charming villa/lane house/heck, even street-facing properties, the high probability of your quaint villa being reclaimed by the government or military, and the increasing difficulty to conform to ever-changing FDA codes all build a case for the move to mall venues.
Rye & Co has great value for money and the quality is superb. Mall restaurants can be good too! It’s for fans of The Nest who want that kind of food and quality daily and downtown. Terrace to open soon for al fresco dining.
Will I return? Yes! If it’s not for meetings, it’s for dining on the outdoor terrace.
Rye & Co
Address: 6-7/F, Xintiandi Plaza, 333 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu 淮海中路333号新天地广场6-7楼, 近黄陂南路
Hours: 10am-9:30pm, Bar: 5:30pm-late