The Shanghai Scoop is a monthly column dedicated to the latest food and drink news happening in Shanghai. A shorter one this month: plenty of developments the oven but still needs a little time before we serve it to you. Here’s what is fresh.

Coming Soon

BISOU is a casual French restaurant and wine bar in Taikang Terrace below The Plump Oyster, taking over the old Kaiba space (remember that?). Complementing the bistro is BISOU ROUGE Cellar, a wine cellar and bar. Casual French food, wines by the glass/bottle in a gorgeous space with multiple terraces.

Bisou, a French restaurant and wine bar in Shanghai.

Also reopening in the same building is The Plump Garden, which will be revived and spruced up. The venue will play host to events, private parties and chef’s tables. Those are opening late March.

The Plump Garden, a rooftop event space in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
The Plump Garden

The organizers of festival series LatinLand are opening a restaurant/lounge/club in April. They’re teaming up with Jing’an Brew House to revamp the second floor into “LatinLand Restaurant – Lounge – Club.” Restaurant by day with space for a chef’s table and club lounge by night with Latin dancey music.

LatinLand Restaurant and Lounge in Shanghai.  @ Nomfluence
LatinLand Restaurant and Lounge in Shanghai.  @ Nomfluence
LatinLand Restaurant & Lounge

It seems like they are keeping it intentionally flexible to serve as a nexus for all things Latin in Shanghai. Menu’s going to be blanket Latin cuisine, with Hugo Rodriguez (Heat, Havana Chino Latino) consulting on the food.

Oh, there’s also awning up on Fumin Lu for a second location of Lenbach, a German restaurant and bar chain. Their first Shanghai location is at Sinar Mas Plaza, North Bund.

Now Open: New Restaurants & Bars

There’s a new BANDIT at 423 Julu Lu. It continues the theme of its predecessor: multiple floors, including an open rooftop balcony, unrestrained décor (though maybe less neon-drenched) and an eclectic mix of food and drink.

The space next to Lucky You has taken the hoarding down, revealing Jax Bistro. It follows in the vein of restaurants looking like nightclubs; the bar is stacked with champagne on top of their wine selection. It is cavernous with a bakery section, to-go deli, and wine/cocktail bar seating.

JAX Bistro, a restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
JAX Bistro, a restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Their specialty is meant to be AX jamon (the owner/operator is their brand associate for China or something), but during their soft opening they’re also serving some sort of elevated tapas. If you’ve been to Tomatito, you might recognize some of them. Let’s compare, shall we?

I don’t have a photo of it, but there is the same jamon wrapped air baguette (right) at Tomatito and El Willy, a long-standing signature of the restaurant group.

Old news, but still worth mentioning: Swedish bakery and cafe Smaka opened a second location at Fuxing SOHO. An expansion of the café concept they have on Yuyuan, this one has a more substantial menu, including brunch.

Smaka, a Danish cafe and bakery in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Smaka, a Danish cafe and bakery in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Root Down has opened at 145 Nanchang Lu, part of a trend of Japanese-style listening lounges, where the live vinyl plays a starring role with the cocktails. Behind the bar is Masato Hika, who used to be the bar floor manager at Ars & Delecto before the Japanese team left. Expect cocktails to start at about ¥95. Listening bars aren’t a new thing by any means, but this one has gotten popular.

Ramen Mitsuyoshi, one of the best ramen in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Ramen Mitsuyoshi has opened second location in K11. A little more sterile than their Liyuan spot, it’s still all counter seating and bowls thick, rich tonkotsu broth.

Chef Ling of Stone Sal has opened HIK 9 (stands for “Hiding In the Kitchen”) inside his very popular steak restaurant, operating an even higher-end dining option. It’s essentially a chance for him to play around. A set menu dinner costs ¥3,280 +10% service charge.

Sweet/savory pancake makers Papito Pancakes have opened a second location at Xingfu Li. Palačinke makes it to Changning.

Papito Pancakes for palancinke in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence

Happening Now: Restaurant Week Spring 2021

Last but certainly not least, bookings are now open for Restaurant Week 2021, which runs from March 11 to April 4.

DiningCity and their partner American Express have organized a full 25 days for this season’s restaurant week at 600 restaurants and dining establishments around the country. Special menus at special prices: ¥78-¥148 for lunch and ¥118-¥298 for dinner at Michelin-star restaurants, new openings and old favorites.

Bookings and full list of participating venues at diningcity.cn.

That’s it! Just some good news!

If you missed last month’s scoop, click here to read.