The Shanghai Scoop is a monthly column dedicated to the latest food and drink news happening in Shanghai. Here is a round-up of the newest restaurants and bars, hotel news, and upcoming projects.
New Restaurant and Bar Openings in Shanghai
CÉ LA VI, a multi-city lifestyle brand acquired in 2015 by luxury goods brand LVMH, is due to open at the House of Roosevelt on the Bund. It’ll take the top floor of the historic building.
(The following photos and article main image sourced from CÉ LA VI’s respective Facebook pages.)
CÉ LA VI is Southeast Asia’s premier lifestyle destination, born from the universally known French phrase that translates into ‘THIS IS LIFE’. It has locations in St. Tropez, Hong Kong, Singapore, Colombo, and Kuala Lumpur, and has revealed Shanghai and Taipei as their next targets.
Their MO: iconic rooftop spaces with 360-degree views, modern Asian food, innovative cocktails with regional ingredients matched to its Asian climates, and rave-worthy parties.
Expect a refined contemporary Asian restaurant, a sky bar, and a club lounge. They’ve previously brought in top DJs like Armin Van Buuren and Fedde Le Grande to entertain at their venues, and boast A-list celebrity appearances. Based on the descriptions of their other cities’ policies, there will be a dress code.
That is…until Ladies’ Night rolls around.
Another project is also in the works within the House of Roosevelt. Details on the DL.
Australian chef/forager Elijah Holland is so busy with projects, it’s hard to keep track!
He joined forces with the Oysterlicious Restaurant Group early this year, working closely with group founder/restaurateur and oyster aficionado Rudy Guo. Previously, Holland worked with René Redzepi’s team as a forager at Noma’s pop-up in Sydney and at The Locksmith in Foshan, China to create farm-to-table modern Australian cuisine.
In spring, he transformed the underutilized rooftop of Taikang Terrace oyster bar The Plump Oyster into Botanik, an open-air restaurant with over 100 species of edible plants. The weather-dependent restaurant serves a seasonal, constantly changing menu. It’s currently closed, and will most likely reopen early spring.
As the group Executive Chef, he also oversees The Plump Oyster, Osteria, a fixture on Jinxian Lu and a Shanghai institution for oysters, and newly opened C Pearl, also oyster-focused with a seafood-heavy menu located in Century Link Mall, Lujiazui.
Holland is also due to open another green concept, one that I’m most certain is the first of its kind in China:
Bloom is a laborious project that aims to push the limits of operating a sustainable and zero waste restaurant in China.
The design of the restaurant plays a principal role—the integration of vertical garden walls and vine-ready cabanas, landscaping of the garden, and the pruning of any surface with life-sustaining potential. EJ says he wants “every nook and cranny to come alive with growth.”
When completed, it will support more than 200 species of edible plants, trees, vegetables, fruits, shrubs, herbs, flowers, and the like, including one orange tree as the garden centerpiece.
The restaurant will consume almost no single-use plastics in the venue, use eco-friendly chemicals, papers, napkins, and menus. They’ll break down their food waste into fertilizer with a composting machine and use it to nourish the garden. They will source from small local organic farms and use local produce. The food served will be based on seasonality and cooked over fire and charcoal.
It’s an insane undertaking. Mostly because it’s in China, where sourcing organic and sustaining an ecosystem as described is very difficult or next to impossible.
Bloom is opening at 88 Tongren Lu at the end November. Tasting menu and a la carte.
Hotel News in Shanghai
Luxury hotel brand Rocco Forte is on schedule with opening at Xuhui Binjiang/West Bund.
(The following images taken from the official website.)
Founded in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels is known for their collection of luxury hotels, mostly located in Europe with the exception of one property in Saudi Arabia, and now one in Shanghai, China.
The Westbund Hotel will have 219 rooms and suites. F&B so far includes an English tea room modeled after Brown’s Hotel in London, cocktails at The Sky Bar, and banquet space.
Opening Summer 2019.
Momenti, a modern European café/restaurant/bar has opened in Xintiandi. It’s a small, design-forward space with a communal table, bar seating, and outdoor tables.
It has Asia’s first XLVI coffee machine, a sleek design that removes the bulk of the machinery from the countertop, tucking it neatly under the bar. For coffee nuts, they serve a house blend of beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, and Brazil, 30% Arabica and 70% Robusta. The result? Really good espressos (¥30). It’s more than double what I pay at my local coffee shop (Coffee Is), but the quality is much better here. Also: rent.
Food is Italian-inspired, sporting a menu of contemporary pizzas and pastas. As such, the pizza is more like thin focaccia. The Pizza Calabrese (¥158) has guacamole, buffalo mozzarella, prawn tartare (raw), spicy N’duja sausage, and orange.
Drinks aplenty, too, and well-priced. Cocktails start at ¥58 for a Coffee Spritz and go up to ¥95 for a Sicilian Breeze (cognac, apple juice, ginger beer, angostura bitters, honey syrup).
The people behind Xintiandi speakeasy whiskey bar Devil’s Share, is working on a cocktail/whiskey bar called Archive due to open within the new 758 Julu Lu block.
Over in Bund 5, there’s sake bar The Oden. It’s a new venture by Kanpai Classic, a Taiwanese restaurant group, which has a high-end Japanese yakiniku restaurant of its namesake within the same building. (Kanpai Classic, Bund 5 also received a Michelin Plate in the 2019 Guide.)
Sri Lanka’s highly acclaimed Ministry of Crab, ranked #29 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, has opened in People’s Park. Like the Colombo restaurant, it offers a crustacean-centric menu with crabs starting at the 500-600g mark to the “Crabzilla” portion of 2kg. These are served in the flavor forms of Pepper Crab, Garlic Chili Crab, Curry, Butter, and others. Prawns follow the same structure.
Ministry of Crab is actually located on the first floor of Barbarossa, an iconic Shanghai landmark itself. Barbarossa, a Moroccan restaurant/lounge/bar, recently underwent renovation, adding a new tenant and giving their second floor a facelift.
Balini Coffee has moved into the space formerly housing Coffee In on Shaanxi Bei Lu.
Across the street, Dal Cuore has launched a seasonal pumpkin flavor. It’s more of a sorbet, made with fresh roasted pumpkin, rather than a creamy pumpkin spice.
Austin Hu is reviving his famed Madison brunch with weekend pop-ups at Pirata on Dongping Lu.
Speaking of, Diner’s opened a third location near Xintiandi in a complex called Unifuns (环宇荟 Huanyuhui), located behind the newly minted LuOne mall. Plenty of new places here.
One in particular is Dian Dou De 點都德, a famous Cantonese restaurant from Guangzhou specialized in Dim Sum. It’s become so Wanghong that they’ve put a notice on their Dianping page informing diners that they can start lining up to collect their table numbers at 8:50am, with calls to start seating at 9am.
Swiss Butchery has opened an outpost on Wulumuqi Lu. Steaks, cheeses, deli meats, seafood, and other meat cuts.
Over on the Lujiazui waterfront (Binjiang Avenue) there’s Pedra Alta, a French restaurant chain serving Mediterranean cuisine and seafood.
Places That Have Closed
It was Shanghai’s best rock ‘n’ roll dive bar. Cheap drinks, great vibes, great music, great staff, and great crowd, centrally located in Jing’an. They closed on October 31—powers that be are reclaiming the building.
The owners are already hunting for a new space. They said January. It’s ambitious and I’m hopeful. It’s been a week and I’m already in withdrawal.
Elevator had its last hurrah as well. The search for space continues.
KABB in Xintiandi closed after 18 years of operation. Moving into the space will be a new concept by Paul Pairet (Mr & Mrs Bund, Ultraviolet).
Also closed: 18 Kitchen & Bar (Fengsheng Li), Pintos (Wuding Lu), Bordertown, Graze, 45 Degrees, Kung Fu Comedy.
On Dongping Lu
Many venues on Dongping Lu and within the surrounding areas will soon close. This is because the properties housing these restaurants and shops belong to the high school/government bodies. As such, no government property may be used for commercial purposes.
Hunan restaurant Dishuidong closed early October. Their Maoming Lu location is still trucking on, no worries.
Simply Thai on Dongping Lu closed after 19 years of operations at the end of October as well. It’s survived by its 12 other locations. (Also found out that the group has two other brands, Simply Italian and Simply Canton.)
Soon To Close
D.O.C.’s last day is New Year’s Eve. They’ve already found a new location and have started construction.
Sushi Oyama, Ochobo and Dao Jiang Hu will close at the end of the year when the lease is up. Rumor is Oyama-san will move back to Japan. If that’s the case, better book up your last meal at Sushi Oyama.
4/F, No. 301, Lane 171 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu 建国中路171弄301号4楼, 近瑞金二路 // Tel: 18616326327
CÉ LA VI
Opening soon at House of Roosevelt
Lot 008, 5/F, Century Link Mall, 1192 Shiji Dadao, near Weifang Lu 世纪大道1192号世纪汇广场5楼空中花园008铺, 近潍坊路 // 13524940767
Dian Dou De 點都德
B125, Unifuns, 838 Huangpi Nan Lu, near Jianguo Dong Lu 黄陂南路838弄中海环宇荟B125号, 近建国东路 // Tel: 63333213
L133, Unifuns, 411 Madang Lu, near Jianguo Dong Lu 马当路411弄L133店铺，近建国东路 // Tel: 13472733778
Di Shui Dong
2/F, 56 Maoming Nan Lu, near Changle Lu 茂名路56号2楼, 近长乐路 // Tel: 62532689
5 Dongping Lu, near Yueyang Lu 东平路5号， 近岳阳路 // Tel: 64739394
Ministry of Crab
Inside People’s Park, 1/F, 231 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu南京西路231号1楼, 人民公园内, 近黄陂南路 // Tel: 63180220
No. 3, Bldg 1, Xintiandi North Block, 181 Taicang Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu太仓路181弄新天地北里1号3单元, 近黄陂南路 // Tel: 63338863
Madison Brunch @ Pirata Dongping Lu
9 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu 东平路9号, 近衡山路 // Tel: 54042327
226 Jinxian Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu 进贤路226号, 近陕西南路// Tel: 62568998
1777 Binjiang Dadao滨江大道1777号 // Tel: 50777553
2/F, 20 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Lu 东湖路20号2楼, 近淮海路 // Tel: 54047705
86 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Anfu Lu 乌鲁木齐中路86号, 近安福路 // Tel: 52237301