For many, China is synonymous with delicious Chinese food but we shouldn't forget our neighbours to the North and East. Shanghai is home to some fantastic Japanese and Korean restaurants and we've scouted out some of the gems of the Asian culinary scene including restaurants that cater to a variety of budgets so there's something for everyone.
Source: John Ong
Oboo（阿婆） View In Map
Oboo is a great example of a modern izakaya bar. Izakayas are traditional Japanese bars or sake shops that serve small meals, snacks and nibbles, much like a Spanish tapas bar or a Turkish Mezze.
Oboo is especially well-known for its delicious homemade tofu of which it only makes 5 portions a day so it’s a good idea to order it in advance. Also, ask for the sukiyaki sweetened beef and boiled potatoes, which is a great dish but it's not on the English menu. It's worth bringing a friend who reads Japanese or be willing to try at random from the Japanese menu just to find any other hidden gems.
Add: Second Floor SOHO 3911, 3911 Hongmei Lu, near Yanan Xi Lu, Minhang District, Shanghai
Tel: 3428 0669
Opening Hours: Daily 17:30-23:00
Gui View In Map
Though it's a little off the beaten track, Gubei has some of the most delicious, reasonably priced and authentic Japanese and Korean food in Shanghai, and Gui is no exception.
Gui is mainly known for its hachiwari buckwheat soba noodles which are usually served chilled with a dipping sauce or in a hot soup. However, they also have many other tasty dishes which are well worth trying. The best part of the meal is at the end when the waitress brings the water used to boil the noodles which can be mixed with any remaining sauce for a palate cleanser.
Add: A3, 555 Gubei Lu, near Xianxia Lu, Changning District, Shanghai
Tel: 5239 9085
Opening Hours: 10:00-14:00; 17:30-22:00, Daily
High End Japanese
Unagi View In Map
Grilled eel on rice, or ‘Unagi’, is a classic Japanese dish which even has a holiday dedicated to it. The highlight of the menu is the Unagi served in the Nagoya fashion where the eel is steamed and then dipped in sauce and grilled three times.
While Unagi is the focus of the restaurant, there are other classic Japanese dishes available such as deep fried pork cutlet with thick, spicy Japanese curry and rice. Take note, Unagi does not use MSG in their cooking.
Add.: 342 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Wuyuan Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel.: 6438 7383
Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00, Daily
Kappo Yu View In Map
Kappo Yu is an elegant and truly classy kaiseki restaurant which is the traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, much like a Western full course dinner. This is served in a tasteful and intimate setting and the menu itself is focused not so much on sushi but rather on seasonal Japanese cuisine, and thus changes regularly.
Kappo Yu prides itself on its fresh ingredients (which are imported from Japan) and the care it takes when constructing a set menu; taking into account changes in season and the balancing of flavours and even textures.
Add: 33 Wuxing Lu, near Huaihai Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel.: 6466 7855
Opening Hours: 18:00-23:00, Daily
Ben Jia View In Map
When walking through the doors at Ben Jia, you might think you've been transported to Korea. A nice touch is the generous assortment of free small dishes that are served at each table which are known as 'banchan'. But of course, the main attraction is the meats which include Ansim (tenderloin), Samgyeopsai (pork belly) and Dak galbi (barbecued chicken).
Add: 1339 Wuzhong Lu, near Yinting Lu, Minhang District, Shanghai
Tel: 5118 2777
Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00, Daily
Annion KitchenView In Map
Annion Kitchen serves home-style cooking in a trendy environment. Its menu is characterised by kimchi, strong spices and classic Korean dishes. They also have plenty of imported Korean drinks such as Hite beer and Korean rice wine which makes for some surprisingly quaffable cocktails.
Add: First Floor, Unit 37, Orange House, 550 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Shaoxing Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel: 3428 1855
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 17:30-02:00
High End Korean
Zheng Yi Pin View In Map
Zheng Yi Pin is a Korean barbecue restaurant and perfect for feasting. It uses a 'pot-style' barbecue which minimises the amount of smoke in the restaurant and protects customers' health. They are well known for their eye-popping portions and a seemingly incessant flow of complimentary banchan.
The jewel in the crown of the menu is undoubtedly the beautifully marbled kkot deungsim (rib eye roll).
Add: 225 Jinhui Nan Lu, near Hongquan Lu, Minhang District, Shanghai
Tel: 3432 2735
Opening Hours: 10:30-22:00, Daily
CHI-Q View In Map
CHI-Q is an up-scale concept Korean restaurant which is led by local celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Featuring modern spins on classic dishes as well as pan-Asian fusion, the menu includes innovative dishes such as the Bi Bim Bop topped with choice of spring vegetables and roasted foie gras wagyu beef and egg. This is certainly one to try as the foie grois is a generous slab of rich, fatty liver and the wagyu beef is exquisitely tender, expertly sliced and mottled with tiny streaks of fat.
Add: Second Floor, Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Nan Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Tel: 6321 6622
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 18:00-22:30
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Keywords: Korean Restaurants Shanghai Japanese Restaurants Shanghai
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