It’s a new year in Shanghai, which means a whole new slew of Western restaurants must be opening up. Luckily for us, it looks like 2013 is ushering in some good ones. From a place that serves up great salads (finally!) to a gallery restaurant hybrid to the long awaited arrival of the defunct Velvet Lounge’s new incarnation, things are definitely looking up for expats missing a taste of home!
1) SproutworksView In Map
Everyone seems to be raving about the newest creation brought to us by Kelley Lee (of the Boxing Cat Brewery and Cantina Agave fame), and for good reason. It is officially the best place to go now for fresh salads (so long, 85 RMB Element Fresh salads!), but don’t overlook their sandwiches, soups and sides. It’s not often you see quinoa salad in Shanghai, but don’t be afraid – mixed with dried cranberries and various herbs, it’s some of the tastiest healthy food in the city. It’s a rare and beautiful thing when you can have a meal in Shanghai and not feel like you’ve just ingested a vat full of oil, so rejoice! And let’s keep our collective fingers crossed in the hopes that this kind of quality doesn’t do the inevitable Shanghai slide, shall we?
Add: 167 Donghu Lu, near Xinle Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 010 5466 1677
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00
2) GenevaView In Map
Geneva is being touted as the “sister” restaurant of the legendary Abbey Road (by way of Yueyang Lu, of course). As you would expect from any relation of Abbey Road, Geneva is serving up slightly overpriced dishes consisting of huge portions and a half-hearted attempt at “Swiss” cuisine. All this to say: It’s certainly not a bad way to spend an evening, especially if you’re lucky enough to nab a seat on their heated courtyard (although the downstairs conservatory is mighty pretty as well). Dishes include favorites like the Cordon Bleu Pork Schnitzel and the Alpermakkaroni (which is basically a giant mash up of pasta, ham, bacon, potato, and cream covered in cheese and baked). They’ve even transported one of their sister restaurant’s more popular dishes onto their menu, appropriately titling it the “Abbey Road Beef Steak.” My psychic powers tell me this place is going to be slammed come spring and summer.
Add: 1876A Hami Lu, near Qingxi Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5239 9197
Opening hours: Sun, 10:00-01:00; Mon-Thu, 16:00-01:00; Fri, 16:00-02:00; Sat, 10:00-02:00
3) Pata NegraView In Map
All hail the newly re-incarnated Velvet Lounge – now known as Pata Negra, outfitted in a distinctly mellower vibe and going by the new tag of a “wine and cocktail lounge.” In case you couldn’t tell by that description, this is not a place of late night debauchery and testosterone fueled conflict. This is a classy place, people! Pata Negra, in addition to its great (largely Spanish) wine selection, focuses on a rather oddly specific food item: Iberico ham. While pretty much everyone recognizes the merits of ham’s deliciousness, they’ve taken it one step further with a martini consisting of ham infused vodka, sherry, and melon balls. Strange and delicious, just like a wine and cocktail lounge should be.
Add: 1/F, 913 Julu Lu, near Changshu Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5403 2976
Opening hours: Sun-Thu, 17:30-01:30; Fri-Sat, 17:30-02:00
4) Fat MamaView In Map
Fat Mama has only recently “officially” opened but it has already been gaining rave reviews from customers who stopped by while they were only “partly open.” Located on a gorgeous strip of Changping Lu, it’s a cozy place that is gaining traction with the after-work wine-sipping crowd. The menu is limited to basically just pizzas, salads, and sandwiches but it’s all done well so there’s no complaint there. All the ingredients used taste fresh, which is really saying something when you consider how much cheese is incorporated into each dish (hint: a lot). Fat Mama may be located a little off the beaten Jing’an path (for now), but it’s well worth the side trip.
Add: 1000 Changping Lu, near Yanping Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 138 1733 0263
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11:30-14:00, 17:30-21:30; Sat, 11:30-15:00, 17.30-21.30; Sun, 11:30-15:00
5) ChoirView In Map
If you’re looking for some entertainment to go with your dining experience, check out Choir, the new cocktail, wine, and tapas bar that also happens to pull double duty as an art gallery. It’s located in the stunning old Russell & Co. building and, having been built in 1860, is claiming to officially be the oldest building on the Bund. The food itself is pretty good, especially the truffle topped pizza, but its real charm lies in strolling around the gallery with a glass of wine, admiring the artwork both on the walls and under your feet.
Add: 19 Fuzhou Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6321 2336
Opening hours: Daily, 17:30-02:00
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Keywords: new restaurants Shanghai
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