Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bali Laguna

Delicious Indonesian restaurant with fantastic ambiance inside of Jing'an Park.

The location is lovely, a stand alone house on a lake surrounded by trees and stone walkways. This also makes it quite difficult to find. My only advice is if you see any lion statues, walk through them, and you're probably on the right track.

We had the starter sampler with satays, crab balls, and spring rolls, as well as papaya salad. I loved the mushroom cream soup with coconut. The prawns were fantastic, as were chili crab (though messy as usual). Fried chicken in coconut soup was good as well.

They also have fantastic juices and desserty drinks -- I had a coconut (enormous).

Not inexpensive, roughly 850 RMB for three of us.

1649 Nanjing West Rd (inside Jing'an Park)
+86 21 6248-6970

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nanbantei 南蛮亭

Delicious new Japanese yakitori place in the great plaza next to Camel Bar. Nanbantei is a famous yakitori shop in Tokyo (Roppongi) and the feel of the place is authentically Japanese. Staff seemed to be mostly Chinese but clearly trained in Japan.

We started with some izakaya-type appetizers like shishamo, then straight for the yakitori. All of the traditional yakitori options like tsukune (ground chicken), negima (chicken and scallion), sunagimo (gizzard), and then other veg and meats like quail eggs, ginkgo (ginnan), and sirloin steak. Sausage was quite good too. We had one bottle of junmai ginjyo sake between three of us, yum.

About 150 rmb per person

1 Yueyang Road by Fenyang Lu and Taojiang Lu


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Century Avenue

I think Century Avenue is the best way to experience the World Financial Center in Pudong, Shanghai's tallest building (for now).

The restaurant and bar are on the 91st to 93rd floors of WFC in the Park Hyatt Shanghai Hotel. The observation deck is about 10 floors higher, but really at 90-100 floors above the city it doesn't really make a difference, you are still looking down on the neighboring Jin Mao Tower (#2 tallest). And for a few hundred kuai I'd rather get a bottle of wine.

Beautiful space and expensive but great food. My mom and I split the Chinese BBQ tasting plate and friends had sushi platter.
91-93 Floor, Park Hyatt Shanghai, 100 Century Avenue, Pudong New Area
+86 21 3855 1428, 3855 1429

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Lovely little Nepalese restaurant in SoHo run by Bim, a Nepaliese guy who also owns the bar across the street.

Nepalese food is closest to Indian food with spices and curries, but also the fire of folks across the mountains in Sichuan. We had some pretty firy dishes, starting with the bread that comes out which I didn't realize had fresh diced jalapenos. Naan is super. The chicken (#25) was amazing, softest juiciest chicken I can think of ever eating. I liked the okra. We did order one prawns dish from their list of "spicy dishes" which came out a fluorescent orange hue.

G/F. 14 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong

City Hall Maxim's Palace 美心皇宮

Delicious dim sum on the 3rd floor of City Hall. There was a 30-45 min wait when we arrived at noon on a Sunday, with people flowing out the stairs. There is a coffee shop on the first floor where you can chill for a while.

The enormous dining room is strangely British with igantic crystal chandeliers, tea cups with plates, and tea poured out of silver pots. The carts are strangely high tech -- while they are still carrying your typical few kinds of dim sum, some of them have video playing on the front of the cart!

2/F Low Block, City Hall, Central, Hong Kong
2521 1303

Mon-Sat 11:00-15:00, 17:30-23:30
Sun and holidays 9:00-15:00, 17:30-23:30

Hutong 胡同

Chinese/Sichuanese restaurant in a very sleek beautiful space on the 28th floor of TST. Wonderful views of the harbor and unique seating spaces.

Great bar upstairs with floor to ceiling windows with a view of the HK skyline and the nightly light show.

28/F 1 Peking Road TST HK
342 88 342

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lotus in Moonlight 荷塘月色

Lotus in Moonlight vegatarian restaurant is in Beijing at two locations.

We were recommended the one near Worker's Stadium, but the hotel concierge had us go to the Liufang NanLi one in Chaoyang, which may have been a mistake, as it is in the middle of a residential complex that no cabs will ever be able to find, even with a call to the restaurant (remember to bring that number).

Deck 4, inside the east fate of Workers' Stadium, Sanlitun
工人体育场东门内 4看台
6268 0848 / 6268 1318

Bldg 12 Liufang NanLi, Chaoyang District
6465 3299 / 6466 3114

You Xin Kao Ya 友鑫烤鴨

This place was recommended by a Shanghai friend who said it has the best Peking Duck she has ever had. The restaurant is across from main gate of 798 Art District (Dashanzi), which is a little off the Beijing tourist track. Kind of like 50 Moganshanlu in Shanghai, it’s a collection of art galleries and hipster community of artists.

The restaurant itself is located in an alley behind the main street, and is a local place without ambiance (think Chinese guys without shirts).

I don’t know my duck that well, but it was delicious. I ate half a duck, and they also give you a huge bowl of broth that they make with the rest of the parts that was just exquisite. Their menu looked great and I would have eaten a ton more meat and spicy food, but had a great dinner of vegetables as well. I think 150rmb for whole dinner (2 ppl).

Chao Yang, Da Shan Xi Bei Li 9 Lou

Again, it's located in the alley behind the main Da Shan Xi road across the street from 798. When you come out of 798, walk left to the closest overpass and walk down the little street with Semir clothes store on the corner. Take first right and it's a few houses down.

TEL is 6437-1602 but they don’t take reservations and definitely don’t speak English

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pure Lotus Vegetarian 净心莲

Delicious Chinese vegetarian -- this place did not have the fake meat that I enjoy from Chinese veggie places, but the food is good nonetheless and the presentation is fantastic.

The table is set with real lotus leaves and huge clam shell plates. Their menu is unique with many "words of wisdom" and the names of the dishes kind of made my roll my eyes a few times. Menus are also about 3 feet long and weigh a good 12 pounds.

Their genmai tea is great, as are many of their fresh drinks (had a great vegetable one, cucumber-tomato I think). Sushi rolls were interesting and good. We liked the papaya salad with a little spicyness. The dumplings were good and I liked the mochiness of the cheese balls (though my friend didn't). They brought us melons for dessert.

There are two Beijing locations. We went to the Nongzhanghuan Nan Lu one first, which is in this little alleyway that is impossible to fine (bring the phone number for your cabbie) -- very cool space. The one in the Holiday Inn is not so nice - it's on the third floor deep inside the hotel next to a bowling alley, much closer tables, and service was definitely not as good (or I might have been put off by the waiter who recommended one crappy little fake beef dish that was about 50% of the bill and tasted like rubber).

Chaoyang Park 朝阳公园
Tongguang Bldg, 12 Nongzhanguan Nanlu, Chaoyang District

6592 3627, 8703 6669


Individual shabu shabu pots, all you can eat 88 rmb in Jing'an. We negotiated for AYC beer too. Fun with a big group, and I loved the carpaccio

841 Yan'an Zhong Lu, OOCL Building 1F (look for the building with green vertical lights)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Enoteca 2

Great wine bar a few blocks off of Xintiandi. Great space for a bottle (or two) with friends, and they have a nice menu as well. We liked the salad with warm goat cheese on baguettes. Very reasonably priced wines are available.

58 Taicang Lu, near Jinan Lu
太仓路58号, 近济南路

5306 3400

Sunday, August 15, 2010

People 7

Number 7 of the Taiwanese "People" franchise, People 7 has the signature sleek design, interesting dishes, and quirky entranceway (hint: make sure you arrive close to your reservation and bring the phone number!)

805号 Julu Rd near Fumin Lu, Jing'an, Shanghai
巨鹿路805号, 近富民路

+86 (21) 5404 0707

The Deli & Bakery

We came across this cute little cafe/bakery after lunch at Colabo on Hengshan Lu. They have a few tables and an upstairs. Nice place to have a chat over coffee (or milk tea with pearls for me!)

No. 150 Fen Yang Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200031

842 Lounge and Restaurant

Nice French restaurant on Hengshan Road set in an old house with patio seating (though too hot for that in August) as well as dining inside. All white setting and romantic, though not so full on Saturday night. The scallops were ok. Swordfish was well flavored and black cod was good.

842 Hengshan Road, Shanghai

Jujubetree Vegetarian Lifestyle

As their card says, "no smoking, no alcoholic beverage, no egg, no meat." Doesn't really sound like my kind of place, but it was amazingly delicious and I even forgot it was a vegetarian meal.

First time we went, we over-ordered by several dishes (three boxes of take home) and it was 250 rmb for two of us. Have been there three times since (yes in three weeks, though I did have a vegetarian visitor for two of them). Favorites are the sweet and sour pork, Malay chicken satay, tomato and tofu stir fry and their great selection of juices (melon-cucumber and watermelon are two good ones). Also some great teas like the brown rice and corn (which is kind of like creamed corn).

They have five locations total, three in Shanghai

No. 77 Songshan Rd by Huaihai Zhong Lu, Shanghai
Note: walk under the arches up the driveway off of Songshan Lu, second restaurant on left



Italian place on Hengshan Lu
Lunch set menus
Had a great salad and vongole for ~80rmb
Old house so drafty and hot

156 Hengshan Rd near Dong Ping Rd

Four Seasons 四季亭

Japanese izakaya food and beer/sake. Pretty good and super cheap! Steak tartare, sushi, sashimi, age tofu, lots of selection. All you can eat and drink for 150rmb per person.

369 Xinhua Road by Pan Yu Road

They also have a few other locations


Friday, August 6, 2010


Cute French place on Dagu Lu. There's an outdoor patio space and cozy dining room (though it never seems to be full). Had a delicious steak tartare.

418 Dagu Road, Shanghai

Banana Leaf

The Thai restaurant in Dawning Center (where Cisco office is located)... fascinating and unexpected decour, kind of Waikiki-like. Service not so fast and food mediocre to ok. The food is also more Chinese than Thai really...

They started us with water that tasted like it was from a park fountain. The tea took a while but better. The closest to pad thai we could get were Thai rice noodles, which were a bit bland. Eggplant was good, and the green beef curry was great, and we went to town on that. We also went with the small appetizer plate, which generally was ok except we didn't finish it since it came last and we overordered (for three).

215rmb for the whole meal of four dishes, tea and tax.

Dawning Center, 500 Hong Bao Shi Road, 2F

People 6

Part of the super-cool Taiwanese chain People, the Japanese designed People 6 is funky and interesting with decent food.

The uber-cool design starts at the front entrance -- I won't ruin the surprise (hint, poke around if you can't get in). The bamboo lined walk leads into a three-story cleanly designed dining space, with a bar on the first floor. All of the tables are white with a single spotlight illumating the food (which is good and bad). The bathrooms are also a trip worth making.

My colleague took charge of ordering a great spread, from duck to the test tube drinks with dry ice floating out of the bowl.

150 Yueyang Lu, near Yongjia Lu
6466 0505

Amokka Cafe

A fantastic space with a bar/cafe downstairs and large yet cozy sitting space on the second floor. It feels like a fancy dorm lounge in a way, with small tables and booths where people have meals, drinks, or just reading or typing away. One guy even had a full PC station set up (that remarkably collapsed down when he was done).

They have some good inexpensive wine options (few bottles under 200rmb) and the food is good. You can order pizza from the place down the street, as well as Thai from next door. We went with the antipasti sampler with salumi, cheeses, olives, etc.

No 201 An Fu Rd, Shanghai

5405 0998

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lost Heaven

Lost Heaven on the Bund is a Yunnan restaurant with great, reasonably priced folk cuisine from the southwest Yunnan province. It is definitely foreigner friendly, with English speaking hostesses and menus, and plays to tourists with staff dressed in the colorful traditional costumes of Yunnan. The clientele was more foreigner than local, and fairly full for a Tuesday late dinner hour.

It is housed in its own full building -- you walk upstairs into a sprawling dining room that requires the hosts to communicate via walky talky. The restaurant is right off of the Bund on Yan'an East Rd before Zhongshan East Rd, and we didn't make it up to the lounge, but they just opened one on the 3rd and 4th floors.

We ordered a lot for two, but remarkably finished almost all of it and it was pretty light. The papaya salad was richer than I'm used to but good. Sauteed kale was super garlicky and yummy. Shrimp spring rolls looked more like cylindrical shrimp cakes with dipping sauce but were light for being fried. Tibetan beef was delicious, and I liked the pork with lettuce wrap. All of this plus pu'ur chrysanthemum tea for roughly 350rmb. Good deal.

17 Yan'an Dong Lu, between Sichuan Nan Lu and Zhongshan Dong Lu
延安东路17号, 近四川南路

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gyu Jin ShabuShabu & Sukiyaki

All-you-can-eat shabu-shabu with heavenly buffet of meats, vegetables, Asian goods like tofu and fish cakes, and sauces galore to mix yourself. We had half pot of kimchi and half pot of soy milk (I think), both quite good and makes great rice porridge at the end.

There are two locations, one by Nanjing Xi Lu and other on Nanjing Dong Lu

No. 242, Lane 169 Wujiang Lu, near Shi men yi Lu
+86 (0)21 6218 5171

Room 213 on the 2nd Floor of 353 Plaza, No. 353 East Nanjing Road, near Middle Shandong Road (this is a pedestrian street, so cabs can't drop off in front)

たんや又兵衛 Tanya-Matabei

Amazing kushi-yaki, or skewered meat shop, specializing in high end wagyu 'tan' (or tongue). It is a small place with a counter and high seats that seats maybe 12 or 15 in the narrow restaurant.

Definitely get the 'gyu-tan' -- the rows of enormous black tongues hanging in the fridge might make some nervous, but believe me they are delicious. The sirloin just melted in your mouth as did the uzura-egg (quail I think). Many vegetable options that we loved. Ginnan (gingko I think) also quite good.

Very high end, reflected by the prices, but worth it. Probably close to $300 for three people to eat until stuffed with a few drinks


Roppongi 3-13-8 Saito Building 2nd Floor


Fabulous view from Tokyo Midtown Tower with high end tempura. Nice to sit at the counter and watch them cook. Lunch sets are lovely. Definitely expensive.

Tokyo Midtown Tower Garden Terrace 3F

Thursday, June 24, 2010

島唄楽園 Shima-uta Rakuen

Shimauta-rakuen (島唄楽園) is a great Okinawan restaurant in Roppongi that co-workers had first taken me to, and I have since taken my big boss to because it is so yummy and unusual.

Okinawa has its own distinct culture and heritage (kind of like Hawaii in the US) and that includes food. They use ingredients that are not available anywhere else in Japan, like sea grapes (海ぶどう) and goya (ゴーヤ) and have funny names for their dishes too. "Rafty" (ラフティー) is pork belly (豚の角煮) and "chample" (チャンプル) means stir-fry. Okinawa is also known for an amazing and potent shochu called awamori (泡盛), and there is an extensive awamori and cocktail list here.

I arrived tonight to a raucous Okinawan performance by Nakasone Mitsuru-san (仲宗根充). The restaurant has live performances about twice per week (schedule). Most of their seating is family style communal tables and you pay 1000 yen cover for a seat where you can see the little stage. I was a little skeptical at first, since I had planned on a quiet dinner with a book, but I am so glad I got to experience this! Not only was it super fun and interactive with people getting on stage to sing and the whole room dancing, the people were incredibly welcoming and inclusive. I can't wait to visit Okinawa!

Btw, in addition to his musical talents, Nakasone-san runs a taxi service in Naha, Okinawa. I am so calling him when I visit!

The restaurant is on the 4th floor of a building on the big Roppongi corner of Roppongi-dori and Gaien-dori. Here's the g-navi site (Japanese)

〒106-0032 東京都港区六本木7-14-10 誠志堂ビル4F

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fuchun 富春

A totally local Shanghai food place that my local friend brought me to in Jing'an. I don't think I can find it again but it was delicious and cheap and packed at 7 PM on a Tuesday (he said it always is, and people drive in from afar on weekends).

We had fried spring rolls, a tonkatsu (fried breaded pork), spicy cold noodles, and several kinds of xiaolongbao, which were awesome. Plain, crab, or shrimp, the juices were amazing and the rest delicious as well. First time trying to eat these without a spoon -- the foreigner friendly places where I have always had xiaolongbao has spoons to catch the juices. I had to gracefully hold the squishy dumpling, chew a small hole in the side, then suck out the juices without spilling all over me (took a few tries). But worth it.

I need to practice a little more Mandarin before I try on my own.

Short walk from Jiangsu Station (Line 2), come out Exit #2, walk left for two blocks

Friday, June 18, 2010


Zapata's is the outdoor bar adjoining to Sasha's in the French Concession. We went for the USA-Slovenia World Cup game, and the place was packed with Americans. Oh how obnoxious we are, it was so much fun. Tie was unfortunate. Nice patio seating under tents I think, and they had set up several screens outside. Mexican, beer, fun.

5 Hengshan Lu, near Dongping Lu
衡山路5号, 近东平路

Mr & Mrs Bund

This is one of my favorites in Shanghai I think. Fun elegant, with mix of loungey and funky "Alice in Wonderland" furniture and waiters (right now they are all wearing MM soccer jerseys), and most importantly delicious food and cocktails. They call themselvs "a modern French eatery in cosmopolitan Shanghai"

I was lucky enough to have two occassions in a weekend to dine -- apparently reservations are impossible to get there.

Friday evening, I joined a friend's dinner late. They had done all of the ordering and brought his own wine so I just sat back and enjoyed. Starters included tuna tartare, a light fish marinade, and delicious beef carpaccio. Bread's good too, with this super light . The spare rib off the bone had amazing flavor and delectable meat. Loved it. Pork I was a little less excited about, but I find it hard to get excited about pork. We ordered four or five desserts to share (table of 8) and all were just amazing.

Saturday night, I was with our wonderful organizer way early, enough to be about a cocktail ahead of the crowd, and what a lovely cocktail it was -- a wasabi martini, one of the multitude of yummy, can't-tasting-a-lick-of-alcohol creative martinis. I sadly did not complete my goal to make it through the whole martini menu, but the raspberry, French (Chambourd), ginger pineapple, and Mr Bund (basil) are all worth trying (for the record, I tasted a number of my colleagues' drinks, not all mine!)

We had a group of 21 at the tall table with tall chairs (quintessential Alice in Wonderland pieces) and also the set menu with family style for all courses. Most of it was delicious - starters include a pate, eggplant tartine, cold chicken with aioli, with a beef bourgignon with mash and the best fish for mains.

Caveat, I didn't pay for it, but otherwise might be tough to do twice in a weekend

Phone: 6323 9898

6/F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu
中山东一路18号6楼, 近南京东路

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I think I found my favorite Shanghai brunch place. Azul Tapas lounge is "Peruvian Modern Cuisine" with a fantastic 130rmb brunch that gets you a drink, coffee/tea, two dishes, and scones/bread. 160rmb if you want 3 dishes.

I had a bloody mary (pretty good), gazpacho with crab meat, and Latin steak and eggs. Scone also yummy and warm and comes with regular or honey butter and jam. I loved my gazpacho and was ok with the steak and eggs (simply because I happen to like everything rare and this wasn't, taste was good). However, I had terrible food envy of my lovely brunchmates who had a Spanish bruschetta, gourmet omelette with goat cheese, asparagus and other veggies (this was delicious, I am getting that next time), and blue berry pancakes. Benedict looked good too.

Also the drinks, though there were many bloodies to go around, the fruit shakes looked fantastic too. Cute neighborhood in French Concession right by Sashas.
Reservations at or 6433-1172

18 Dongping Road (by Hengshan Road), Xuhui District, Shanghai

Yuxin Sichuan Dish 渝信川菜

Amazing Sichuan food, exactly like I remember it from Chengdu! So yummy and so many options so delicious spicy goodness.

Mix of cold and hot, as well as spicy and sweet, helps keep your mouth from burning out of control. Lettuce with sesame sauce and cold yams (yamaimo I think) with coconut soup were nice 'coolers' along with the soy milk, while the beef lungs, frog, and shrimp were awesome hot dishes. Must get the sticky rice cakes with egg at the end.

We went to the one in Chengdu Bei Lu but there are two more in Shanghai, one in Chongqing and four in Beijing too.

333 Chengdu Bei Lu (near Weihai Lu) 3/F, Zhaoshangju Square
成都路333号 招商局广场3楼近威海路
5298 0438

5/F, Huasheng Tower, 399 Jiujiang Lu, near Fujian Zhong Lu
九江路399号 华盛大厦5楼, 近福建中路
6361 1777

Sunday, June 6, 2010


A Korean restaurant chain in China (primarily Shanghai), and with one located a few blocks away on Huaihai Lu, I will be going back to Pankoo. The kimchi was actually good (was already going vinegary at last few Korean places I tried). I had paejan and a chigae, though I did find none of the wait staff recognized the Korean names. About ~20rmb for the dishes

Tsui Wah Restaurant

I went for a midnight coffee to Tsui Wah Restaurant, a Cantonese chain on the Fumin Lu - Changle Lu corner with Cantina Agave and a few other restaurants. It was pretty full with late night snackers, surprisingly of many ages. They have a nice HK menu, which I am sure I will try some time. The special tea is interesting - never tried it before, mix of coffee and tea... not sure how I feel about it but interesting.

291 Fumin Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai

Friday, June 4, 2010

M on the Bund

Great atmosphere and nice outdoor deck with fantastic view. The food was beautiful, but to be honest not the best. The arugula salad was fine. The salt crusted lamb leg looked fantastic, I was the envy of the table when it arrived and just melted with a touch of my fork, but ended up being pretty dry and tasteless. Same with the raspberry souffle - great presentation, totally too sweet, tasted like chunks of sugar. Might be worth another try since I have heard good things, but there are many better restaurants in Shanghai as well.

7/F, No 5 The Bund (corner of Guangdong Lu)
(86 21) 6350 9988

Monday, May 31, 2010

Herbal Legend

Surprisingly good Chinese food with a bias towards the healthy... the restaurant itself smells cross between a temple and medicine shop, with incense permeating the space. We were in Xintiandi, though there is another across town as well

The hongbai (? red dates) tea was quite good. Started with yam (yamaimo) with a citrus kick. I really liked the spicy beef though I went too far with some of the red chilis (note: do not suck on them... they are spicy...) The spinach soup and fried eggplant with meat were yummy, and I loved the pumpkin side. Any of the soups would be great -- the chicken stock in mine was wonderful.

Despite the fact that I felt many of the dishes should be good for me, they were yummy and I want to go back. About 150 rmb per person.

Unit 1B No. 1, 123 Lane Xing Ye Road, Xintiandi Plaza.

Cantina Agave Taqueria & Tequila Bar

Pretty decent Mexican place with good selection of traditional grub and lots of drinks. I liked the outdoor space, though beware the gnats if you sit by the trees (I have never had a saran wrapped margarita with straw stuck through).

260rmb for two drinks each and nachos, so not cheap.

A Mansion, 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu

Southern Belle

A homey Southern style bar with a great outdoor patio and happy hour, it was a great Sunday afternoon booze spot on a beautiful May day. It's an expat bar, not so much local presence. Budweiser on tap and for happy hour, but decent bottle list also.

433 Changle Lu, near Xiangyang Lu

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bellagio Cafe

Hip and casual Taiwanese food on Hongqiao side of town. It is a chain with a handful of Chinese locations, but not in Taiwan. The crowd is a bit on the younger side, to match the white, minimalist interior and the pixie waitresses (all of them have a cute boy cut, apparently it's a requirement).

Food was great. I wasn't super hungry but you can have a light meal or full on dinner. The steamed whole fish was amazing, and I liked the chicken with garlic and ginger oil. The Taiwanese omelette was fluffy and I liked the crunch of the turnip. We also had some sort of greens in a broth with preserved egg, which was interesting.

They have an extensive dessert and drinks menu, and the desserts at the other tables were monstrous. Definitely worth giving a try.

I didn't realize that Bellagio Cafe was a sister to La Paleta. You can find info on both at

101 Shui Cheng Rd. (S), Changning District, Shanghai
Tel: 021-6270-6866

La Paleta

Lovely bakery with Japanese-style breads and pastries (or in my mind they are Japanese-like, though with Chinese twist).

I don't know why, but my favorite right now is the charcoal bread with Gouda cheese -- it's a big dark grey brick with yellow chunks, so not the most appetizing site, but it's perfect amount of chewy and savory for me.

There is one by the Carrefour near Hongqiao and also one by my office at Hong Bao Shi Rd, which has a sit-down place with cute cafe options for lunch.

480 Hong Bao Shi Rd,Gubei/Hongqiao near Jinzhu Lu



Sandwich and coffee shop with 'California'-like paninis and salads, in addition to fresh juice and wine. They have plenty of small tables and booths, more trendy than homey, but a place that you can camp out and read/work for a while.

I had a "Greek" sandwich, falafel, roasted eggplant, tabouleh, on toasted ciabatta and a beetroot-pear juice, which not surprisingly is beet red. 75 rmb.

I went to the one in Hong Kong New World at Huai Hai Zhong Lu near Madang Lu (near Uniqlo), right in a little square with other restaurants and a block from my Shanghai apt!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


The bar at the top of the Hyatt on the Bund. Has a fantastic view of the Pudong side and Bund, though I think there is a cover to sit a the tables by the window. There is a rooftop area with beds to lounge on and a jacuzzi outside.

I had the worst viognier ever and a good virgin mary (weird drink mood...) Pretty crowded for a lounge and they had good house playing.

199 Huangpu Road, Shanghai
+86 21 6393 1234


Fantastic and authentic Japanese restaurant on the Bund. It's on the second floor of #6 Bund, in a great Japanese-inspired space (well, except the shark tank behind the reception desk).

There are a few staff who speak Japanese, but not so much English. Definitely make reservations in advance for weeknight.

They have a pretty good drink menu, with sake, shochu (and even sours), and several flights of sake for very reasonable price. Wine was good too I think.

We started with a maguro and other sashimi moriawase, a fantastic salmon salad, and chawanmushi. Shishamo was just ok. My co-workers liked the gindara saikyoyaki (fish) so much that we got a second order of it! Yakitori was quite good too. The spare ribs melt in your mouth and flavorful.

I liked the black sesame ice cream and fried mochi dessert.

6 Bund, 2F, Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai
+86 021-6339-2779

Friday, May 7, 2010


I went for rooftop drinks, but Mesa also has dinner.

Drinks were very fun, great crowd inside with pop-music dancing and outdoors.

The Thailander was interesting Absolut Peppar drink with a huge kick. It was good for one drink, not for the night.

Muombie is a ridiculous (secret) concoction of alcohol and some kind of Malibu rum or coconut juice that goes for 98 rmb. It says two per person, but you really shouldn't need more than that.

748 julu road (east of fumin rd), shanghai china 200040
(86) 21 6289 9108

Sichuan Citizen

Cool Sichuan restaurant run by the same people as Citizen Cafe. Pretty foreigner-friendly and had more ex-pats than Chinese, but yummy food, interesting drinks and fun atmosphere.

Four of us had pan fried green peppers, tofu, string beans, chicken, fried pork, and rice, with a few drinks and came out to about 50 rmb per person.

30 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu
东湖路30号 近淮海中路


Kathleen's 5

On the 5th floor of the Shanghai Art Museum across the street from the JW Marriott, Kathleen's 5 is a lovely space with good western cuisine for reasonable price. Went for a lunch on pleasant Friday afternoon, and sat outside on their covered patio.

They have a two course or three course prix fixe menu for lunch. I had the Caesar salad and split main -- sea bass and swordfish (I think I liked sea bass with potatoes better). Their site of potatoes was crispy fried and salty (which I guess can make even cardboard taste good...) and it came with a good aioli.

325 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai 200003
6327 2221

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel

Sim's is a fabulous hostel in Chengdu, but that's now why I'm including it in the 'Eats' blog. Lonely Planet had suggested them as one of the places that offer Sichuan cooking lessons, and we had an awesome time and some delicious food.

We called Sim's the day before -- they wanted us to show up in person to make the booking. The cooking lessons are pretty informal, depending on the chef's schedule along with availability by one of the bartenders to translate. Sim's is a bit out of the way on the northern end of the city, but we had a few beers and walked to ChongQing QinMa Hotpot close by

The next day we returned to Sim's at 7pm for our lesson. Our interpreter (aka bartender) was a Shanghainese who had come out 4 months ago to help out at Sim's. Bob (or Bao) took us to the roof deck (6 or 7th floor) that had a small nook with a small kitchen, where our chef instructor was waiting with our ingredients and equipment ready to go.

We chose three dishes - Kung Pao Chicken 宫保鸡丁, Fish Flavored Eggplant 魚香茄子, and Ma Po Tofu 麻婆豆腐

We spent the first part of the class chopping and preparing the chicken (cubed), cucumber (halved and thirded, then seeds sliced off, rest cubed), eggplant (quartered lengthwise then peeled with the cleaver), and tofu (cubed). We also learned to make decorative flowers from pink pickled daikon slices and toothpicks.

Then onto the cooking. It's all about the spices -- minced garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppers (ground and whole), red pepper (ground, whole, and wet), scallion, MSG (yes, MSG), salt, chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, and starch, and then oil and water. I figured the blend of spices and sauces, the order, and timing of the cooking was going to be impossible to remember... so it's all on video...

Kung Pao Chicken 宫保鸡丁

Fish Flavored Eggplant 魚香茄子

Ma Po Tofu 麻婆豆腐

The biggest difference between the chef's and our creations was the cut and the balance -- I loved the dishes I made, but I'd want to be served his.

After the dishes were done, we carried them back downstairs and chowed down with some complementary Tsingtao. Yum. Fantastic deal for 100 rmb each.

See for more info on the hostel.

Long Chao-shou 龙抄手

May 2010

A chain of hole-in-the-wall local eateries in Chengdu and rest of China, Long Chao-shou was yummy albeit confusing for the two of us who didn't quite read or speak Chinese that well. Tan Tan Mien is the staple Sichuan order for me (or it happens to be the one thing that I can read ona menu), some sort of rou mien (meat noodles) that Ryota could order, and we pointed to a few others. Tan Tan Mien was the best here for sure.

ChongQing QinMa Hotpot

May 2010

Yummy firey Sichuan hot pot a few minutes walk from Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel where we signed up for cooking classes.

We ordered the foreigner-friendly split hot pot, with a non-spicy broth in the middle, though we did end up deciding that the spicy broth was much better. Then we chose several meats and vegetables for the pot. They gave us small bowls filled with sesame oil into which we put spoonfuls of minced garlic and chopped cilantro.

The cooking is much like shabu-shabu. You dip the meat/veggie into the boiling broth for a set time (1-5 min depending on what it is). But then you dip the fiery hot item into the sesame oil, and yummmm...

Fire Pot!

Remember that the more surface the item has, the more 'spicy' it will keep. Large greens are great in hot pot, but REALLY spicy.

Definitely get some beers, helps with the cooling.

All for a whopping 100rmb ($14 USD) for two.

Chen's Ma Po Tofu

May 2010

Seems to be THE famous Ma Po Tofu place in Chengdu, as all hotels and guidebooks will recommend. It's the oldest restaurant in Chengdu serving the local specialty, and it is fiery and delicious.

We walked in for lunch. One order of their mapo tofu, one order of greens, and rice and tea was the perfect amount.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


April 2010

I was sooo excited to hear that my co-workers got reservations at Jean-Georges at Three on the Bund... Of his restaurants, I had only been to Mercer Kitchen in NY a few years ago and that was wonderful. So his namesake in Shanghai, yay.

3rd floor of Three on the Bund - very elegant, quite dark actually, with plush booths in the rich dining room. We had a late dinner and watched the staff spray the tableclothes to iron press them to the right shape.

Yuzu Drop - might be the best cocktail I've ever had. It was simply wonderful. I thought it might just be me, and I made two of my dinner companions try it, and their reactions were similar to mine. Really yummy.

The menu has several prix fixe options. Tempting to do the Jean-Georges set for about 1000rmb, but held back and did the standard 3-dishes and dessert for about 600rmb. First was a foie gras brulee. Wow. Melts in your mouth with the perfect amount of grilled smokiness. Second I had scallops with roasted cauliflower. Not as impressed with this one, just ok. Main was lamb chops, with a ton of flavor and great rich juicy fat (though it was also rich juicy fat).

We did have desserts, and the almond tofu with apricot ice cream was not the best choice -- my dinnermates' chocolate cake was amazing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Heights

New Heights is the bar/restaurant on the 7th floor of Three on the Bund, the high end contemporary shopping and dining establishment central to the Bund. We had a brunch on a unusually pleasant Sunday, so we sat outside on the patio overlooking the Bund walkways and Pudong side. Fantastic view, I don't think there is anything better.

There is a two course brunch for 148rmb - I had a salmon terrine and sea bass with gnocchi and mushroom sauce, which were quite good. We split the three crepes, pretty good.
Service is pretty miserable. Expect to take a long time for your meal and service.
Almost all foreigners there, but I think most of Three on the Bund is.

Lou Wai Lou

Lou Wai Lou is a famous Hangzhou restaurant serving local cuisine like fresh fish and vegetables. It's on West Lake with quite large capacity -- there were two wedding banquets simultaneously on the first floor while the second floor and outsides patios were still open for dinner. The hotel had suggested we arrive by 5 or 5:30 to avoid a wait, as they don't take reservations. We walked in at 5:30 pm and the restaurant was already packed. We couldn't get a table in the front patio that overlooks the lake, but got one of the last in the back courtyard.

There were three of us so we got to order a fair number of dishes, including a local vegetable dish with minced greens and pine nuts, jelly fish, marinated duck, grilled duck liver, and fresh white fish with vinegar-based sauce.

Total 123rmb per person

No 30 Gu Shan Road, Hangzhou, China 310007

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jade Beauty

Jade Beauty is a chain with Shanghainese food. They have good dumplings and just about anything else Chinese that you could want. Nice decor, large groups, many foreigners, located in the 2F of the new mall in Xintiandi

Friday, April 16, 2010

Zen Chinese Cuisine

Great filling lunch at Zen, a chain with good Shanghainese and other food at Raffles Plaza.

411/412, Raffles Plaza, No 268, Tibet Road (Middle), Shanghai PRC
+86 21 6340 4333

Bar Rouge

Great bar in Bund, with (I think) a 6th floor balcony patio that has panoramic views of the Bund lights and skyline across the river. We were some of the first guests at their grand 're-opening' we were told.

Very expat, very little Asian faces, lots of champagne accompanied by sparklers. Wow. /



We did a work dinner at the Moroccan fusion restaurant about a 3 minute walk from the JW Marriott Tomorrow Square, located right by Shanghai Art Museum and Kathleen 5 in a small park in a cute house in the middle of a lake. It was nice to see some green space in Shanghai.

There's a second story lounge as well as bar and dining space on the first floor. Good mojitos, plenty of Western alcoholic options, and pretty good food. Appetizer plates are nice, and Moroccan lamb shank was pretty good

Went back a second time, and loved the wagyu burger.

231 Nanjing Road West, People's Park, Shanghai
+86 21 6318 0220

South Beauty

We had a large group dinner for the World Expo team at one of the South Beauty outposts in the French Concession. We filled the back room, and it was a great space for a group our size (80 pax perhaps). We had a pre-set menu that came at a decent pace. There were about ten to a round table to the food was shared on a lazy susan and usually gone in one round.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ye Shanghai Xintiandi

Nice, classy Shanghainese restaurant in the row of old-style houses on Huang Pi Nan (South) Road in Xintiandi. I was there with a group of 20 of so loud and fun colleagues, and we completely ruined the ambiance for all around us. Otherwise, it would be a sweet date spot.

We had family style with over a dozen dishes, pretty good, though not spetacular.

338 Huang Pi Nan Road, Xintiandi, Shanghai

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Sasha's is a lovely restaurant and bar located in a historic house on the corner of Dongping Lu and Hengshan Lu. Nice couch seating. Great bloody mary's and tea, that comes in clear pot and kept warm over candles. Yummy tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, and rest of menu looked quite good.


Clubbing in Shanghai. Fun stuff. 17 meters long shark tank.
M1NT • 24 Floor 318 Fuzhou Lu • Shanghai • China • 200001


Dintaifung is a great Shanghainese and dim sum-like restaurant in Xintiandi. Ironically, it's a Taiwanese chain with locations across China and Asia (and one in LA), but some say Dintaifung has some of the best shaolongbao in the city (my favorite for now).

For the shaolongbao, they come in sets of 5 dumplings. I would recommend the standard pork, pork with hairy crab, and the chicken. All delicious and quite different. Drip out the sauce and then slurp the whole thing (and be careful not to burn your tongue if you decide not to let out some of the hot soup first).

I have brought vegetarians who were quite happy as well. Many veg/tofu dishes if you want and all quite good. Raw cucumbers with sesame oil and hot peppers. A bean curd and mushroom dish, quite some heat. Veg dumplings. Veg and pork and veg pork buns. Mushrooms with oyster sauce. Noodles with peanut sauce. Fried rice with egg and scallion. My favorite of the green dishes is the morning glory with ginger.

Located on second floor of the mall-like complex in Xintiandi.

2/F, South Block Plaza, Lane 123 Xingye Lu, near Madang Lu
新天地南里广场5楼, 兴业路123 弄, 近马当路
Phone: 6385 8378