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New recommendations for Shanghai dining

I've been reading Chowhound's boards for a couple of years now and have to say am a little disappointed with the constant recycling of the same restaurants. Some of them are good, others great, but a lot are pretty average.

I've lived in China for four years now and have eaten my way across the country (and its cuisines!). For what it's worth, my favourite food cities are Beijing (bureaucrats and diplomats know how to eat well) and Qingdao (best produce in China certainly helps, as does the massive Japanese and Korean community plus a citizenry dedicated to having a good time).

I've eaten high, I've eaten low, and I've a lot in-between, so I feel qualified to make judgments about restaurants here in Shanghai.

Here are some of my favourites:

Asman - brilliant Xinjiang food on Fuxing Lu, near Xiangyang Lu. The staff only occasionally break into singing and dancing and only ever near closing time, giving you a chance to eat in relative peace. It's on the Southeast corner, up the stairs - look for a small reception area next to a giant BBQ. Aside from the fish (I can't see the wisdom in trusting a desert-people with fish), it's all delicious. English and photo menu.

Dongbei Four Seasons Dumpling King - hearty and cheap Dongbei food on Xikang Lu, near Wuding Lu. There are other locations too. Try the julienned-stomach salad, the di san xian, the gu lao rou, the xiang su ji, again, this is a place where it's hard to go wrong. The dumplings are also excellent. They've just re-written the menu with good translations and clear pictures.

Cha's - old-school Hong Kong cafe food on Sinan Lu, near Huaihai Lu. I'm sure it's probably been written up elsewhere on the website. The occasional hygiene issue doesn't distract from the absurdly tasty food. Be prepared to wait a LONG time. Go with the classic dishes - you'll recognise them as soon as you see the menu. Full English menu.

Legend Taste - Yunnan food on Kangding Lu, near Wuning Lu. I think I saw it referenced once here. Great Yunnan food (a couple of let-down dishes on the menu though!) with the best feature being that it's at least the half the price of most other Yunnan restaurants in town (such as Lost Heaven etc). English and Photo menu.

Lanzhou La Mian - part of a franchised-chain of Muslim noodle restaurants, the one on Wuyuan Lu, between Yongfu Lu and Wulumuqi Lu is the best. Ask them to set up a table for you outside and get the fried egg and coriander on top. Picture menu only.

Franck - French bistro on Wukang Lu, near Hunan Lu. The bad service reputation (which I think unfair) doesn't diminish from what is one of the best French bistros in Asia. Given a choice between this and any other restaurant in Shanghai I know few people who would go elsewhere. French-only menu.

Toriyasu - Yakitori restaurant on Huichuan Lu, near Changning Lu. Great food, atrocious service. Probably too expensive for what it is and out-of-the-way, but worth it for the occasional splurge. Sit at the bar area. No English or photo menu.

Masala Art - Indian restaurant on Dagu Lu, near Chengdu Lu. Excellent service and great food make this the restaurant of choice for us Shanghailanders. Full English menu.

Pasha - modern Istanbul bistro on Nanchang Lu, near Maoming Lu. Good food, cheap wine, nice service, and shishas make this a lovely place to spend an evening. It's a good middle-priced date restaurant. Full English menu.

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  1. Thanks. I'll keep your list for our next visit to Shanghai later this year. The only one we've been to is Cha's. They are trying to replicate the HK 50's cha chiang tang experience. It works at some level. But ultimately you can't have a HK experience when the waitresses don't speak Cantonese. And since we just came in from HK it's a novel place but we'd rather get Shanghainese food in Shanghai.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      Hey Peter, I understand why you would prefer to eat Shanghainese here - but (like many!) I'm not such a fan of Shanghai cuisine. The chef at my office took me to a sensational little hole in the wall in Hongkou that I'll get the address for next week.

      1. re: toomanydumplings

        It Assmann, not Asman, and the subject of many a joke (they'll never be able to take do the Assmann billboard off the roof). I live down the block, they serve excellent lamb kebabs on the grill outside and good bakery, but there are much much better Xinjiang restaurants in Shanghai. Try Xinjiang Fengwei Restaurant at Yishan lu near Nandan lu. Sorry Assmann, I hope we can still be friends.
        What was wrong with the service at Toriyasu? I find the service at Shanghai's Korean and Japanese restaurants to soar above any Chinese restaurant in the city (not like they provide much competition). I've had some of my better service experiences in China at Toriyasu. They didn't have to do much, but even a little attention puts you above the majority of servers in China.
        There are many excellent Shanghainese restaurants in the city. I think the problem is that it's a cuisine that when done poorly is an oily, overly sweet mess, and so many people quickly become turned off by it.
        There are the less accesible FUs and Jishis of the city, but my favorite is still the hole-in-the-wall Lan Ting on Song Shan lu.

        1. re: hafnerd

          Hey hafnerd, if you live down the road I guess we're neighbours... I know the Assman thing, but to be a pedant I'm pretty sure its actual name is Asman. Either way after sinking Sinkiangs for a few hours it doesn't matter either way! I've been to the Xinjiang Fengwei place once but was disappointed with their da pan ji. Also, it's in Xujiahui as opposed to two blocks from my house!

          I used to go to Toriyasu once a week as it was on my way home from work and would often meet friends there or just sit by myself at the bar. I've often found the staff to be abrasive and kind of useless when it comes to seating people. I like to sit at the bar as this way you can talk to the chefs directly - seems to be much faster!

          As for Shanghainese food, I'm not a big fan of sweet food - and it doesn't matter which course.

      2. re: PeterL

        peter .. u CAN get cantonese speaking waitresses at Cha !! u just dont get the HK-waited attitude .. =P

        1. re: cyberK13

          As far as I can tell there was only one who speaks Cantonese. Yes you don't get the attitude, which would've made it authentic.

      3. great list dude .. keen to try many of the above .. so many choices in Shanghai but its a pity not many establishments have pride in the quality of their food ..

        there is a small noodle shop on guangyuan lu (nr huashan lu) called WeiWei's (伟伟饮食店). if u have not been there before, give it a go. its a simple bowl of noodles cooked el dente and then you have a choice of topping (meat, veg, egg, tofu). their huang jiang mian (黄酱面) is most popular, noodles in soup with meatballs wrapped in tofu skin (its sweet so u might not like it). my fav is dry noodles with spicy pork, salted veg and fried egg.

        weiweis, cha and spicy joint (辛香汇) havent let me down yet ...

        3 Replies
        1. re: cyberK13

          I'm not a fan of Spicy Joint. The price is right, but it's such a massive chain, I feel like I'm eating at a SIchuan Applebee's. Even their magazine style menus give off a corporate stench.
          Another great noodle joint down the road from The Assmann is Lao DI Fang Mian (老地放面). It's nothing more than a single tiny room with three shared tables, but the Shanghainese style noodles are all excellent, as is the pork steak 猪排. 233 Xiangyang Lu

          1. re: hafnerd

            I've never been to Applebee's, but Spicy Joint just doesn't do it for me. The confusing ordering system, the weird menu, the looooonnnnnnnnnggggggggggg wait, and only-ok food are just not my style.

            1. re: toomanydumplings

              hahahaha .. yeah the wait is crap ... i usually go after 8pm on weekdays to avoid the crowds. once again , focus is on food ... spicy joint serves excellent 'shuizhuyu' (fish in hot oil) and fried bullfrog sichuan style.

              hafnerd: will hunt down the lao di fang mian place !

        2. Fu1088 is vastly overrated. One of the reasons I wrote the original post was because I was tired of hearing about Fu/Jesse etc...

          4 Replies
          1. re: toomanydumplings

            how about Tenya at Huashan Rd? been wanting to eat some good tuna before it goes extinct ..

            1. re: toomanydumplings

              I also saw a Fu 1039. Any takes on that? I get really confused about restaurants/bars here sometimes because the names are so similar. Drives me nuts.

              Will have to check out Legend Taste. I know one of my friends didn't love it, but I was disappointed by Southern Barbarian, which I feel like everyone's always talking about. The food had good flavor when I went but the meat was all bones and I left really hungry and out over 100RMB after splitting the bill three ways.

              1. re: ChowLover132

                Tenya (Tian Jia) has a good toro set menu for a good price considering the quality of the tuna.
                FU1039 has the same owner as FU 1088, and is also set in an old mansion down the street. FU 1039 serves more traditional Shanghainese dishes with a few experiments with European cuisine. The dishes are cheaper than FU 1088 also, but that just makes it more difficult to fulfill the 200rmb per person requirement without over ordering. FU1039 is a very nice restaurant, but the cuisine is less unique (though still very delicious).

              2. re: toomanydumplings

                I'm in no position to say whether or not Fu 1088 is over rated or if I'm simply not a fan of super-sweet Shanghai style food. I really didn't care for a couple of our dishes because they were on the sweet side even if they had been dessert. Specifically, the simmered lotus root stuffed with rice was nauseatingly sweet. On the other hand, the tofu with crab was one of the best dishes I've ever eaten in my entire life. The xlb dumplings were also quite good. We first ate xlb dumplings at the Beijing branch of Din Tai Fung, but the ones we ate at Fu 1088 were quite a bit better.

              3. Dumplings: Thanks for the recs. I am eager to try new places. I have been in SH a couple years, but have yet to visit Franck's, which seems like it's worth a try. I wasn't too impressed by Toriyasu, which aside from some a couple normal chicken skewers seemed to have a lot of organ meet and grisle (and how do you read the menu, which appears to be chicken scratch, if you're not native Japanese or Chinese?) or Dongbei, though it's not bad for what it is (food was decent and cheap, but service left a lot to be desired and the place is likely to be less appealing to the western palate than a din tai fung type experience--def. bang for the buck though). Not sure if it's just different tastes there. I'm eager to try Masala Art and Pasha as well, since those are at least food categories I like a lot.

                For Japanese food, I'll also gie Tenya a try one of these days. If you have the cash, Heshan in He Ping Guangchang has excellent quality fish shipped in from Japan regularly and no Omakase restriction (like sushi Oyama)... Hope all foreigners living in SH will consult with a tax advisor about the deductibility of meals here (this is huge if you're in China's 45% tax bracket).

                7 Replies
                1. re: ponymagic

                  Franck is great. Go to Ferguson Lane in late afternoon, get a bottle of wine from the Wine Way and ask to sit on their upstairs terrace to drink it. They'll give you glasses and some xiaochi to keep you going till Franck opens.

                  Toriyasu's menus are completely indecipherable, so we usually go with the old point and click or alternately just ask for recommendations.

                  By Dongbei do you mean Dongbeiren? That place was awful. I believe the service at the Dongbei I recommended - Four Seasons Dumpling King - to be decent. The two bosses are always on the floor and can be called over if any problems. Additionally, I think the food is very easy for Westerners to appreciate - hearty servings, not too spicy, less complex flavours than other Chinese cuisines. It's as close to comfort food as China has!

                  Now that the weather will soon be getting better (I hope, gosh I hope), I'm hoping to get a few more picnics. Yasmin's butcher shop in Jinqiao sells sensational organic chickens for 59 kuai. I'll roast them up, make some salads with ingredients sourced from Arugula/Avocado lady on Wulumuqi Lu, pick up bread from Baker & Spice or baguettes from Cafe Montmarte, plus some cheap bubbles, and find some grass to sit on!

                  1. re: toomanydumplings

                    Looking forward to Franck. Yes, the Dongbei Four Seasons Dumpling King was the one you recommended and the one I went to. It wasn't bad, and I would probably go there again. It was only about USD4 per person for the meal I had, which just puts it in a different category from most upscale Chinese eateries around here (and there really are quite a few). The hearty portions meant we only got to try a few dishes, unfortunately... and I admit I wasn't brave enough to try the julienned stomach salad.. Picnic does also sound nice, though not sure where to find decent grass in SH... and the weather is still pretty lousy going into April here...

                    Tried Tenya tonight. The fish is not bad. It's real fish, which is more than I can say for the vast assortment of 149-199 RMB all you can eat places, about which the best thing you can say is the fish is tolerable and the other stuff (e.g. tempura) is good (free flow sake can cover a multitude of sins, though it doesn't prevent food poisoning, unfortunately, unless taken in enough quantity to induce rapid vomiting). However, Tenya is not at all on par with a place like Sushi Oyama, though Heshan (my recommendation) definitely is at roughly half the cost of Sushi Oyama, if you order reasonably. Tenya (Huashan rd. branch) also doesn't win many points for ambience... If you would order mainly salmon and only a couple pieces of toro, you might get out of there for a few hundred RMB for a couple, with a better experience than an all you can eat place...

                    1. re: ponymagic

                      Franck is definitely good. For straight up food quality it's hard to beat in SH. Looks like they do the menu specially everyday (either that or just insist on writing everything on a large board in French only to make it seem like they do), which is not great if you want predictability, but the stuff we ordered was very good. As for price, didn't look like there were many bottles of wine under 500, and wine could easy double or triple the price of a meal. Getting wine and an appetizer next door first is a fabulous, cost-saving idea (and there seem to be a couple places set up just for that purpose). Most of the mains in the RMB150-200 price range are very reasonable I think, for the quality.

                      It's definitely worth visiting from time to time. It's kind of an intense dining experience (especially if you don't really speak French). I can see why some could wind up with bad service nights (and they wind up disproportiately in the reviews). Apparently a reservation is necessary every night of the week (which is a bit of a downer for me), so they must be doing something right. There are more laid back French (and Italian) restaurants in SH with cheaper wine and decent food. I guess it really depends on what mood you're in.

                      That owner has got to be raking in the dough, though. Good for him--and thanks again for the rec, dumplings (is it cause you really love dumplings or you've eaten too many in China... or both?).

                      1. re: ponymagic

                        Am delighted you enjoyed Franck. I love the atmosphere, it all reminds me so much of Paris. The menu doesn't change much, but they buy fresh almost every day, so there is only a limited amount of food available (as such they can just rub it off the menu). What did you eat?

                        As for drinks, I usually get a aperitif, followed by two glasses of house white or red depending on my dish. It's not cheap, but it doesn't blow the budget that much.

                        Also, even with bookings, you often end up waiting in the lounge, by the too loud piano. End up ordering a drink while you wait, which further increases the bill! Not to worry though, it's still all good.

                        As for the handle, during the height of the GFC I lost my job and dumplings were the only way to get my carbs and protein in one delicious packaging! Now that I'm back to cote de boeuf, I sometimes miss making a meal of street food!

                        1. re: toomanydumplings

                          We had beef tartare and what I think was grouper, the latter of which was really excellent. Do you recommend shelling out 650 (around there I remember) for their australian beef. Thought about that.

                          Ah, the GFC, from cote de boeuf to dumplings and back. Who knows what the next couple years will bring... at least there will always be dumpings.

                          1. re: ponymagic

                            I do recommend the beef - it's such a fantastic experience. The taste is superb and it's also a superb theatrical experience watching the process.

                            As I see it you can pay 500 kuai at say Mesa or Longitude for an average meal that you won't remember, or 1000 kuai at Franck for say the beef and some wine and won't forget it in a LONG time. My university economics tell me that I'm better off with Franck.

                            Go with it - spend the money! Who knows when the China bubble will burst?!

                            1. re: toomanydumplings

                              My one major gripe with Franck's cote de boeuf is that they don't trim the meat well, they served me a lot of fat with my beef. I've only had the dish there once, but I've heard this complaint before. While I could get a better steak for less back in the U.S., it's unlikely I'd find a better steak in Shanghai (though I've never been to Roosevelt Steakhouse). It come's with fries and salad, and is more than enough for two.
                              I thought the service at Franck was excellent, though the laid back French-style service that the servers (mostly Chinese) imitate might make some people uncomfortable. Still, one can encounter such bad service in China, Franck is a big step above the norm. Atleast they pay attention to you.

                2. Unfortunately, I did not have a good experience at Masala Art. I was entertained there by a Shanghai-based Japanese friend who sang praises of the restaurant & how nice they were to him & his wife.

                  My husband tried talking to the owner when we were there but he seemed to eye me & my husband with suspicion. My Japanese hosts told him we were his old friends visiting from Singapore. We're not Indian but we have Portuguese-Eurasian features which probably made the owner/manager think we're Singapore-Indians. He wasn't interested in reciprocating our friendly overtures - we wanted to know more about his specialities or which part of India his chefs were from. We weren't sure why the quiet hostility, until during/after the meal when we realised that the food was not very authentic & very much over-priced - maybe he thought we'd criticize the authenticity of his food or the prices in front of our hosts. We'd do no such thing!
                  All in all, I thought the manager's attitude was disappointing. I left the place thinking about how much my Japanese friends would have enjoyed Masala Craft, that amazing restaurant at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai - that, in my opinion, is the best Indian restaurant I'd ever been to in the world!

                  1. toomanydumplings thanks for the great recommendations! Can I add a favourite for those who may have eaten at Cha's or Pasha's and (rightly so) gave their desserts a miss but wanted to end the night on a sweet note? On Sinan Lu is a little chocolate surprise called Hof - it serves delectable and thoughtfully executed desserts, the main focus is on chocolate in all its manifestations but non-chocolate tastes are catered for too. Highly recommended is 'Chocolate Sinan Lu' - a full-flavoured, but surprisingly light-textured warm chocolate pudding, topped with osmanthus-flavoured cream and dusted with osmanthus flowers. A sliver of perfectly-tempered chocolate tops the creation off. They serve coffee, wine, cocktails and a small selection of savoury dishes too. The menu is in English/Chinese, staff all speak English. Closed mondays.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: shanghaifoodaddict

                      I'm a big fan of HoF - not sure it was such a good idea to spread the word as it's hard enough getting a seat as is. My only gripe is that they display cupcakes in the window but almost never have them... Having had a HoF cupcake, I want more, MORE!

                      One of the biggest problems with Shanghai is a lack of consistency - even in the best restaurants. I've been to Masala Art many times and have been impressed with their overall consistency versus say Vedas or Bukhara Grill. I'm not sure why the manager was being standoffish - normally their service is excellent.

                      As for fat on the beef at Franck, I like the fat... My ex never liked the fat though. I suppose it's a personal thing...

                      1. re: toomanydumplings

                        Nooo, why'd you have to bring hof up? People are going to flood the place more than it already is.

                        At any rate, I agree. hof is a great little secret for those that know it. Hands down my favorite place to be after work. Their cocktails paired with freshly made truffles are just divine. Cha's is also an excellent choice for supper served canto-style.

                        1. re: theperfectcookie

                          HoF is quite good, especially for their orange chocolate mud cake. Absolutely fantastic. (http://www.sugarednspiced.com/hof/

                          )

                          For desserts, I would also recommend Chez Shibata, it's a patisserie opened by a Japanese pastry chef and they make the most beautiful cakes in Shanghai: (visit 1: http://www.sugarednspiced.com/chez-sh... visit 2: http://www.sugarednspiced.com/chez-sh...)

                    2. Will be staying at New Harbour Service Apartments, Yongshou Road Huang Pu D. Can you recommend some decent cheap/mid price places with English menus/pictures near by. Keen on Fried dumplings - but would like to know what fillings are in English or at least see a picture whereby I can have a guess at what i'm eating, also like peking duck, noodles, and fried rice etc.

                      1. Joseph -- any recc's for Qingdao? Am headed there for a weekend away from the capital, and would love your ideas...

                        1. So, I've done some research and compiled a grip of solid recommendations for anyone coming to Shanghai. My picks are as follows . . .

                          Shanghainese: Jesse Restaurant
                          Yuan Yuan
                          Hunan: Di Shui Dong
                          Guyi
                          Sichuan: Pin Chuan
                          San Gu Bullfrog
                          Cantonese: Cha's
                          Tsui Wah
                          Dim Sum: Zen
                          Crystal Jade
                          Dongbei: Da Qing Hua
                          Dongbei Ren
                          Yunnan: Legend Taste
                          Southern Barbarian
                          Taiwanese: Charmant

                          If you're interested in more about restaurants in Shanghai, check out this article: http://www.chinatravel.net/feature/Sa...

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: dannyrogue

                            Hi from Toronto! We'll be visiting SH this summer, by way of Spain. My crystal balls tells me that there is a lot of good food in store for me this summer :-)

                            My parents, who live in SH, will be celebrating a 50th anniversary and would like to have French. They are thinking of Sir Elly at the Peninsula. Is it French or just continental? I've noted info about Franck and Restaurant Martin (not really French but at least the creation of a 3-star Michelin chef). Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated. We speak French and Chinese so language is not a problem. Thanks in advance.

                            1. re: Aleta

                              Hi Aleta,
                              I don't know Sir Elly yet, it is pretty new. I cannot recommend Franck, his fame is over, I guess. Martin is good, but not stable in his delivery. Last time,some courses were genius, and some just so-so. I wouldn't give it any Michelin stars. You know, that 3-star chef is not cooking there, but just managing it. Good meal for good price you can get in Mr & Mrs Bund, but I guess it is not glamourous enough. I have heard of the restaurant in Kee Club, that should be good, but never talk to someone really been there.

                              1. re: kobri

                                Thanks, Kobri. I'll pass the info along to my parents. Regarding Sir Elly at the Peninsula, I sent an email requesting their menu and within 5 hours, they responded! What service. It appears that there are some tasting menus and a la carte but it's not really French.

                                My parents are going somewhere else in Shanghai for a fancy French dinner. After their meal, I'll ask them to give their comments.

                                1. re: Aleta

                                  Hi Aleta, Both Sir Elly and Jean-Georges (at 3 on the Bund) have outstanding water views and share a special 'wow' factor. I haven't yet had the pleasure of a meal at Sir Elly, but can highly recommend Jean-Georges for its wonderful food and faultless service (a rarity in Shanghai). Jean-Georges offers both a-la-carte and an 8 course degustation, the food is French in style and execution but cleverly uses local ingredients and incorporates Asian flavours (for example the sea bass with parsnip and fragrant coconut juice is a surprisingly perfect union). Nougatine is the slightly less formal and less-expensive club lounge to one side of the restaurant.

                                  1. re: shanghaifoodaddict

                                    Shanghaifoodaddict, thanks for your comments. I didn't know there was a Jean-Georges in Shanghai; I've eaten at the one in NYC. That might fit my parents.

                                2. re: kobri

                                  I strongly disagree with Kobri's statement about Franck. I go there regularly - as do my friends - and we all think it easily the best in town for French cuisine and indeed for good Euro food. I work in the food industry in China and also worked in Australia for many years, so I'm confident in my assessments.

                                  The Kee Club restaurant is very average.

                            2. Great list, thanks! Any chance you will have time to produce another one for Beijing?

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: nekst

                                No can do sorry - I don't live in Beijing!

                                Aleta - why fly all the way to Shanghai to eat something you can get in NY? Plus, the NY one is much better...

                                1. re: toomanydumplings

                                  Toomanydumplings, I'm being the "filial daughter", LOL! Visiting the folks for the summer and planning to eat lots of dumplings btw. Have you been to that wacky hot pot place called "Hai dee lou" (dir. transl. "trowel on the ocean bottom")? The place with noodle-maker who does a quasi - ribbon dance/kung fu show?

                                  1. re: Aleta

                                    I haven't been to that hotpot - I'm actually not really a fan of boiled meat in general.

                                    My point wasn't about taking your parents out to somewhere Western and swanky, it was more about taking them to JG, which here is only a pale imitation of its NY location.

                                    Have you been reading up about the Expo? The Grand Melia Hotel in Pudong is working in conjunction with the Spanish Pavilion and every week or so there will be a different one of Spain's top chefs cooking. This could be worth checking out!

                                    1. re: toomanydumplings

                                      "Hai dee lou" does much more than boiled meat. Their presentation (before cooking) is quite exceptional. Too bad my memory card got scrambled after the last visit, or else I would be able to share my pictures.

                                      Thanks for the thumbs up on the Spanish pavilion. That should be interesting, especially since I will have just sampled some of Spain's 3-star Michelins. Wonder who is coming? Maybe Carme Ruscallada of Sant Pau. She already has a restaurant in Tokyo.

                                      1. re: Aleta

                                        I'd just like add some more restaurants from recent eating experience.

                                        Xibo - a new Xinjiang restaurant on 3/F 79 Changshu Lu near Julu Lu. Swanky Xinjiang comes as a shock to the system, but at this place it works. Cool, funky, hip room with a nice terrace. Beautifully presented food. Decent desserts and wines lists. Excellent bilingual service and menus. Clean Western toilets. A Xinjiang to take a date or a client or parents too. Unexpected and very welcome. About 10% more than the usual Xinjiang.

                                        Mr Willis - on Anfu Road has finally hit a reliable stride. Shocking service and a miserly water service (seriously, boiling and then chilling tap water, that's just extremely poor form) don't take away too much from consistently decent Mod-Oz food in a nice enough room. No better (and certainly much more expensive) than a decent pub bistro back in Sydney, but still a welcome addition.

                                        El Coctel - on Yongfu Road has overcome initial wankery and is now a fun, relaxed place to hang out with good late night (if overpriced) snacks and tasty drinks.

                                        Kyu-Tarou - on Fumin Road between Changle Road and Julu Road is a little Japanese BBQ place with nice service and good food.

                                        1. re: toomanydumplings

                                          Great List dumplings... To add some new recommendations and unprententious place.

                                          I had great experienced as some restaurants here lately. All places been atleast twice in order to see their consistency

                                          Madison and Fulton Place. Honest food and go for the food. Great flavour combination. I love their duck dish, dessert price on very high side.

                                          Madison..... Modern American by using local produce. Both place ambiance Food is flavourfull and good portion. Bill could be around 450 with house wine. It was used to be Vargas Grill and revamped. Serice sometimes could be hit and missed. Getting better the last time we were there.

                                          Fulton place.... Its one of the best meal for the last 3 months ( before was Jingan at Puli hotel) Cod fish was excellent, lamb rack came with lamb cake was very nice. The food you can taste clearly what flavours in it, clean taste without too much Eduardo style falvour.

                                          Osteria.... Go for the oyster. small place with decent pre fix menu. Homey and flavourfull food. Very friendly owner and good wine list. Service laid back and friendly. Have their sommelier will give you advise on the wine. Lots of small boutique wine.

                                          Hof wine bar.... not the one beside Cha on Sinan road. Still soft opening, as it close to our training center and very affordable wine list. Lots of small boutique wine. Small selection of foods to compliment the wine was simple and good. Salmon rillettes and their croque madame is real treat. As usual, they have the best chocolate truffle and best dessert in town, imho. Service laid back and friendly. Nice outdoor place and with nice view of Pearl tower.

                                          Southern Barbarian.... Just discovered this joint by a friend recom. Simple homey Yunnanese flare. Not like the western twist Lost heaven ( which I like too). Lots of wile veg from Yunnan and not as oily as some Chinese food. Huge beer selections and good price. The old place a bit run down and the new one which also close to our trainning center where could get it fix once a week.

                                          Avalon..... Been twice. One great and one so so experienced. Still need to work on their food and the service is good when we were there. Nice wine list too. Not many memorable dishes.

                                          1. re: Supernatural

                                            Madison..... this place had dishes all over the place. Pre-starters were larger than the mains at half the price and wine selection was priced. I’ll admit some of the flavors are there and with hard work and a good restraint manager it could get there. But in Shanghai 9 times out of 10 it never will.

                                            Fulton place.... Glad to hear you sing it’s praise. I have a wine dinner there tonight and will report back

                                            Osteria.... Didn’t really like it on the first trip, but I’ve been meaning to get some oysters and if you add boutique wine I’ll have to give it a second try.

                                            Southern Barbarian.... Comfort food for me, paired with one of the best beer selections in town . If you want some really Yunnan food (not Lost Heaven) search our Legend Taste. They have some great dishes which are sure to please everyone. We warned some of their dishes can be very spicy, more so than ‘Chuan food

                                            Avalon..... The Chef Hillary just left… This used to be one of my favorite and must undervalued places in Shanghai. I’ve had some of my best meals here… but now with the chef leaving I will not return. Word on the street is that he is going to the Shanghai Museum of Modern Art.

                                            Goga.. If there are only 2 of you, sit at the bar and talk with Brad throughout the meal. He has some great stories and you’ll get special attention. But be warned servers will be rushing behind you and sometimes give you a bump. As long as you know this going in, make it a fun experience for the food note a fancy high service dinner.

                                            1. re: epeter03

                                              I've heard great things about Fulton Place and Goga, both on my list of places to go to. The Asian salad and the blue cheese burger at Goga (not on the menu) are supposed to be wonderful. The only thing is that the place seems very cramped and smokey with the open kitchen.

                                              I also really like Table No. 1, chic in the exposed tiles kind of way and really good food. The boutique hotel that house the restaurant is interesting in itself too. (http://www.sugarednspiced.com/table-n...)

                              2. Go to Goga. Make reservations at least 2 days before, if the weather forecast is good, ask to be seated at the terrace. Go in a group.

                                order everything with seafood in it. share.

                                will be one of the best meals in shanghai.

                                1. Hi, a friend of mine who has relatives in Shanghai just sent me a suggestion for my one dinner in Shanghai (only staying one full day) and it is Shanghai Lao Zhan. I did a bit of research and it looks a bit touristy / atmospheric, but not all about food. It's even linted in Frommers. I don't want to discount it, just wanted to see if anyone had an experience with this place. Many thanks!

                                  1. Great list and good threads. . since I just moved here 6 months ago. . I will have to try some of these places, soon.