Dining Out: Lunch Deals @ Sushi O

We won’t lie. We miss YogaFish. When that tiny California-style sushi joint stopped deliver cheap, quality bento boxes to our doorstep, we shed a tear. With the recent opening of Sushi O and its promise of affordable maki rolls, our ears perked up and our heart skipped a beat as we clicked through the Sherpa’s site to place our lunch order.

The deals are scandalously cheap; a bowl of miso, two seasonal sides and a main will run you between RMB 32 – 45. At Sushi O, you get what you pay for. The miso wasn’t bad, but a little less salt wouldn’t hurt the soup, and the potato salad was characteristically Japanese – heavy on the kewpie. The eel rice bowl came with almost as many bones and fins as it did grains of rice, and the sashimi was a bit warm (possibly the result of the delivery time – the food took over an hour to arrive). The Japanese chicken proved to be the best choice of the trio, but it could have used a dipping sauce and a little less meat filler.

While the lunch deals were mostly a miss, we decided that it was only fair to give Sushi O another go – this time for the sushi they named themselves after. Sherpa’s handy mouseover picture feature helped make our decisions for us (i.e. avoiding the more mayo-ey of the selection), and the guys in orange delivered our order to us in record time – less than 30 minutes for our office in the far reaches of Puxi!

The grilled salmon sushi was a hit, and at only RMB 18 for two well-crafted rice beds and salmon slices, it’s a steal as well. The Yoga Veggie Roll (RMB 35) was decked out in a layer of mango and avocado wrapped around a mouthful of rice and veggies. While we enjoyed the California-ness of the roll, we still have to ask: lettuce in sushi? Too far, sirs. On the other hand, the Jumbo Shrimp Roll (RMB 45) nailed it. Bedazzled with brilliantly orange roe and laden with a layer of something unidentifiably deep fried and delicious, the signature roll had a lot going for it – and that’s without even trying the tempura shrimp with its tail stick defiantly out one end of the rice!

We hope Sushi O continues putting as much time into their menu development as they did the puntastic naming (Achilles’ Eel, anyone?). They have a lot of potential, and we’d like to see them make it. There’s never enough cheap sushi options in town!

34 Yanqing Lu, near Donghu Lu. Tel: 150 0082 0420, 6209-6209. Web:,



On April 22, 2011, little ones from The Montessori Schools Shanghai gathered at URBN Hotel to honour victims of the fire in the Jing’an area last year. In remembrance of the 97 people who lost their lives, the students dedicated a Bonsai Tree to URBN’s courtyard garden. Held on Earth Day, the ceremony emphasised environmental respect for a sustainable future. URBN, China’s first carbon neutral hotel, is considered a role model in this regard and MISS has dedicated themselves to the creation of more places like it. The event concluded with a singing performance from the young students who certainly seem to grasp the importance of nature and our environment! 

Dining Out: The Chowhaus


Officially open for business, this new French Concession eatery offers an unusual coupling of meat heavy Korean dishes and sweet Thai choices. The unique cuisine is prepared by two executive chefs, Wirat Phakhot from Bangkok and Lee Sang Ik from Seoul. The lengthy menu is a bit overwhelming as are the various spices and flavors, but the popular black ink tagliatelle and crispy soft shell crab salad do not disappoint. Be sure to indulge with the Thai iced tea and sweet desserts.

Most notable is the airy and bright lounge area, perfect for an afternoon tea or coffee. If you stay for cocktail hour make sure to bring your iPod as the speaker system allows guests to listen to their own music. Relaxing and intimate, the cozy restaurant is an ideal spot to unwind on a lovely spring evening.

1415-1417 Huashan Lu. Tel: 3360 3058. Web:  

Health TALK: Y+ Yoga


When city life drains your spirits and you’ve had one too many belly-busting takeaway meals, head to Y+ Yoga for a rejuvenating experience With two locations around town and a team so experienced they make the yogis of India look like average bears, Y+ Yoga is one of Shanghai’s top yoga studios. In addition to getting you all bent out of shape pretzel style, they also stock a wide selection of beauty products and services.

Customers can take advantage of the in-house supply of Sonoko Soap, Le Zephire Breast Series and Algotherm Spa products with the studio’s May promotion. Purchases of over RMB 6,000 will include a RMB 680 gift card. Spending more than RMB 9,000 nets customers the same gift card, as well as Sonoko soap valued at RMB 180.

2/F, 202 Hubin Lu near Shunchang Lu. Tel: 6340 6161

299-2 Fuxing Xi Lu, near Huashan Lu. Tel: 6433 4330

Dining Out: SHOOK! It Up On the Bund


Craving a fusion of exotic food and spectacular scenery? The much anticipated Shook! Shanghai will turn your wildest dream into reality. The entrance hallway leading to the restaurant features beautifully designed wine cellars, showcasing some of the world’s finest wines and Champagnes. If the classically trendy decor of Time Bar alone isn’t convincing enough for you, the specially made signature Caviar Royal – a show of Moët & Chandon Vintage 2003 and ‘pearls’ of Crème de Cassis gives away the innovation in food – will surely do the trick.

No one can resist an adventurous culinary journey from east to west, and Shook! has diversity to spare on the menu: Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asia and modern Western. Distinctive snow white dancing prawns, the chef’s recommendation, combines stir-fried prawns with hot mayonnaise and honey glazed walnuts. The Cajun style sea bass flirts with a pimento mayo and a spicy avocado cucumber salad. In case the appetisers haven’t satisfied your hunger, a sous vide grain fed beef course with foie gras crust and a truffle jus will definitely hit the spot, and the sizeable portions will almost certainly leave leftovers.

Don’t forget to check out the view! You can take your meal to the next level with dessert on the roof. Specially made yellow tiramisu or strawberry chocolate? With the stunning Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline in sight, who cares if it is a guilty indulgence? A little tip: do remember to bring your sunglasses. Coco Shen

Shook! Shanghai, 5F & 6F, The Swatch Art Peace Hotel, 23 Nanjing Dong Lu. Tel: 2329 8522


Anonymous's picture

oh the taste

great walking throught, I am surely tempted.

Travel TALK: A Sojourn to Suzhou


Marco Polo once wrote, “At the end of three days you arrive at the city of Suzhou which is noble and large, and handsome, and rich in merchandise and manufactures.” Only one of those things doesn’t hold true today, as the high-speed train now whisks travelers to Suzhou in just 25 minutes from Shanghai.

Indeed a noble city with 2,500 years of history, Suzhou boasts a charming preserved old-town city center and a vaguely Venetian vibe. Suzhou’s GDP per capita is second in China only to Shanghai, but for a weekend sightseeing trip, there are plenty of notable sights apart from the industrial parks.

With 68 gardens in town, that’s probably about 66 too many to actually see on any given weekend. Go first to the “Humble Administrator’s Garden,” a classical Chinese respite from city life, with all four elements of a traditional garden on display: water scenes, majestic architecture, rock formations, and flowers and trees. The details are exquisite, and mandarin ducks and bonsai exhibitions are just an added bonus.

Suzhou’s famous son, IM Pei, recently designed the new Suzhou museum, an ode to classical Chinese arts and treasures, all thoughtfully displayed in a truly modern and innovative setting. The contrast between ancient treasures and contemporary architecture seem extreme at first glance, but offset each other perfectly in that uniquely IM Pei way. Kyle Patrick Long

Where to Stay: The Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou not only offers top-notch service and the biggest and best buffet in town, but they can also help organize custom, private and group tours to all the important sights in Suzhou with a knowledgeable, English-speaking local. The rooms never disappoint, but be sure to choose a Horizon Club room if you want extra amenities and a guaranteed great view. Excellent gym equipment, indoor pool and professional spa treatments mean you can enjoy your weekend away from Shanghai and relax without sightseeing non-stop.

We often dismiss the places that are most accessible for a later date, but with spring blooming and summer looming, get Suzhou checked off your to-do list!

Dining Out: CHAR


The other night TALK visited the Hotel Indigo’s bar and grill ‘Char’ for an exclusive menu tasting. Having reviewed the hotel itself only a couple of months ago and seen the quality and level of finish executed in the rooms and common areas, it would be an understatement to say that we were excited to see how they went about preparing food.

Luckily Char is as good as expected. The beef was of course the star of the show, and the perfectly cooked and presented meat was a pleasure to eat. With a number of different cuts from the best farms from around the world, there really aren’t enough adjectives to describe quite how good it was.

The starters and pudding were pretty good as well, although the lobster bisque was slightly on the salty side. Overall Shanghai has a new player in town when it comes to the serving of simply prepared slabs of meat in an elegant, but oh so tasty way – and we couldn’t be happier.

Furthermore, with spectacular views looking over the river and north along the Bund, this is a perfect place to spend the summer, sipping on a glass of Pimm’s on the decking and watching the world go by.

29-31F, 585 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Dongmen Lu. Tel: 3302 9995. Web:


Dining Out: Venetian Special @ Danieli's


For the rest of April, beautiful Venice is the focus of Danieli’s Italian Restaurant at the St Regis Pudong, a tribute to the recent opening of their new St Regis in the City of Light. Guest Chef Gian Nicola Colucci of Hotel Danieli’s Venice will pay a visit, concluding his time in Shanghai by serving a six-course St. Regis Aficionado Wine Dinner for the price of 988RMB (plus 15% service charge) on Friday, 22 April. The lavish meal will be inspired by traditional meals from Gian’s Venetian childhood.

Specialties available throughout the month include Homemade "Tagliolini" Pasta with Lobster and Cherry Tomatoes on Smoked Eggplant Sauce and Beef Marinated “Carpaccio” with Parmesan Foam, Rucola Salad and Wild Mushrooms. A three-course business lunch menu is available for RMB 120 every Monday to Friday from 11:30am-2:00pm and includes one soft drink and freshly brewed coffee or tea.Stephanie Popp

Danieli's Italian Restaurant, 39F, The St.Regis Shanghai, 889 Dongfang Lu. Tel: 5050 4567


Style TALK: Shanghai Closet Swap


Are you ready to give your wardrobe a good spring cleaning and get rid of clothes and accessories that you never wear? If you are, take your unwanted items to William the Beekeeper's before 11 May to participate in their first annual Shanghai Closet Swap. Trade your unwanted duds for the thrill of the find. Reuse reduces carbon footprints, so shop guilt free with your unwanted currency and enjoy a day outdoors at Cotton's Xinhua lu. The event will take place on Saturday 14 May from 12 pm to 4 pm. 

If old is new isn't your thing you can also drop by and check out the coinciding indie pop up market they've organized that promotes shopping local, an important factor in eco-conscious living. Sandy Chu

Clothing drop off at William the Beekeeper. 84 Fenyang Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu.

Shanghai Closet Swap at Cotton's Xinhua Lu. 29 Xinhua Lu, near Fanyu Lu. Entry fee RMB 40 includes one cocktail and a reusable tote.

Night TALK: F1


Formula 1 is back in Shanghai and the city’s bar owners are taking it as an opportunity to host some of the most lavish partiers of the year.

Tonight at Bar Rouge there will be a Rev Up party to get us all in the mood for a weekend full of motor sports. With entrance costing only RMB 100, it is sure fire way to start your weekend in style. Entrance includes one free Binboa drink and entrance into a lucky draw. You might be wondering what a free Binboa drink is…but wonder no more as all is about to be explained – it’s Turkish vodka of course!

Once Sunday’s race is over why not take a load off and head to Horizen? The Beyond the Line Party will take place at the new bar/lounge venue. The event is invitation only, but table bookings are still available.

Bar Rouge. 7/F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu

Horizen. 22/F, 1 Jinling Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Lu


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