Food For Thought

Each month, our dining columnist gives you all the news that’s fit to dish. Find out the newest hotspots and the latest closings, as well as the tastiest events in town for September. 


If you - like most of us spent the mercury-shattering month of August in front of your aircon, slurping on straight ice and only letting the cool air escape when the sweaty Sherpa’s deliveryman arrived, you might have missed out on all the summer restaurant openings. Never fear - we’ve got the round-up here! 


South Jing’an exploded with new restaurants in August. Cheap lunch deals are all the rage at Pascasa (5F, 818 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shimen Yi Lu. Tel: 6052 1980), a new Italian eatery that makes its own pasta and pizza dough in-house daily.

Head west, and you’ll come across The Cove (118 Xikang Lu, near Nanyang Lu. Tel: 6215 5534), a molecular kitchen wielding its sous vide machine proudly and Bonne (74 Nanyang Lu, near Xikang Lu. Tel: 6224 1255), a café serving pastas and pizzas for the lunch crowd. The Sushi’O guys are expanding their seafood empire, with a new yakitori joint (tentatively titled O’Yakitori) in early September just next door from their recently- opened second location (155 Yanping Lu, near Wuding Lu). Yummy salad and sandwich joint Wattz (989 Wuding Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu) has soft-opened across the street from Munchie’s. The menu with its three bean salad may look familiar - that’s because it’s owned by the same healthy owners of Origin

Oyster House (441 Yuyuan Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu. Tel: 6233 9651) is already packed to the gills after opening mid- August. They’re serving up half a dozen or so oyster varieties on the half shell, as well as an extensive menu of Spanish-influenced tapas and mains, like garlic shrimp and whole baby snapper.

There are all sorts of goings-on at the new Jing’an Kerry Center (1515 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Tongren Lu). In addition to Shangri- La’s new restaurants, the mall’s food court is proving to be a sweet second home for some of Shanghai’s favorite restaurateurs. Spicy Sichuan joint Maurya opened their second shop, Element Fresh has another branch there and Pier 39 is bringing their California cooking to the mall soon.

And that mall on Huaihai that’s taken six years to build? IAPM (999 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Shanxi Lu) was worth the wait because its dining options are going to make the schlep to Pudong for dinner moot. Legendary tonkatsu sandwiches from Ginza Bairin, roasted goose from Lei Garden and umami- laced bowls of ramen from Ippudo (also opening spots in the new Kerry Center and Wujiang Lu) are all set to open in the next few weeks, alongside Morton’s Grill & Oyster Bar, which will hopefully pair that famous Mortini happy hour with their bivalves. Hong Kong grocer city’super is also opening shop in the basement for all your to-go gourmet needs. IAPM also has some fresh new faces in the crowd to get excited about, including Greyhound Café’s fusion Thai dishes, Jumbo’s Singaporean chili crab and Dressed’s fresh salads. 


Up the block, restaurateur Kelley Lee has a new concept that’s under construction at Huaihai & Donghu Lu, but the details are hush-hush. It’s not another Boxing Cat Brewery but she let us know that it will be beer-driven.

And if that wasn’t enough to make
gluttons of us all, we’ve saved the best for last. Franck Pecol is continuing his domination of Ferguson Lane with a rooftop taqueria. Franckito will be serving al fresco tacos with homemade corn tortillas. His namesake bistro also underwent a facelift last month, so expect some refreshed decor alongside a redesigned menu from the impressive new head chef Yann Meinsel

But all these exciting new entrants to the dining scene means we have to say good-bye to the fallen. Unfortunately, Michelin-starred tempura joint Ippoh moved its operations to Hong Kong at the end of August. And South Bund took a beating this month, losing Jack London, Horizen and Zeal in one fell swoop.

We also want to send a very fond farewell to Chef Vinh Nguyen from The Grumpy Pig (65-4 Maoming Bei Lu, near Yan’an
Lu. Tel: 6217 3355). His departure means that Chef Austin Hu of Madison is the only remaining member of the original Banh
Mi Brothaz. Let’s hope he keeps the annual pop-up tradition alive for all of us still here and craving good Vietnamese sandwiches. Nguyen was replaced by Chef Willet Feng, who is carrying on the porcine mantle with a new menu just perfect for pigging out. 


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