Al Fresco Family Delights

By Peter Lee 2019-05-16 12:39:05

Rye & Co

Rye & Co is one of several noteworthy eateries in the newly opened mall by Xintiandi. Spread over two floors, the lower level is basically an all-day café serving salads, sandwiches, cold-press juices, smoothies and coffees, as well as desserts and pastries, all with a Nordic theme.

The menu is split into several sections. First is The Bakery (prices from 38 RMB for a loaf, 8 RMB for a slice plus various muffins and cakes). Next is the All Day Breakfast section (Nordic Benedict 42 RMB), Smørrebrød Selection (a Danish open sandwich). Finally, they have a Healthy Set and All-Day Meals section (slightly more substantial offerings like Mark’s Burger, 98 RMB) and Skagen Toast, dressed Icelandic shrimp on buttery sourdough (78 RMB). There is currently no separate dinner menu, although this may be introduced at a later date.

The upper level houses a chic lounge bar which opens from 5pm, not entirely unlike The Nest, (which is owned by the same group) although the space itself is considerably smaller here. Decked out with modern Scandinavian furniture and boasting impressive panoramic views and an outdoor terrace which I’m told they have big plans for. Around a dozen cocktails are offered at a flat rate of 100 RMB each, running the gamut from Café Negroni to Tom Yum Goong-Colada.

Rye & Co is really two venues in one, raising the bar in the café arena and adding to the ever-growing list of trendy new bars with impressive views and a coveted roof terrace.


Address: 333 Huaihai Middle Road, 6/F

Reservations: (021) 6339 1993

Price: 100-200 RMB per person

Good for: Healthy, affordable lunch or light dinner




Mayita has been around for about 5 years now and is the (smaller) sister restaurant to Maya. Both restaurants serve Mexican food, but due to the smaller space, Mayita has a slightly pared down menu compared to its big sister. It makes up for that, however, with a spacious outdoor roof terrace. This outdoor space becomes very popular during the warmer months, especially at weekends as a popular choice for al fresco brunch.

Mayita now serves its popular brunch menu all week (until 3pm weekdays, 4pm weekends). The menu includes various types of tacos (from 28 RMB), quesadillas (from 42 RMB) and nachos (62 RMB) as well as salads (55-68 RMB). The highlight of the brunch menu is the aptly named Huevos, Huevos, Huevos, which offers a wide selection of eggs-based dishes, for me an essential component of any respectable weekend brunch meal. For those that enjoy a drink with their brunch (and who doesn’t), there are bottomless Sangria and Margarita options (150 RMB and 185 RMB respectively) as well as tea, coffee, juices and smoothies. Don’t leave without ordering a portion of churros (55 RMB) which comes with whipped cream, jam and chocolate dips - a deliciously wicked way to end the meal.


Address: 98 Shouning Road, 6/F

Reservations: (021) 6334 3288

Price: 100-200 RMB per person

Good for: Outdoor weekend (and now weekday) brunch




The food here is simple but satisfying, like most Italian cuisine tends to be. A variety of pasta dishes are available, including lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese (always a hit with the kids), seafood pasta and carbonara. Cheese lovers will enjoy the gnocchi with gorgonzola (88 RMB) - the gnocchi is made from scratch in house and you can taste the difference. If you’re feeling indulgent, the obvious choice is the fresh whole Boston lobster with handmade pasta (398 RMB), a Favorita signature dish and probably the best example of this dish I’ve ever had.

For pizza lovers, there is a selection of thin crust, crispy pizzas on offer, including spicy salami (88 RMB) and Parma ham and arugula (108 RMB). More substantial main dishes include the tender and flavorful Australian ribeye (tremendous value at 198 RMB) served with salad and French fries.

Aside from the food, Favorita’s key strength is its wines. They offer an enviable selection of Italian wines from all the key wine growing regions and across all price points Whether you enjoy a crisp, chilled Pinot Grigio (158 RMB per bottle) an indulgent Amarone (1180 RMB), or just a glass of bubbly Prosecco (40 RMB per glass), they have it covered.

The outdoor terrace is perfect for the spring season and has the added advantage of being completely covered, so you can enjoy outdoor dining and a refreshing Aperol Spritz, even when it’s raining.


Address: 207 Mengzi Road, 1/F Building 12

Reservations: (021) 6313 9319

Price: 100-200 RMB per person

Good for: Casual, affordable, Italian food and wine for the whole family