A Little Dose of Delight

By Peter Lee 2019-05-29 11:14:17




Meanwhile is a new concept from the group that also owns Pizza Marzano / Pizza Express. The Xintiandi location is the first in the world, but plans are afoot to open in London and other cities in the near future. The Italian theme is shared across both brands, but Meanwhile is positioned as a more upmarket establishment which is reflected in the plan to have only one location in each city rather than multiple venues.

Aaron Feder, who has an impressive history in the Shanghai bar scene, has been recruited to manage the bar and the result is an impressive selection of classic and signature cocktails (starting from 58 RMB), all made with top-shelf spirits, modestly garnished, with the focus on the quality of the drinks themselves.

Some of the dishes we enjoyed include Arancini: rice blended with black truffle cream, truffle oil, Parmesan cheese and rosemary sauce (68 RMB), Conchiglioni: stuffed pasta shells with minced smoked sausage (108 RMB), Australian lamb fillet wrapped in Pancetta (218 RMB) and the Merluzzo Arrosto: baked cod with fennel and lemon dressing (298 RMB). There’s also a brunch/breakfast menu for the weekends which can be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace once the weather starts to warm up.

Considering the coveted Xintiandi location, Meanwhile’s prices are surprisingly accessible, making it a welcome addition to Shanghai’s most well-known food and entertainment destination.


Address: No 22, Lane 181 Taicang Road

Reservations: (021) 3331 0106

Price: Affordable, casual dining

Good for: All day dining, cocktails, brunch, lunch, dinner


Yasmine’s Hotpot


Named after the owner’s daughter, Yasmine’s has long been known for its butchery business as well as its steak restaurant, but there’s now a third element to the Yasmine brand, launched just a few weeks ago - Yasmine Hotpot. Running a steakhouse inevitably results in a considerable amount of wasted fresh meat, which has a negative impact on the environment. The hotpot idea was an ingenious way to address this issue in a positive way.

Yasmine’s Hotpot offers over 20 types of meat dishes, in addition to a large selection of vegetables and seafood. You can order dishes individually or select one of the set dinner options for 2-3 or 3-5 people. Whichever option you decide on, I highly recommend the hand cut filet mignon (a steal at 68 RMB) which was deliciously fresh and tender. We also enjoyed the more thinly sliced M5 Wagyu beef (118 RMB) and to prove we aren’t meat snobs, we also devoured a plate of luncheon meat (22 RMB). For the soup base, we recommend you go for a double pot, the hot and spicy broth as well as one non-spicy such as the mushroom broth (individual pots are available for solo diners).

In addition to the original location, Yasmine has two other locations in Shanghai. The hotpot concept will be available at all outlets to keep you warm until the weather warms up.


Address: 93 Xiangyang North Road (near Changle Road)

Reservations: (021) 6418 1138

Price: 100-200 RMB per person

Good for: A warm hearty meal on a cold winter’s day


Pierogi Ladies 2.0


Pierogi Ladies is the brainchild of two Polish ladies, Joanne and Gosia, who started out making Pierogis for friends at parties and discovered they were a huge hit, leading them eventually to open a restaurant specializing in these delicious Polish dumplings. Yes, that’s right, it turns out that China isn’t the only country in the world that eats dumplings. There’s a handy mural on the wall (the Great Wall of Dumplings) which shows the different types of dumplings that come from different parts of the world, from India to Jamaica and everywhere in between.

The menu is fairly simple and the focus here is definitely on the Pierogis, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise. There are vegetarian options and meat options, around five choices in each section (each comes with eight pieces for between 50 to 58 RMB), as well as larger, mixed plates (12-24 pieces) for those who would like to try more than one type, which is a good option for groups. The quesadilla Pierogis are popular, whilst others that caught my eye include the beetroot and goat cheese as well as the sauerkraut and sausage.

The place has a very warm, cozy feel with a lot of nice touches and attention to detail that become apparent as soon as you open the big wooden doors and step inside - the bookshelves crammed with books, the colourful painted plates, the neatly arranged cushions, the swing seats suspended from the ceiling. In short, this is a hidden gem; after your first visit, you'll want to quickly return to with all your friends.


Address: Lane 283, 8 Jiaozhou Road (near Xinzha Road)

Reservations: 130 5208 3917

Price: Around 100 RMB

Good for: Cozy, casual lunch dates