Family Dining June/July

By Michael Zee 2019-06-24 16:30:16

Light & Salt

Hidden in plain sight, Light and Salt’s flagship Shanxi Bei Road location is something I’ve walked past many times without stopping. Which is both its saving grace and rather unfortunate because once you enter the converted French style house you might wonder why you haven’t been earlier.

It might not have the hype of some of the newer brunch offerings in Shanghai, but what it makes up for is its incredible light filled and rather convivial brasserie, front terrace and rear gardens which are perfect for families with children that have far too much energy.

I went for the brunch that is served daily and decided to go straight in at the top end. The Surf & Turf (597 RMB) is described as a breakfast tower with a selection of surf, scallops, half a lobster, crab benedict, New Zealand mussels and the turf, sausages, pork ribs, and sirloin steak. Topped off with truffle fries, avocado on sourdough, corn on the cob, tomatoes and a second tier of dessert. The portion is generous without being wasteful. Whilst the menu states its perfect for two to share, I feel that this could have easily satisfied three, maybe even four if you combine it with another dish from the menu.

Adding on the alcoholic free flow for 187 RMB per person for two hours (87 RMB for non alcoholic) and you have a winner. At the end, you can go and have a nap in the garden.

Details: 407 Shaanxi Bei Road 陕西北路407号

021-52660930 Everyday 11.30 – 22.00 Booking advised


Last year saw one of Shanghai’s most exciting dining concepts open. It teased us with its care and attention to detail, transforming a rather soulless and commercial Tianzifang into something deeper and worthwhile. But as summer ended it was time for Botanik to go into hibernation.

With the exception of a few bar ingredients, all of the food you eat and drink at Botanik is sourced from within China. Noni fruit on Hainan, with its irresistible ripe blue cheese odour, goose from Guangdong, sorrel and wild garlic from Shanghai’s suburban parks, to the use of Turkey Tail fungus and clever infusions and vinegars. Every process from drying to pickling has been explored to see how to stretch and extract flavour, texture and colour. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, above the Plump Oyster restaurant you’ll find an edible garden oasis waiting for you, but this time the team and chefs have explored deeper into the world of Chinese horticulture than ever before.

Details: 4th Floor, 169 Jianguo East Road (above Plump Oyster). 建国中路169弄4楼 Friday, Saturday, Sunday only 18.00-22.00 Booking essential

Old sights and Shanghai delights

A lemon geranium infused mescal cocktail (all cocktails are 80 RMB) with kumquat lets nothing go to waste, using the discarded fruit pulp to make a sweet and delightfully sharp gummy.

Yes it’s technically ‘Chinese food’, sort of, all the source ingredients are the same, but the end result turns thousands of years of tradition on its head. Sustainability is a cringey modern buzz word because historically Chinese cooking is good at reducing waste anyway, even if contemporary trends aren’t. How many times have you seen someone order a table of food to photograph and leave without eating a bite.

The set menu of 16 dishes is a handsome 688 RMB but the journey and commitment set it apart from almost anything else on the restaurant scene in Shanghai right now and actually almost anywhere in the world today.

Details: LG2 Century Link Mall, Century Avenue, 1192弄老上海