2020 Delights

By 2020-02-26 06:22:09

Find inspiration on where to dine this February with our latest roundup of sensational Shanghai restaurants

Co Cheese 2

Just over ve years ago, a small, cosy, unassuming bar on Jing’an’s Yuyuan road opened called Co Cheese, and it quickly built up a loyal following. Thanks to its affordable pricing, friendly neighborhood vibe and great soundtrack, people keep on coming back for more. But perhaps the biggest reason customers keep returning is for its delicious, grilled cheese sandwiches, created by owner Greg. Back in his native home Canada, Greg would experiment with le over food from his fridge to make creative grilled sarnies, which he then turned into a successful business idea (I’ve been told that many of the experiments turned out well, but not all of them!). It’s not the only place in Shanghai to get a grilled cheese sandwich, but, if you ask me, it is by far the best. Any list that tells of where to get the best-grilled cheese in Shanghai that doesn’t include Co

Cheese instantly loses all credibility with me. The good news is that Co Cheese has finally opened a second location next to IAPM mall. This bigger space includes comfy banquette cubicles that seat four, a large communal table and a horseshoe-shaped bar. These are definitely nice improvements on the original, but what hasn’t changed is the food! On o er are classic ll- ings like tuna, ham and bacon along with some Asian-inspired options such as the Hongshao (braised pork belly, soy, spices, mozzarella) and Thai red curry meatball with Gouda. I’ve tried most of the options and I have yet to nd one I didn’t like.

Beers are available on tap as well as wine and spirits. But a visit to Co Cheese isn’t complete without a Pickleback, which is a shot of whisky chased with a shot of Greg’s house-made pickle brine which neutralises the burn of the whisky.

Address: 509 Nanchang Road (near South Shaanxi Road South)
Reservations: 131 2255 6050
Price: 100 RMB

Good for: The ultimate grilled cheese sandwich

La Mesa

There’s no shortage of taco options in Shanghai, but La Mesa is as good a place as any to get your taco x; along with a few other Latin-inspired street food options. I am a huge fan of concepts that like to keep things simple and focus on one or two things that they do well, rather than trying to please everyone; and La Mesa does just that! The taco list is extensive and divided into sections based on filling type - chicken, pork, beef, sh and what they call “Vegie” which appears to be vegetarian. Prices range from 28-38 RMB per taco, but they do o er 2 for 50 RMB which is a good deal. However, I am disappointed they don’t o er larger options, as many people might want 3-4 tacos depending on whether it’s for dinner or a snack. The two that cried out to me were the Matador (hash browns, fried egg, cheddar cheese and spicy beef... basically a breakfast taco) and the intriguingly named ‘A Bone To Remember’ which consists of slow-cooked pork rib on the bone; this can be easily removed by squeezing the taco while pulling out the bone. Aside from tacos, there are also some salads, sandwiches, and burritos, as well tortilla chips with guacamole on o er. They don’t provide cutlery, and that’s a good thing as the mess is all part of the experience!

Address: 758 Julu Road (near Fumin Road) Reservations: Not necessary
Price: 100 RMB
Good for: Casual / quick meal, beginning of a night out


The Shanghai food and beverage market is undoubtedly overcrowded, but Shake o ers something very unique. Its supper club concept, inspired by 1960s New York establishments where patrons would spend an entire evening enjoying a nice meal followed by live music is a welcome change to status quo. From its opening three years ago, chef Danyi Gao has been heading up the kitchen with her unique fusion creations with dishes like Thai Beef Carpaccio (88 RMB) - wafer-thin slices of fresh beef, with a Thai dressing consisting of peanut, cilantro, mint, sh sauce, calamansi, celery and daikon; which works surprisingly well even for this die-hard fan of the classic Italian version! We also liked the Sambal chilli potato salad with slow cooked egg (68 RMB) and the only thing preventing my two female companions

from ordering a second helping was that it was rather carb heavy. Needless to say, it didn’t stop me! Bigger bites are available till around 9.45pm and there’s a late-night snacks menu for night owls.

The cocktail menu is helmed by Colin Tait, who previously worked at Vesper - one of the top cocktail bars in Thailand. In keeping with its New York theme, cocktails include the Godfather Of Soul - a whisky lover’s dream of Evan Williams Straight Bourbon, Laphroaig 10yr, Cynar, and Vermouth; something you imagine Don Draper would order when not drinking Old Fashioneds. Most cocktails are priced at 100 RMB which may seem expensive, but these are top shelf concoctions and don’t forget you’re getting live entertainment as part of the deal. If you prefer spirits to cocktails, they have a decent selection, especially the whisky range which has more than enough to cover most tastes.

Shake tends to be quieter early in the week but gets very busy closer to the weekends when the music also livens up. There can sometimes be a cover charge for big events or holidays so remember to book ahead.

Address: 3F, 46 South Maoming Road (near Jinxian Road)
Reservations: 021 6230 7175
Price: 200-300 RMB per person

Good for: Dinner, dancing, and live entertainment


Juju is the latest offering by serial restaurateur Mark Klingspon, owner of The Nest, The Cannery and also Rye & Co, with Juju being his first Asian concept in Shanghai, the concept being Korean BBQ. So, what’s different about Juju compared to all the other perfectly fine Korean joints across the city? Well, for one, it is located at 3 on the Bund, but don’t be fooled by the address. Juju is far from fancy, fine-dining. Think walls covered in Korean street art, loud 90s hip hop,and old school arcade machines (Donkey Kong, Pac- Man, and my 80s favourite, Asteroids). The menu is simple, focusing on its free ow meat option (288 RMB), which includes just pork and beef, and dishes like Korean fried chicken wings and spicy pork rice. In terms of beverages, it’s 200 RMB for a three-liter keg and 50 RMB for Jinro Soju which comes in a variety of fruity flavors. Everyone should also try a Soju bomb, which involves simultaneously dumping a shot of Soju into a glass of beer and then downing it. The emphasis here is most definitely on fun, so, go with a group rather than as a couple. This would also be a great venue to celebrate a birthday for both the young and young at heart (I fall into the latter category).

Address: 2F, Three on the Bund, 3 East Zhongshan 1st Road Reservations: 021 6330 5005
Price: 400-500 RMB including drinks
Good for: Casual fun with friends