Eating out in Shanghai – a little Restaurant Review

Eating out in Shanghai – a little Restaurant Review

I have a confession to make. In the almost two months I’ve been here, so three months for Thorben, we have not cooked once. The only meal we ever eat at home is breakfast on the weekends – and whatever we get delivered from Sherpas. There are just so many choices, things to explore and try … and it’s too hot to cook – those are my excuses anyways 🙂

So I noticed there are lots and lots of pictures of food on my phone I haven’t shared and who doesn’t love looking at food 🙂 To make sure nothing gets lost, here are some reviews of most of the restaurants we’ve been to so far. So if you plan to visit us (and you definitely should!), you can already pick some places!

Asian

Thai Gallery – Thai

This was the first restaurant Thorben took me to when I arrived in Shanghai. It is located in the park next to Jing’An Temple, so it’s very pretty both outside and inside the restaurant. The food is pretty good and not too strange for Western taste buds 🙂 so it was a good start for Asian food. I like their vegetarian spring rolls, the satay with peanut sauce and the sticky rice with mango. They also have fresh coconuts which they open for you when you are done drinking it, so you can scoop out the coconut meat, yummy! When Benedikt was in town a couple weeks ago I met him and Pearl there. Thanks for supplying the pictures, Benedikt!

Coconut paradise – Thai

Another good place for Thai food, though some of the food we had was a bit too spicy for me. I’m still working on my spice tolerance. They have a few locations and the one close to us has a very nice garden which we have to try when it’s not so hot anymore. I heard they also have good cocktails. I like their crab cakes, minced beef you wrap in lettuce leafs and the papaya salad, which they made not spicy for us (okay, for me, Thorben can eat really spicy). Unfortunately I thought I took pictures the first time we went, but I didn’t, so no pictures.

Simply Thai – Thai

The third Thai place we tried and our least favorite so far. The location (there are several) we went to was inside a mall, nice because we didn’t have to leave the subway station to get there which is appreciated in this heat but still the other two were much prettier. The menu was similar to the others as well and the food was good, but not fantastic. So if we had to choose a Thai place it wouldn’t be that one.

Hamasushi – Japanese

This running sushi restaurant was recommended to me as a good place for a quick bite to eat at a great value. For 10 RMB (1.30 €) per plate / drink / dessert you really can’t go wrong. We got there pretty early and got a table right away and when we left at 6:30 there was a big line. I especially liked that you can both just takes what comes by on the belt or use the screen at your table to order. When your order is ready, there is a ringing sound and message that your food is close and then you just grab the plate with your table number on it – great system 🙂 My favorites were the salmon sushi and the custard pudding which tasted like creme brulee.

Lost Heaven – Chinese (Yunnan/Silk Road)

This is on the way home from the metro and we’ve eaten here twice. I liked everything we tried, especially the okra with tomatoes, the cold noodle dish and the banana spring rolls (listed under appetizers but taste like dessert). My boss, who just came back from a trip to the Silk Road, said the food really tastes like it did there and Shane also loves it, so you don’t just have to take my word for it 🙂

Grandma’s – Chinese (Jiangsu/Zhejiang)

Grandma’s is a very popular local restaurant. When I told my coworker I was meeting friends there for a farewell dinner (someone is always leaving here …) she told me to have fun waiting for a table. It wasn’t too bad because we went there pretty late. The food was good (I admit, some was a bit strange but we ordered so much there was plenty I liked) and very cheap. I think including non-alcoholic drinks it was around 7 € per person. The only problem is that I can’t go there by myself because the menu is only in Chinese and there are no pictures.

Sue Hsiao Liu – Chinese

Pearl showed us this restaurant and we had some delicious xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The trick to eating them is to grab one with chopsticks, put it on your spoon, bite of the top, blow, slurp out the broth and then eat it :). I’m still working on my chopstick skills but according to Pearl I have improved a lot (she saw me in week 1 when I was really struggling). I really liked the fried dumplings and the pork ones, though everything we had there was good.

Western

Maya – Mexican 

Maya is really close to where we live so it’s easy to go. According to a Mexican guy we met at Shanghai Supper Club it’s more Tex Mex than Mexican. He suggested Cantina Agave for an authentic taste, so that’s on our list as well (to go, we had food from there delivered already, was really good)! However, I love Tex Mex so that’s not an issue. I really liked their homemade chips and guacamole, the quesadilla were good (though nothing I would go back for) and I think Thorben’s tuna was also pretty tasty.

Le Saleya – French

I’ve been here twice, once with Thorben for dinner and once for brunch. There were many French speakers there (always a good sign) and the food was delicious both times. Great baguette and I love the lemon meringue tarte 🙂 The brunch deal they have is pretty good, 160 RMB (around 20 €) for 3 excellent courses. So hopefully we’ll back there on the weekend soon.

Element Fresh – Healthy 

Element Fresh has many locations all over Shanghai. We are there once in January during our info trip and then again a few weeks ago. They have lots of healthy choices like salad, power food bowls and juices but also pasta, sandwiches and steak. The only thing I’ve tried is the salads and those were pretty good. I heard that they have buy one get one free for salads on Monday, so that sounds like a good way to start the week healthy. Or you could always use the savings to get chocolate or carrot cake :).

More than eat – Various

Right next to Lost Heaven, so also on our way home, this is my favorite quick “dinner for one” spot when Thorben is out of town. We’ve been here together a couple of times, I’ve been by myself several times and the food was always good. I really like the dips (pesto, tapenade and hummus) with toasted bread, the avocado sushi and the fresh juices, but so far everything has been tasty (the soups, salads, fries, fried fish, fried chicken …). Also, I think the decoration is really cool.

World of Beer – Bar food

And another one right next to our closest metro station which I also tried while Thorben was out of town. I had the raw tuna and fried chicken taco, both really good, although the tuna one was a bit spicy. I guess people usually go there for the beer but since we both don’t drink beer, I won’t be able to report anything about that 🙂

Palatino Roman Cuisine – Italian

Sadly I didn’t take any pictures here, the food was delicious though. We had the beef and the salmon carpaccio, I had pizza and Thorben Saltimbocca. It is also very close to our apartment (like most of the places listed here) so we will definitely go back and maybe even take pictures 🙂

Bar Centrale – Italian

The appetizers here were really delicious, as was the pizza. After having a glass of wine on an empty stomach I was too busy eating to take any more pictures :). I went there with a friend and some of her girlfriends because they have a pretty good happy hour (alcohol is expensive in Shanghai!) but I would definitely go only for the food.

Beef & Liberty – American

Last week I saw a burger in the canteen display before lunch so I knew I just had to have a burger that day (but not a canteen). My colleague recommended Beef & Liberty so Thorben and I went there that night and we weren’t disappointed. The burgers were juicy (all their meat is imported from Tasmania), the fries crunchy and the dessert was great as well. On Mondays they even have buy one get one free for burgers. Too bad I got my craving on a Friday and could not possible wait for Monday 🙂 

 

After a stream of food pictures in our family’s WhatsApp group my dad commented that at first he was worried I’d starve in China, now he is worried about the opposite thing happening. Oh well 🙂

 

 

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