If you want to eat well in Shanghai, go no farther than the Huangpu District. Encompassing the Bund, Xintiandi, People’s Square, and other popular foodie areas, Huangpu has the best restaurants in the city.
Restaurant, Dim Sum, Fusion
Daimon Bistro, from celebrated chef Alvin Leung, transports its guests into old Hong Kong with its Kowloon Walled City vibes and modern twists on Cantonese dim sum classics. Dim sum fusion can often get out of hand, sacrificing the very things that people like most about the dish in the name of art. Daimon Bistro has managed to update the cuisine without ruining its core flavors. Try the restaurant’s take on chicken and waffles, which replaces the base with Hong Kong-style bubble pastry. To drink, try the alcohol-infused tapioca Vitasoy cocktail, served right out of the glass bottle.
It’s easy to miss Heiseiya from the outside, but as soon as you step inside, it’s impossible to forget. Always packed with greedy fans, the restaurant will completely transport you with its dedicated Japanese atmosphere and top-notch food. This cheap-ish joint does excellent noodles and rice bowls, but the reason to go is the appetizers. Culture Trip loves the skewer of fried quail eggs dipped in spicy dijon mustard and the crispy chicken skins. Order a few saki shots and Asahi beers to help wash the food down.
When hyper-exclusive Bund-side restaurant Ultraviolet only received two stars from the Michelin Guide in 2016, anyone lucky enough to have eaten there was gutted. The multi-sensory dining experience clearly deserves three stars. For the hefty sum of RMB3000 ($435) per person, diners are taken on a culinary journey through 22 courses in 22 “settings.” Lights, sounds, and even smells shift throughout the meal to ensure that every dish tastes as good as it possibly can. Many people would call this approach to food experimental, but creator Paul Pairet just means it to be playful. There is only one seating per night for 10 guests and reservations can be made online. Oh, and the exact address is a mystery.
A movie marquee with “Goodfellas” in lights welcomes you to this Italian favorite on the Bund. The food is classic Italian: think pizza, seafood pasta, and bruschetta. Of course, given the upscale location, the food is all taken up five notches. The dishes are polished yet warm, as is the environment in which it is served. When you’ve had your fill of down-home food, drag yourself upstairs to The Fellas bar and experience one of the best rooftop views in Shanghai.
Turkish food is not easy to come by in Shanghai, so it’s lucky that Pasha remains a staple of quality Mediterranean food in the city. Their specialties are grilled and roasted meats, eggplant, and yogurt. The restaurant itself is tiny with an even smaller balcony, so you will most likely need to make reservations if you want to get a table.
T’ang Court, located in The Langham Shanghai Xintiandi hotel, is Mainland China’s only three Michelin starred restaurant. The dishes are all classic Cantonese, so expect sweet flavors reminiscent of American Chinese food. Prices match the prestige of the restaurant, and expect to make reservations and put on your fancy clothes if you want to get in the door.
This one Michelin starred restaurant was recently named the best restaurant in China by Dianping, China’s answer to Yelp. The ranking was made based on reviews from the website’s 200 million-person active user base. The restaurant’s Zhejiang cuisine may cater to a more local palate, but surely good is good is good no matter where you come from. Private rooms are available, and reservations are required.
Paul Pairet (yes the same Paul Pairet behind Ultraviolet), continues to make his mark on Shanghai with Mr. and Mrs. Bund modern French restaurant. Epitomising Shanghai, Mr and Mrs Bund serves French food family style. It also endeavors to be a late night hot spot. If you don’t want to commit to the hefty prices, try it out on one of their bingo nights, advertised on the website. After 11pm, food starts at RMB250 ($36); plus, you can win some amazing prizes, like an electric scooter or flat screen TV.
True, this humble Canadian cuisine restaurant will never make it on the Michelin guide, but the food is every part as delicious as its classier Huangpu neighbors’. If you’re craving a classic poutine, this is your spot. Or, if you want breakfast all day, Hungry Lung’s Kitchen is there for you with its top notch egg’s Benedict. The restaurant also tries its hand at Asian dishes like laksa, so there’s truly something for everyone.
“Willy” Trullas Moreno is somewhat of a food and beverage celebrity in Shanghai. He has placed his signature stamp of fun all over the city, with restaurants from el Willy to bars like el Coctel. The best remains his eponymous one, which does contemporary Spanish food on the South Bund. In class Shanghai style, all the food is designed to be shared family style and eaten with chopsticks.