A Neo-Chinese Takeover In Shanghai

While not traditionally associated with high-end dining, the city welcomes a new wave of contemporary gourmet cooking.


Playfulness is on the menu at modern Chinese restaurant Dao Jiang Hu, which gets its name from a Shanghainese colloquialism that means “to mess around”. Brought to diners by Betty Ng, who is also behind beloved pan-Asian joint Ginger, Dao Jiang Hu offers an adventurous exploration of regional Chinese fare. Find items infused with Western epicurean elements to create a riotous celebration of the nation’s cuisine. And it’s all served in a sultry setting that conjures up old Shanghai. 3/F 50 Taian Rd, near Xingguo Rd; daojianghu.sh.cn


Located at sumptuous hotel The Middle House, Sui Tang Li exudes finesse and flair throughout — from its refined interior design to its stunning showcase of contemporary Cantonese, Shanghainese and Sichuanese cuisines. A dramatic spiral staircase makes a design statement as diners enter the restaurant, setting the tone for the meal that follows. Familiar favorites are rendered unrecognizable with creative twists and served as sharing plates best enjoyed in the company of others. Diners can complete the experience with a paired selection of wines. 2/F The Middle House Residences, 366 Shimen Yi Rd; themiddlehousehotel.com


Housed in The Shanghai Edition hotel, Canton Disco is Hong Kong-based Black Sheep Restaurants’ first foray into China’s most populous city. Named after the Fragrant Harbour’s answer to Studio 54, the space evokes the golden era of going out — the 1970s — through unashamedly glamorous interiors. It pays homage to its founders’ hometown with an upscale take on traditional Cantonese cuisine from executive chef Jowett Yu. Expect elevated, elegant takes on roasted meats and fresh seafood, set to a thumping soundtrack. 2/F Heritage Building, The Shanghai Edition, 199 Nanjing Rd East; blacksheeprestaurants.com


Northern Chinese chun bing, or spring pancakes, get the hipster treatment at Peking Inn, an achingly cool cocktail bar and restaurant that takes Beijing cuisine to new heights. Fillings are homey and satisfying — try pork in a sweet soybean sauce or stir-fried Chinese chives, bean sprouts and vermicelli topped with an omelet — but still look good enough to Instagram before eating. Drinks mixed by innovative bartender Chris Xi shine a neon light on traditional Chinese spirits, like baijiu, a time-honored grainbased liquor, and Shaoxing rice wine, with surprisingly seductive results. 2/F Bldg 37A, Ln 259, Jiashan Rd; fb.com/pekinginnshanghai

Written by

Mercedes Hutton

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