Industry Nights is a semi-regular column featuring the haunts of chefs, restaurant owners, F&B managers, and other marginally sane people with good eating recommendations.
Marco Barbieri hardly needs any introduction. He is the "Marco" in "Da Marco." He's Shanghai's Godfather of Italian food. When he's not spinning pies for huddled homesick masses, he's probably eating in one of these places...
This place opened right about the same time that I opened my first Da Marco restaurant, so, Le Bouchon and me, we go way back. When I've got time off, it's one of my favorite places to go with my wife and our friends. It's got such a unique ambiance compared to other French restaurants in town -- just so warm and welcoming. The steak tartare here is really one of the best in town and the selection and quality of their foie gras really can't be beat. Also, I'm just good friends with Thierry [the chef and owner]. If for nothing else, I love to come by here just to talk shop with him.
I know everybody says this, but I really mean it. Among all the upscale restaurants in Shanghai this one is among my favorite for so many reasons. First of all, the great Paul Pairet. There really is no one else in town doing anything as interesting or creative as he is. Second, for its ambiance -- very elegant, classy but at the same time modern, comfortable, and not taking itself too seriously. The terrace is also a plus for me. It's just small enough to be a private and it has a spectacular view. Then there is the sheer variety of the food. I still haven't tried everything on the menu yet. Right now, I love what Pairet is doing with veal.
Yeah. That's right, I said it. And I promise you. Any chef who tells you that he doesn't eat McDonald's is a liar. If I've been in the kitchen all night... Who am I kidding? Even if I haven't been in the kitchen all night, sometimes I just want something quick, convenient, and easy. Don't be thrown by the makeup and the big red shoes, Ronald's a reliable and consistent man. I always know what to expect. Not only that, the place delivers in Shanghai. Who can argue with that?
I go here a lot and not just because it's right next to my Dongzhu'an Bang Lu branch. This place has got to be one of my favorite Cantonese restaurants in town. They do great dim sum. I love their variety of dumplings. But what keeps me coming back is their Shatin Roast Pigeon. That crispy skin, the rich tender meat. If you're looking for something better, you might as well book a ticket to Hong Kong because you won't find it here.
Sometimes restaurants are popular in Shanghai for a reason: they're actually good. Haiku is one of those places. Their sushi and sashimi are spot on. The fish is fresh. I love the presentation. And when it comes to value for money, the place simply can't be beat. Enough said.