The Place: Top of the world, up there in the five-star contemporary luxury of the Bvlgari Hotel's Italian restaurant. The view over the Waibaidu Bridge to Pudong is sweeping. This is one to impress people with.
The Deal: A full buffet from the kitchen of this one Michelin star restaurant, plus free-flow Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve, Aÿ, Champagne, France NV or Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Tours-sur-Marne, France NV for 1,080rmb. But the real deal is that if you buy three packages on SmartTicket, the fourth person is free.
The Place: Popular and cute, Brut Eatery is small and fills up fast on the weekends. The vintage, folksy interior is the backdrop to a weekend brunch that includes a highly popular chicken & waffles, as well as breakfast sandwiches, pasta, and the Brut breakfast.
The Deal: A la carte. From 56rmb to 98rmb
Dishes: Sweet & Savory: 6-spice fried chicken, crispy waffles, sweet walnut, pickled watermelon radish, jujube honey (82rmb); Breakfast Manwich (62rmb); Green Tartine: guacamole, organic Japanese onsen egg, sourdough bread, radicchio, radish, potato, salad (62rmb)
When: From 8am
The Place: Al's Diner is a small, homey storefront smack in the middle of downtown doing American classics and killer ice cream (by Gracie, Al's wife). The place is particularly popular on weekend mornings and early afternoons, when almost every table holds a huge stack of fluffy pancakes covered in blueberry sauce, with a small pot of whipped cream on the side. Their second location, on Xiangyang Lu, is nearly identical, though it opens 30 minutes later and has waffles on the menu.
The Deal: A la carte.
Dishes: Blueberry lemon-ricotta pancake (60rmb); Purgatory eggs (65rmb); Superstar Buttermilk pancakes, whipped cream, maple syrup (50rmb)
When: From 9am
The Place: Liquid Laundry's craft brewery plus lounge concept has been knocked off by others over the years, but their brunch remains as trendy as ever. The menu is short and sweet and runs through a few classics like Belgian waffles and ricotta pancakes but also more imaginative fare like a breakfast pizza.
The Deal: A la carte. From 22rmb to 108rmb.
Dishes: Buttermilk biscuit with pinenut honeycomb butter (22rmb each); strawberry overload waffle (68rmb); breakfast pizza (108rmb)
The Place: Trendy, industrial-ish design, a hidden location and a solid menu of sweet and savory crepes, breakfast sandwiches and simple French dishes made RAC into a verifiable hit during the opening months of 2018. The crepes and galettes remain the highlight, and the crowds remain omnipresent, so go during off-peak hours or be prepared to wait in line with the selfie-obsessed crowds.
The Deal: A la carte. From 35rmb to 98rmb.
Dishes: Avocado toasts & egg (60rmb); Crepes & sides (60rmb); Complete Galette (70rmb)
When: From 8am - 4:30pm
The Place: Royal China is a more homey dim sum affair, a comfortable house of dumplings and roasted meats on the third floor of the Longemont hotel. The Cantonese classics here are done very well, if not always to the strictest of standards, but still make an excellent backdrop for a weekend feast with a group of friends and a bottomless teapot.
The Deal: A la carte.
Dishes: Shrimp dumplings (33 rmb for 4); "snow mountain" custard buns (29 rmb for 3); Cantonese BBQ meats (79-198rmb)
The Place: The Puli Hotel's restaurant Phenix has a Michelin star but often flies under the radar. Those in the know often visit the restaurant on Sundays for its one-day brunch, which features a modest hotel buffet plus three courses from a menu of things like: a three-egg omelet with Yunnan black truffle, hazelnut and burnt butter; Angus beef slider, gruyere cheese, spiced ketchup, house fries; and halibut Meuniere, seaweed butter, capers, lemon.
The Deal: 468rmb + 16% (food), 718rmb + 16% (food plus free flow Moet et Chandon Brut), 818rmb (food plus free flow Moet et Chandon Rose)
Dishes: Three egg omelet, Yunnan black truffle, hazelnut, burnt butter; Angus beef slider, gruyere cheese, spiced ketchup, house fries; halibut Meuniere seaweed butter, capers, lemon
The Place: Healthy eating destination Green & Safe does an all day brunch in addition to their huge broadsheet menu, with a short but sweet selection of eight items, including avocado toast, a breakfast burrito, and a classic American breakfast. Show up early; seats at the picnic tables fill up fast.
The Deal: A la carte. From 58rmb to 98rmb
Dishes: Avocado toast with poached egg & seasonal fruits (58rmb); beef breakfast burrito (78rmb); American breakfast; Scottish smoked salmon truffle scrambled eggs (78rmb)
When: From 9am
The Place: #THISISNOTSUNDAYBRUNCH the W Shanghai's Kitchen Table screams on its menu. Instead, they offer a "Social Retox" with chefs, mixologists and a resident DJ, with three options: Keep It Fun (food, no booze); Soak It In (food plus unlimited cocktails, wine and beer) and Live It Up (food plus unlimited Veuve Clicquot Champagne). The menu itself is divided between Cured, Raw, Josper (a type of oven, meaning roasted meats) and Bang the Drums, which is cheese and dessert.
The Deal: 398rmb (Keep It Fun), 498rmb (Soak It In), and 688rmb (Live It Up)
Dishes: Focaccia, Goat's Curd, Tomato Relish, Herbed Butter; Freshly shucked oysters from Brittany; Robbins Island Wagyu Beef
The Place: Commune Social was one of the earlier Western restaurants in Shanghai to do creative, accomplished cooking in a very hip but casual setting (designed by Neri + Hu). The food is small plates of vaguely Spanish / modern Western cooking, like Green asparagus, fried egg, mint-pea puree, Iberico cheese and nuts, and fits perfectly into the brunch-shaped hole in your weekend.
The Deal: Three dishes for 198rmb.
Dishes: Poached egg, creamy spinach, mushroom, sriracha bechamel, sesame blini, migas; bacon, Manchego cheese & tomato bocadillo; salt and pepper squid with ink aioli
The Place: Brunch at M on the Bund's terrace is a Shanghai institution and something everyone in the city should do at least once, soaking up the riverside breeze while looking out over your eggs and steak Diane to the skyscrapers of Pudong.
The Deal: Two courses, 298rmb + 10%, three courses 328rmb +10%.
Dishes: Mushrooms from the wilds of Yunnan sauteed in a creamy mustardy sauce & served on toasted brioche; steak Diane; M's Weekend Fry-up; M's very famous Pavlova
The Place: Cali-flavored lounge Highline does an a la carte brunch menu that mixes up some of the restaurant's signatures, like Chicken and Waffles and a Foie Burger, with healthy and inventive options like a chorizo and crawfish benedict, and a salmon and uni soft scramble.
The Deal: A la carte. From 68 to 428rmb, though most dishes are 128 to 198rmb.
Dishes: Chicken and Waffles (158rmb); Foie Burger (198rmb); Salmon & Uni Soft Scramble (158rmb), Acai Yogurt Bowl (98rmb)
The Place: Perennially cool lounge does more than just nighttime hijinks. During the day, it transforms into a light-filled space with a brunch menu that skews towards seafood, and drinks specials on Grey Goose vodka, "cocktail salad" (drinks with vegetable and fruit juices) and sparkling cocktails.
The Deal: Three courses for 198rmb, with a welcome cocktail. Dishes: Helan Gar: poached crayfish (cold) with dill flower and black pepper, toast bread and dill-butter; Full-Dressed Nest Salmon Blini; Air Canada clam casserole
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