The Place: Senso is cosy home style restaurant, tucked around a corner in a quieter part of Jing'an with a nice big street terrace. Authentic food, fresh ingredients, warm atmosphere, friendly and attentive staff.
The Deal: Kid-friendly and pet friendly (in the outdoor area) brunch with mimosa salads for 65rmb, salmon benedict for 88rmb, 98rmb special horse burger, and family sharing dishes like a mixed grilled seafood/meat selection for 298rmb, or a family combo for 128rmb. Kids dishes for 60rmb. For the adults, there's a 95rmb/hour free flow on beer, prosecco, spritz and g'n'ts.
The Place: THE CUT Rooftop is located on the seventh floor of iapm mall overlooking the city center. This island bar and lounge serve a series of social social plates that encourages groups to gather and share. Great location anytime, but it's especially popular for its its range of seasonal fruit based G&Ts during its 5-8pm happy hour, and Tuesday Oyster Nights when Fine de Claires go for 98rmb/dozen or 58rmb/half dozen.
The Deal: 2 hours of free-flow for 158rmb, plus 40rmb per additional hour. Menu's a la carte: egg dishes 68rmb, sweet and savories start from 58rmb, plus charcoal grill from 88rmb.
Dishes: Benedict, Beef Tartar, Tenderloin Strips, Banana Pancakes.
When: From noon
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
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