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  • Even though in Shanghai there are around 5 restaurants per block average, it is yet hard to find healthy spots all over. Organic and healthy cuisine concepts are getting more and more developed in the last year but still is hard to see.

    On Xiangyang road you will find this little place -no more than 10 seats aprox- called Banana GG, a healthy and pet friendly place to go for a fit meal. If you go in the rush hour you might have to wait a bit because it’s gone popular. The staff is very friendly and the menu has salads, wraps, pokes, yogurt and more. You have all the proteins and veggies in different dishes presentations, which is a very smart decision.

    We went with our lovely dog and had the salmon salad, the falafel wrap, the chicken quesadilla and the granola with yogurt. As usual we order more than we should and we ate it all. The dishes are fresh, the portions are perfect (you won't feel hungry afterwards) and everything is very tasty. My fave is the granola and the size is pretty big! Prices are fair: 300 Rmb aprox for a big meal.

    The only thing I would change is the garnish salad in some dishes since it is the same one in all the menu, but other than that Banana GG is definitely a good spot when you want to take a healthy break.

     

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  • Statement: The Bull and Claw is one of the classics and "safest" options for brunch in the city, it never goes wrong.

    Evidence: What I truly like about The Bull and Claw 2.0 is the location: it is in the heart of the french concession, a restored colonial house with an amazing patio. It’s a classic brunch spot among the expat community because you never get disappointed. You can choose 1, 2 or 3 courses (98rmb, 168rmb,188rmb) or go for the daily fare section of the house specialities.

    We had the Turkish Menemen (eggs, peppers, onions, tomatoes, yogurt in a pan) and smashed avocado on bread with poached eggs. Both dishes were tasty, well achieved and well presented. That’s why you never go wrong at The Bull and Claw: the food is simple but tasty, no more, no less, just accurate. Don’t miss the drinks and the free flow during the weekends, they offer a good deal.

    Verdict: Guilty of being one of the best brunch choices in town. Suitable for family, friends or for a date. Reasonable prices, quality food, interesting menu and good service.

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  • Estado Puro is the one and only spanish restaurant in Xintiandi, that is why it is always full, but it would be unfair not to mention that the food and the service are really good. The outdoor sitting is another plus. 

    The menu has a wide range of tapas, cold or hot, paella, beef and a lot more. As usual, my partner in crime and I were very hungry and we ordered a lot of tapas: tortilla, albondigas, octopus, calamari, croquetas and the beef ribs. Got suprised by the octopus, it was perfect, not harsh not chewy, so big shout out there. The dissapoiting dish was the ribs, the sauce was a little oily and the meat greasy as well. Overall, the food is delicious and the ice cream also was very good, which I wasn't expecting it to be. 

    The atmosphere is very friendly and vibrant. They offer live music almost everyday which is cool but sometimes too loud. Would suggest to go with a group of friends rather than on a date. It is a bit pricier than other spanish restaurants in town (300 rmb per person aprox), maybe closer to the Bund prices but a good option if you are craving for tapas in XTD. 

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  • Bulldog Bar-B-Q on Julu road is a Texan bbq spot in the city that deservesmuch more atention that it has. Easy numbers: 2 tables, 8 seats and a tinykitchen that makes magic.

    Paleofriendly, a display of three kinds of meats: pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket and grilled chicken. For garnish you can choose: French fries, coleslaw (really good), Mac and cheese, and veggies.
    We tried all of them and let me tell you that the brisket, smoked in applewood, is supernatural and super tender with a smoky hint that makes it unique. The ribs are good as well and the chicken super crispy, flavorful andtasty.

    You can choose each dish in small, medium or large size. I suggest to go for small portions and give a try to every meat, it’s worth it. Go and I guarantee you will come back.

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  • Cozy, small and charming. Egg on Xianyang road, is one of those brunch gems in Shanghai you can’t miss. A more than average brunch menu with a variety of homemade food and beverage choices.

    The menu is small but precise. What I mean with this is that every dish in the menu is perfectly achieved and the ingredients carefully combinated. Toasts, sweets and traditional Chinese cuisine dishes like shaobing or panckackes that team up with bean jam, in a modern and western twist.
    They serve homemade sodas and a coffee variety you won’t easily find around, like peppermint latte for example.

    Had brunch with my partner in crime. First round, we shared a a bacon sandwich, which was unbelievable tasty: crispy bacon, house cured pork belly, spiced mayo and a sort of cucumber sauce that was delicious in an English muffin. It was so good that I order one more for the second round. Then of course the avocado toast that, in my opinion, is the best one in town, with peas, cucumber and Parmesan in a big big crunchy toast. We finished the meal with the pancakes that were a different version of what we are used to see but very interesting. A big applause to the passion fruit and ginger soda, so good and refreshing for this season! All this for 290 rmb.
    Excellent service, good playlist, tranquil vibe, enough dish selection, truly tasty food and pocket friendly prices. Give it a try!

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  • Are you looking for a sports bar and a wide variety of craft and imported bottled beer? This is the place. Are you willing to enjoy some live music? This is also the place.

    The indoor part is huge with a nice terrace facing Fumin Lu. Nice bar, plenty of TVs for the sporty people and many beer options for the general public. Pale ale, IPA, wheat, light, dry, dark and bold, cider and fruit flavored, in fact, a mapamundi of beers.

    First of all, the beer HAS to be cold — very cold. Check. The menu is a fast food and sport bar kinda food: burgers, fried chicken, pizza, tacos , ribs, etc. That is okay. It is the food you seek in this sort of going out plan. We had the Memphis ribs and a platter to share that comes with a mix of sausages, fried chicken, French fries, nachos and spring rolls. The ribs were adequate but nothing outstanding and the platter was a little bit tasteless.

    The service is not that good and the place is definitely noisy. I can’t blame the second point since sports bars are noisy by definition. But the service can be definitely improved.

    The beer selection has no discussion.


    The food is pretty average: “bar food”. Come for the beers not for the food. The prices are appropriate. It was 200 per person for our meal plus 3 beers.
    I didn’t like the mix of boxing on TV while listening to a Drake acoustic version, but other than that, it is okay for a casual night out with friends.

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  • If you really love eating and enjoy each gastronomic experience like it was your last dinner, then you will truly appreciate Bird. Why? Easy, because is a cozy restaurant with no more than 20 seats, with an open kitchen where you can see the Chef cooking each dish carefully and taking care of every detail before the plate comes to your table under a delicate tailor-made menu.

    The menu changes seasonally and consists in a variety of Asian fusion dishes to share –or not-. That's not all. The wine selection and the cheese selection are amazing. They have a nice wine by glass variety and also they offer the “Carafe” version which is so convenient.

    We had a bit of everything plus a carafe of cabernet franc. The first place goes to the money miso fried cauliflower; the second place the truffle risotto and the third to the smoked salmon. The chicken nuggets are a must try as well.

    The ambience is lively and the staff super friendly. Prices are accurate and the dishes were excellent in flavor, presentation and portions size. Around 250/300 yuan per person and you get an intimate and unique meal. Bird Wine Bar & Kitchen is a spot where foodies like me will definitely return!

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  • Located on Changle Road inside an office building doesn’t sound attractive until you step in and take a glance to the bar full of homemade jars of Japanese pickles, teas, fruits and so on. Basically it takes me back to that comfort food that my grandma could make, full of love. This place is one of my favorite modern Japanese because you will absolutely find culinary dedication and fine flavors all over the menu and the dishes. The menu covers a wide range of Japanese cuisine in a very delicate way: from Japanese sandwiches, Japanese hotpot, katsu don, donburi, omurice, tempura, udon, soba, to a lot more options to dig in. We were two and we had a huge variety to share. The best, in my opinion, were the mackerel sandwich -so delicious that I could have a dozen easily-, the waygu beef curry udon –out of this world- and the fried chicken with a chilly sauce. Quiet vibe, friendly environment and decent prices will invite you to come back. If you are looking for a delicate meal and you really like Japanese food, then this is the place to visit for sure.

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  • Searching for a “laowai-friendly” place to have some good dumplings? Well, Maggie Chan´s Shanghai Dumplings (Jiang Rong Xin) offers an acceptable version of xiao long bao where you can relax and also enjoy the Chinese atmosphere surrounding you.

    Why is that? They have an open and clean kitchen to see the cooking process, the menu is in English, the staff is helpful and they have “international” versions of dumplings. That means they offer "off-the-mainstream dumplings", a sorto of non-traditional ones, for example: foie gras, waygu beef and pork, saffron and pork, peanut butter and pork, even a colorful selection for the moments posts -and many others (worth to explore the “International Style menu”). Of course slightly pricier than the less fancy ones and they are located close to The Bund.

    Went for lunch and decided –first- to try the traditional ones: pork, shrimp and salted egg. The menu is very wide, maybe too much; they also have Sichuan dishes, Shanghainese dishes, noodles, rice, soups, etc. I would suggest focusing only in dumplings if you go there.

    The pork and salted egg were okay, nothing memorable, not thaaat tasty. The best was the shrimp one. After that, I had a black truffle and pork which was really good, could taste the excellent combination of both ingredients. The problem is that just one piece is 35 RMB, so if you want to have an affordable lunch like me you better go with the classic variety.

    Overall impression: if you want to try something different than the well-known Xiao long bao this restaurant is accurate, but have in mind that is not going to be a cheap dumpling meal like you might imagine or you are used to.

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  • Once again the nights find me gastro-exploring the newly opened restaurants and bars at Julu Road 758 hub. Valpasso –which sounds Italian but has nothing to do with any Italian related other than the Campari or Prosecco you will find in the menu- brings a proposal of crafty drinks and a chilled ambience bar.

    Spacious with mini living rooms around the place and an extensive and fancy bar, which I recommend if you want to exchange some stories with the barman, is definitely suitable for a date or friends night out. We were four and we hit the bar seating, best decision ever. We could see how each drink is carefully and dedicatedly prepared.

    The food menu is short but satisfying for accompanying the drinks. It is not a restaurant, it's a bar so don't expect a dish of pasta. Shout out for the lava bomb chicken wings –crispy and tender at the same time- and the bbq pork honey siracha skewer. The flambé tart was crunchy but the topping was a bit poor. The chicken liver paté was also very good.

    Each one of us had 3 drinks and shared some dishes and it was 300RMB per person approx. Nothing bad at all, considering this kind of cocktails are getting really expensive in other bars around –with no fundament.

    The best drink of the night? Can´t really decide because all of them are different. But a good one -or two- to suggest could be “nachos return” or “pretty in pink”. Go and check them by yourself!

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SMARTREVIEWS

SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.

  • OUR TEAM
  • British

    Originally from the UK, with 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Globaltraveller has worked on four continents and opened seven hotels in Asia for hotel groups in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, the Maldives and Malaysia.
    55 Reviews > Read Now
  • American

    Born and raised in America , Ajay is a food enthusiast who spends a lot of his spare time walking the streets of this ever changing city. He moved here in 2014 to experience an underrated city. A man of many dreams (opening a restaurant, screenwriter, remembering more than two Chinese words) he’s found its better to stop worrying and have a bowl of noodles instead.
    6 Reviews > Read Now
  • American

    Jeffo is originally from Chicago, and is now expat dad in Shanghai. Even after 12 years, he still loves exploring Shanghai and finding something new to experience.
    14 Reviews > Read Now