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  • Food is a great way to reduce homesickness, and JYJ Noodle bar sure has a great selection of noodles!

    I usually go with the classic Taiwanese beef noodle soup. It’s savory and slightly spicy with long-simmered slices of tender beef and hearty broth. I also love that they add the brown egg, which is a nice touch. It’s surely a comfy food of mine. They also have the clear broth option, which is also a classic and tastes very close to the one back home. Since noodles soup exists in various forms throughout East and Southeast Asia, they also offers other flavors like Tom yum noddle soup, as well as desserts like shaved ice with bubble and black sugar. Both noodle soups are 79 RMB and the desserts are around 40 RMB.

    The restaurant sits at 6th floor of IAPM mall. The space is quite limited but clean and organized. The staffs are very attentive and friendly. Overall it’s a great experience and I would definitely go back.

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  • Sitting on the famous cafe street, Yuyuan road, Akimbo cafe definitely stands out from the crowd. The concept is a coffee lab and the space is large and modern with art pieces hanging on the wall.

    Except the standard coffee, Akimbo offers different flavors of fruit coffee. I went with grapefruit coffee and surprisingly, it works really well! Served in a beautifully designed glass bottle, a slice of fresh grapefruit and rosemary to taste, it’s refreshing and still strong with the taste of cold brew coffee.

    On the other hand, matcha latte wasn’t that impressive at all. Except the Instagram- friendly setting where you could pour the glass of milk into the matcha, the taste is pretty blended and I wouldn’t recommend. They also have some cute desserts that looks like real fruits and very instagrammable.

    Drinks are around 40 to 50 RMB, and the desserts are around 80 RMB. It was a good experience overall and the place was quiet enough to work in. Definitely give it a try if you’re a coffee person!

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  • Tres perros is a popular Spanish restaurant situated in the heart of Xuhui. The place is cute and cozy, and it’s always packed with people lining up outside the restaurant.

    Foie gras with pistachio is creamy and flavorful. Salad is pretty average with balsamic dressing. I love how fluffy and moist the omelette is, but not a fan of the pork sandwich. The steak is decent but lack of character. The portion are all on the smaller side so it’s good to share with couple of friends.

    I suggest to make a reservation unless you want to wait for a hour. They also have a 2 hours time limitation for peak hours. Overall, it’s a nice place to hang out with friends while enjoying some delicious tapas.

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  • Passed by this little shop and the colorful graffiti caught my attention. Inside it’s cozy and decorated with trendy elements like skateboards and posters.

    I ordered a fried chicken omelette rice and my friend had a normal curry plate. Fired chicken was crispy on top, and the rice was soft and tender. They also fried the rice with curry sauce so it was flavorful and warm. But with the mayonnaise sauce on top of the chicken, catchup, and curry, it gotten very salty and I ended up couldn’t finish the dish. The omelette was also a bit overdone for my taste as I like it to be running and soft. The normal curry was good and my friend actually loves it.

    The price is around 75 RMB and there’s no lunch set options, which is quite expensive for what they’re offering. Overall it’s acceptable but not impressive enough for a second visit.

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  • We all know about the Chinese crepe, jianbing. While it’s tasty, sometimes I can’t help but doubt the sanitation of the traditional jianbing shops in the ally. Here’s a safe portion for your favorite Chinese breakfast food, serving all day at Grain.

    I brought my friends from Taiwan to try it out and they love it. We had the classic “signature sausage and beef” and the simple “Sausage crepe”. They put Taiwanese sausage on the menu and it tasted nothing like a Taiwanese sausage. But other than that, the jianbing is filling and tasty. It’s also very crunchy with sesame seeds.

    The price was 15 and 32 RMB, which are more expensive than the one on the street. But they do claim that the crepes are made with 5 grains and with quality ingredients. And the nice and clean environment justify the higher cost. They also have drinks like soybean milk. If you’re looking to get a nice jiangbing, Grain is the place to be.


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  • I just went to Thailand few months ago and found myself constantly craving for Thai food ever since I’m back. With several friends’ recommendation, I decided to try out Greyhound during my lunch time.

    Neon lights, black and white tiles, graffiti on the wall, and industrial layouts, the place is almost too fancy and modern for a Thai restaurant.  They also have outdoor seats for those who enjoy sunshine than AC in the mall. The menu is fusion and it has three lunch sets to choose from – 58RMB, 78RMB, and 108 RMB.  

    I like the minced pork with sweet basil and hot chilies set, it comes with a soup and pickle. The portion is huge and they are very generous with the rice. It does taste good but not as authentic as other Thai places in Shanghai. Noodle with tom yum soup has a strong coconut flavor and it’s not too spicy, which I enjoy, yet the portion is small with few mushrooms and a salad on the side. Pomelo Salad is fresh and light with crunchiness from peanuts on top. Usually I’ll add another 18 RMB for a Thai iced tea and it’s so good. It’s perfect for spicy and sour dish like this.

    It is overall a nice experience and certainly fancy for a lunch set. The service is good but the place is always crowded during lunch so you will have to expect some waiting.  

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  • I love Southeast Asia, and one thing I can’t get over with from my Indonesia trip is cendol, a rice jelly made from pandan leaf. Cendol just opened one month ago and I decided to bring my Malaysian friend with me. I’m glad I did because the owner is actually from Malaysia and had a good talk with us. He said he wanted to open Cendol for being the first cendol place in Shanghai. I thank him for that.

    The dessert is named after city and you can choose to make it into drinks or shaved ice. You can also make your own by choosing the toppings you want. I got Sabah shaved ice, which is red bean, tapioca pearls, cendol and ice cream on top. You can choose vanilla or durian flavor ice cream, and I went with vanilla. It was great! Cendol is freshly made and palm sugar with coconut milk tasted so good with the shaved ice. Ice cream was surprisingly good with a very chewy texture and you could see vanilla beans in it.  The owner was nice and offered a big scoop of durian ice cream for us to taste, and it’s….. strong. The place is tiny but very vibrant and cute. All desserts are around 30 RMB and it’s pretty reasonable for what they offer.

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  • D.O.C sits on a quiet street of Dagu with a nice outdoor sitting area, which makes it wonderful for enjoying quality Italian food. The lighting and environment just make you feel comfortable and chill.

    We went during a Sunday afternoon and started with a platter. Everything was delicious and I especially loved the olives and mushrooms. They had happy hour for a selection of drinks that day, which was perfect and the Aperol spritz was tasty. Pizza were delicious with a nice and thin dough, but the greens are very little and we were expecting a bigger size because of its price. Tiramisu was moist and delicious. I’ve tried tiramisu in other restaurants and DOC definitely is on top of the list.

    The service was great and the manager was very welcoming. He was very nice to talk to and gave us some recommendations on dishes. If anything I would say it’s on the pricier side, but I enjoyed the meals and the restaurant had a really nice vibe. I would definitely go back again.


    Price: Spend around 300 per person Summary: D.O.C has great Italian food and a wonderful settings. It’s on the pricier side but food is with quality ingredients. Tiramisu is a must!


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  • Months after Shake Shack opened its first location in Xintaindi, I finally decided to go. I was one of the victims for the fake Shake Shack delivery, so I was very excited to try out this time around. It is safe to say that Shake Shack is still up to the hype with people lining up for a seat. After a good 20 minutes, I finally had my burger and seat to dig in.

    I went with the classic Shackburger. The beef was impressively tender and juicy with the standard lettuce, tomato and cheese, while the bread was soft and wet. The famous Crinkle Fries was crispy and came with a good portion, but I found it a bit blend with no salt on top.
    Unlike the fake lemon tea at most fast food chain, it was great and refreshing. I’m not a big fan of milkshake but its vanilla milkshake was powerful with strong vanilla flavor, and it will probably give you the sugar high afterwards.

    The place was crowded but pretty comfortable and clean. I like its modern design and they also have an automatic hand washer next to the self-serving area, which we all need. The service was great and staffs were attentive and were constantly helping people to find a seat. I can see why people are in love with Shake Shack as it’s definitely above most burger chains. The second location is going to open in Jing’an and I’m expecting a long line for that too.

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  • I had heard so much about Jia Jia Tang Bao. So I took my friends who are new to town to try it out! Xiaolongbao, aka soup dumplings are Shanghai’s specialty and I was pumped about the so called best dumpling place in the city.
    The place is small, old, and packed with tourists. Luckily we arrived early and avoided the lines. The décor is a standardized local restaurant with old tables and metal chairs. Vinegar and chili are provided in a jar on the table. The menu is rather simple with few choices of soup dumplings and soups. To order, you will have to go to the casher.  
    We ordered two different flavors: regular pork and shrimp. The dumplings arrived with a tiny sauce plates inside the steamer, which we found it funny (I guess they thought it would be sanitized with the steam).
    After the first bite we looked up to each other with confusion on our face. (Note that we’re all Taiwanese and have high expectation.) I can’t say it’s bad, but definitely not THE BEST in town. The skin was on the thicker side yet it was fragile. When picking up with our chopsticks (carefully), some of them broke, but it was juicy with a good amount of fillings inside. It’s also freshly made which is also why you would be waiting for a bit after ordering. I would prefer the pork dumplings over the shrimp dumplings, but both were good. The dumplings were small in size, but with 12 of them you’d be full. The prices is VERY affordable too. I reckon this is more of a place for tourists who want a local experience.
    - Price: Pork dumplings 18 RMB, Shrimp dumplings 28 RMB
    - Summary: Jia Jia Tang Bao serves up freshly made soup dumplings with a local feel ambience. Affordable and tasty, it’s a great place for Shanghai’s famous xiaolongbao.

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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.

  • British

    Originally from the UK, first arrived in China in 1989, worked in Beijing for several years, returned to China in early 1997 to Shanghai, and back again in Shanghai since 2007 have worked on four continents and opened seven hotels in Asia for hotel groups in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, the Maldives and Malaysia.
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  • British

    Suzy is originally from Wales, and loves cooking and dining out, especially for vegan and vegetarian food. She has an ever-lengthening Food Bucket List which often inspires her travels.
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  • Taiwan Chinese

    These three things make make Eating Glace herself: being an insatiably inquisitive omnivore; being an apprentice kitchen elf; and doing heavy-duty recon on the Shanghai F&B scene. Join her as she eats her way through this sweet, savory, sour, spicy, bitter and umami city.
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