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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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  • I personally don’t have high hope when it comes to rooftop bars, as they tend to be more for the view than the food, but The Captain Bar definitely has it all! Located on top of a hostel building, The Captain Bar is fun and intriguing from the first step into the building. As you pass through the teeny tiny elevator and the stairway, you’ll see the rooms of the travelers’ and its fun marine decorations.

    I went with a couple of friends who were visiting from Taiwan. Since we didn’t reserve for booking we got the indoor seats (By we I mean me), but the staffs were very welcoming and told us we could move for the terrace once there’s a seat. We arrived at 8 pm at a Saturday night, and waited for around 40 minutes for the view.

    We had a salmon pizza, beans salad, lasagna, and some white wine.  The salad was definitely the highlight of the night with healthy beans and sour dressing. It’s one of the best salads I’ve had in Shanghai! Lasagna was soaked in tasty tomato sauce and they had some garlic bread provided afterwards for the left over sauce. Pizza was pretty standard with good amount of toppings.

    The manager was really friendly and gave recommendations when needed. It was overall a great experience. The place feels really casual and unique with view of the bund, while the terrace isn’t really spacious so definitely book before if you don’t like waiting.


    Price: 150 per person
    Summary: Located on top of Captain Hostel, The Captain Bar offers excellent food with great views of the Bund.

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  • RAC has opened up a new spot and it's even more Instagram friendly than the last one. Sitting on Shaanxi Nam Lu, the two –floor lanehouse is gorgeous and picture-worthy at every corner- light and bright industrial-chic embellished with playful tiles design laid from the floor all the way to the bar, greenery around the corner, and natural light from the windows and roof window, creating the right mood and settings for your favorite brunch place.  

    Let’s get into the action. Sautéed mushroom, earthy tomatoes, cheese and an egg in the middle, the Veggie galettes is crispy, rich, and moreish. I can understand why people are crazy about the galettes and crepe here. While galettes is the focus here, don’t miss out the avocado toast. Bread is crispy by edge and soft in the middle, topped with a generous scoop of avocado spread and followed up with sliced avocado, half boiled egg and handful of walnuts for the crunch. It might be the best avocado toast in the city.  

    The place is quite small with limited seats on the second floor. First floor is an even smaller space serving coffee and drinks, so a line should be expected when visiting. The well decorated dishes are just as beautiful as the surroundings. Another spot for the brunch lovers!


    Price: 140 RMB for 2 dishes
    Summary: RAC’s second location is just as great as the first one. Serve with delicious galettes, crepe, coffee, and sandwich, brunch is the best time to be at RAC for a sunny afternoon.

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  • At this brunch spot the buzzy energy hit me as soon as I walked in. This place is constantly packed with the open space and tons of natural lights. As soon as I sat down, the staff came with water and menu, which I found very attentive considered how packed it was.

    I had a odelice brunch plate and a veggie mozzarella plate on the side. The brunch set came with a drink, and I went for a latte.  Scrambled egg, sausage, bacon, salad, croissant and a half of a avocado, the brunch plate was very pretty self explanatory with simple seasoning. The appetizer was delicious, slice zucchini and cooked cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, tasting delicious and light. My friend also got a strawberry smoothie yet he found it quite sugary and unnatural. We stayed for quite awhile and the crowd didn’t seem to go away until late afternoon.

    In general, you may have to get a little cozy with your neighbors on the busy times, but it is overall a great place to have delicious brunch and to enjoy your afternoon with.

    Price: 200 RMB for two

    Summary: A cozy restaurant with open space and delicious food. Friendly and attentive staffs that’re always happy to help even with a full crowd.

     

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  • Don’t we all love a great outdoor area with city view to dine in? Element fresh on huaihai road is perfect for a little office escape. What’s better? The food is always on point.

    Love pretty much all of their salad since it’s always refreshing and tasty. I love that they have fresh fruits in the crayfish salad, and everything blends perfectly with the sauce. They also have lunch set with one main dish and soup/salad. I had the grilled salad with chicken the other day and it was delicious. I’m impressed with the roasted vegetables baby potatoes in the salad for how golden and crispy they were, which added a great taste to the salad. The pumpkin soup was rich and flavorful with herbs and nuts on top. You can also add another 22 RMB for a juice. The spring roll was filled with all kinds of greens, and had a very strong taste of basil leaves. I personally love it but my friend found it odd. Finally, the classic Cobb salad remains a strong option.

    The prime location and beautiful rooftop terrace is what I love the most, yet the service is always a bit off for me due to the not so attentive staffs.

    • Element fresh offers a selection of great salads and other refreshing dishes, which are all healthy and delicious.
    • Spent around 150 for two with weekdays lunch set

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  • I am on a mission of finding good places for dim sum, and this is not one of them. Went there on a Friday noon with a loving colleague, we had our expectations due to the very “local” atmosphere.

    We had fried noodles with beef, stir fried veggie, fried pork rib, shrimp dumplings and 2 milk tea (1 iced 1 hot). The fried noodles was good; had quite a rich flavor and it’s quite sweet. Veggie stir fried was salty and oily thus not a big fan of it. The classic fried pork rib didn’t taste good to me as it’s with very thick skins, and wasn’t crispy but rather soft when you bite into it. The thousand island sauce on the side certainly didn’t help. The drinks were pretty Hong- Kong style. I favored the iced milk tea over the hot one as it’s more flavorful.

    The place is nicely decorated which make you feel as in you’re in a small Tea place in Hong Kong. The seats we had were facing the road with a lower ground level, making us having  an interesting view of strangers passing through. It’s very affordable and they also have lunch set with good deals.

    • Siu Loon Fung is a cute place for quick and easy Cantonese food. It’s with a very affordable price and has variety of choices.
    • 170 for two

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  • It was a rainy day with not much happening in Shanghai. My fellow SmartReview mate and I decided to go on a exploration near Changle road. Wondering between a burger place and Tribe, I opted for the healthier portion due to my hangover situation from Saturday night.

    Tribe has a very fun menu for a healthy spot, bowls, noodle, salad, and even vegan pizza! I ordered the tofu grain bowl and a milk tea. Fresh ingredients with a very fulfilling portion, the smoked tofu added great flavor to the bowl. The best part was the miso sauce, which in my opinion tied everything together perfectly! The milk tea wasn’t impressive, and it was served hot with a hint of toffee scent, which weren’t the best choice for a 28 degree summer day. The restaurant is nicely decorated with neon sign and geometrical themed. I love how they separated the space with green color theme on one side and orange on the other, creating contrast yet very coherent. It’s also a great place to work as it’s very quiet with calm music playing on the background. Overall a nice experience and I would probably make a comeback for the desserts as they look delicious (and healthy).

    -Tribe serves up healthy, organic and versatile dishes. Great place to dine and work at on lazy afternoon.

    - 106RMB for a bowl and a drink

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  • If you want something different, something hard-to-find, and something completely delicious, this is the right place to be! The place is one of those hidden restaurants that you'll just ignore if you pass by. Inside it's cozy with only half a dozen tables, and family pictures of the owner hanging on the wall.  I wasn't expect much until the food arrived and I cracked. It's a mix of Cantonese food and Shanghainese food. We end up ordering so many dishes I couldn't capture all of them before they are finished by my friend. But here're my tips for you!

    Fired pork chop is a must in every Chinese restaurant and it's never wrong. It’s crispy and tender, but on the oily side. Vegetables are all delicious but I recommend Jiu Xiangcao Tou (酒香草头). I have no idea what kind of vegetable it is, but it's tender with a taste of alcohol and I love it. The clay pot rice is extremely simple with only 3 ingredients, rice, soy sauce and Chinese sausages on top. It’s not bad but not as authentic and real as Cantonese ones. One dish that caught my eyes is the rice cake with red bean sauce. I’ve never seen anything like this before and it’s very interesting to try. (None of my Chinese friends know this too!) I’m a fan of the fried rice and they done a good job. They also have beef stew, tofu and crab simmer pot, and all other seafood dishes on the menu.

    The owner is super friendly and fun to talk to. We had a lovely conversation with him and he’s adorable. They have plenty of choices with reasonable price. The menu is in both English and Chinese which is a plus. I recommend coming with a group of friends as it’s better for share.

    -
    Dasheng Hutong is a hidden gem on Shangxi Nan Lu, serving delicious Shanghainese and Cantonese food. A great place to experience Chinese food and culture. 

    Table of 4, 100RMB each.

      

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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.

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