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  • Imagine if you asked an eight-year-old to design a mall. It would probably have a theater with a huge movie screen, VR arcades, a toy gun shooting range, slides and playgrounds, and maybe even a horseback riding track on the roof. That eight-year-old is probably hiding a secret life as a Chinese property tycoon because this mall actually exists in downtown Shanghai, and it’s called Greenland Being Funny Mall. I am not making this up.

    Located about halfway between old Xuhui and the West Bund, this mall boasts one of the best imax movie theaters in Shanghai. We went to catch the latest Avengers movie and afterwards decided to have dinner at Hokkaido Crab Premium Restaurants Okadaya. Apparently, this is a famous chain of crab restaurants in Japan and there are multiple locations across Shanghai.

    You cannot miss this place because there is a monster crab guarding the front door and you have to walk through its legs to get in. We went with the 998 rmb set menu which included wagyu beef rolls, sushi, appetizers, a cod dish, and culminated in a whole king crab to eat in a hot pot. There was also ice cream included for dessert. It was altogether way too much food, but the quality was good and the service was over the top good (the waiter grates wasabi tableside for your sushi).

    Given how expensive restaurants in Shanghai can be, I think this is a great deal, and I would go back again.

    Did I mention you can ride a horse on the roof of this mall?

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  • I’m pretty sure brunching is one of the top expat pastimes in Shanghai. The sheer amount of brunch deals can be overwhelming.

    I would judge brunch based on drinks, atmosphere and food. In most cases, you are lucky to get two out of three. Bull & Claw is the exception that does a great job across all metrics.

    Most free flow brunches are limited to some house wines and a standard beer. Bull & Claw’s includes those and a decent selection of cocktails and beers (even IPA’s).

    Located in an old villa, Bull & Claw has lots of outdoor space with large patios and on both the first and second floors along with a private party room on the third floor. Weekends are crowded with big groups, but with the high walls, it still feels like you are escaping the city.

    Lastly, the food is actually excellent on its own. The pancakes on the kids menu is basically every kids’ dream. They take two fairly typical pancakes and basically cover them in syrup, candy and ice cream. It is off the chains. 

    The brunch roast beef takes a traditional pub roast and elevates it by using wagyu chuck and goose fat roasted potatoes. It is a huge portion, but I left a spotless plate when I finished.

    Without drinks, you can have a good two course brunch for 168 rmb.

     

     

     

     

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  • I’m pretty sure brunching is one of the top expat pastimes in Shanghai. The sheer amount of brunch deals can be overwhelming.

    I would judge brunch based on drinks, atmosphere and food. In most cases, you are lucky to get two out of three. Bull & Claw is the exception that does a great job across all metrics.

    Most free flow brunches are limited to some house wines and a standard beer. Bull & Claw’s includes those and a decent selection of cocktails and beers (even IPA’s).

    Located in an old villa, Bull & Claw has lots of outdoor space with large patios and on both the first and second floors along with a private party room on the third floor. Weekends are crowded with big groups, but with the high walls, it still feels like you are escaping the city.

    Lastly, the food is actually excellent on its own. The pancakes on the kids menu is basically every kids’ dream. They take two fairly typical pancakes and basically cover them in syrup, candy and ice cream. It is off the chains. 

    The brunch roast beef takes a traditional pub roast and elevates it by using wagyu chuck and goose fat roasted potatoes. It is a huge portion, but I left a spotless plate when I finished.

    Without drinks, you can have a good two course brunch for 168 rmb.

     

     

     

     

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  • Moosan is a great quick fix sushi restaurant at iapm mall.

    If you grew up in America, chances are you spent a good percentage of your youth hanging out in the food court of your local mall where the Mexican guy spinning pizza dough at sbarro was your introduction to Italian cuisine. It’s a fond memory, but the food was definitely not good.

    Here in Shanghai, many of the best restaurants are in malls. One could argue that all things considered, mall restaurants are generally better than the free-range variety. Moosan fits in this category and is more like a kiosk in the mall. It is mainly self-service with tables and chairs basically sitting in the hallway.

    For 68 RMB, you can get a salmon poke, your choice of a side dish, miso soup, and a drink. The poke is not quite as good as what you get at Little Catch, but with all the add-ons in the set menu, it beats on value. They also have noodles and a large selection of prepackaged sushi. 

    Next time you are waiting for them to fix your cracked iphone screen at the Apple store or if you want to bring a whole meal into a movie, this is the place for you. You can be in and out in 15 minutes.

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  • Juyan Huton BBQ is a well-known Taiwanese BBQ. I’ve eaten there previously for dinner and have never left disappointed, although my wallet was considerably lighter. This time I gave it a try for lunch.

    The lunch menu is limited to a few different sets that they cook in the kitchen. I went with the beef lunch set, which is listed for 218 rmb on the menu, but if you order through the dianping app, you can get it for 128 rmb.

    It includes a salad, soup, a boiled egg, a seaweed salad, a pudding dessert, soft drink, veggies and a good-sized mound of sliced beef. The beef was really, really good and I would rate all of the other sides as above average. I left feeling full and satisfied.

    While it’s often hard to get a reservation for dinner, the place was completely empty at lunch. With more staff than customers, the attention and service was excellent. And sometimes it’s nice to have some quiet time.

    I still think it’s a bit too pricey for an everyday type of lunch, but if you are in the area and looking to splurge a bit, I would recommend it.

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  • We are officially in the Shanghai sweet spot between the rainy end of winter and the scorching heat of summer, so now’s the time to seek out and enjoy al fresco dining. In this city, nice decks and good food are usually mutually exclusive, but the aptly named Together accomplishes the rare feat of doing a great job with both.

    We went for lunch on a sunny workday and were able to grab the last table out of about a dozen on their deck. The dishes all seem pretty simple at first sight but have subtle creative flourishes to elevate them to the next level.

    The burrata had the creamy consistency you would expect in Italy. But paired with beetroot, grapefruit and pistachios, the dish had a much more unique and complex flavor than the typical preparation.

    The Tournedos Pork with pepperoncini sauce was a much larger portion of meat than I was expecting. I couldn’t tell if this dish was more Asian or western, but I could tell it was delicious. The meat was tender and the sauce had a kick that helped balance the richness.

    It is close enough to the Jingan business district to get in and out for lunch, and just far enough that you probably won’t run into a judgy co-worker catching you having a glass of wine in the middle of the day.

    Kid friendliness: Waitstaff were very friendly. They have a large outdoor patio, but on a sunny weekday, most tables were taken up by business type lunches, and we still caught a bit of side eye.

    148 RMB for lunch set including starter and main

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  • Having been in Shanghai for over 10 years, I have frequented all the Madison iterations since the original Dong Ping Lu location. If you’ve been here long enough for that, you probably remember when Element Fresh was affordable and you probably still rock a Hotmail or AOL e-mail account. You have been in Shanghai too long, but getting to experience another iteration of this great restaurant will make it all worth it.

    We went for brunch with a group of 6 adults and two children less than a week into its soft opening. The burger is not just Shanghai-good, it’s one of the best you will have anywhere. The dragon bean salad with poached egg is one of the few East-West creations that is better than the sum of its parts. The charred octopus was cooked perfectly with a light crunch outside and super tender with no chewiness inside. The kids went through two orders of duck spaghetti before I got a chance to try it.

    Ambience and service were also top notch. The only minor drawbacks are the location and somewhat small portions. The Bund Finance Center is just another mega mixed office and retail building, and probably close to nothing in your normal routine (but it’s by the bund!). On the other hand, it is probably a more central location for the entire city (even people in Pudong).

    Overall, I’m sure this is the frontrunner for best new restaurant in 2019 and would recommend you go soon while it’s still easy to get in.

    Kid friendliness: One of the children in our group didn’t care for their homemade strawberry soda (it was probably the first strawberry soda she ever had made with actual strawberries), but the waiter switched it out right away to something she liked. These types of gestures are so rare in Shanghai that it deserves a mention.

    200-300 rmb per person with drinks

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  • Summer is right around the corner, and nothing beats the Shanghai heat like sipping on some cold beers on a sweet rooftop deck. Sitting within blocks of some of the best bars with outdoor spaces in Shanghai, Dream Brewers enters the mix with one of the best rooftops in the city.

    We went on a sunny Saturday around 1 pm for a late lunch and there was a private event on the 3rdfloor, so we were directed to go straight to the 4thfloor rooftop deck. There was a bartender and a waiter, a cool fire pit, a soundtrack mainly of 70's and 80's hits, random dog statues, and lots of empty seats. Actually, they were all empty seats as we were the only customers there. 

    Beers were good, 40 rmb for 300 mL. Not cheap, but they were very cold which is not always the case in Shanghai and they tasted like craft beers. They had a deal for 20 RMB beers at their pop-up truck at the entrance of the complex which is a great deal and also a good place to people watch.

    The Dreamer hot dog tasted more like a bratwurst on a huge bun. Hopefully when Costco opens later this year, Shanghai will finally get a legit American-style hot dog. Until then, this isn’t bad. There was nothing mini about the Mini Burger. This is where the chef got really creative. It had a layer of beef tongue, and some sort of guacamole sauce along with standard burger toppings. I applaud the creative courage and it actually wasn’t too bad, but not good enough to order again. On the other hand, the fish and chips were good enough to order again.

    Overall, Dream Brewers is good enough food, better beer, and an awesome deck. 

    Kid friendliness: There is an elevator straight to both floors but the only bathroom is on the 3rd floor. The waiter was super friendly and the dog statues were fun.

    300-400 for 3 people with drinks for lunch

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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
  • Shanghai is the 10th city that Ting has called home. She works at a Chinese social enterprise and loves immersing herself in new cultures and chasing new experiences, particularly food.
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  • New Zealander

    Anita is a twenty-something Kiwi navigating her way bite by bite around Shanghai. She's passionate about food, the story it tells and always eager to learn about new flavours. Some of her favourite gram accounts are: The Australian Gourmet Traveller, Symmetry Breakfast and The Dogist.
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  • Heatwolves has spent the last ten years exploring Shanghai as a writer, editor and DJ and is now a consultant and strategist for F&B, music, and art projects. You can find him on Instagram at @lovebanguniverse and leaping forward at InkSight Agency.
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