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
Known as one of Shanghai’s top breweries this popular spot also offers an ambitious fusion dinner menu. Located in the Julu complex, Dream Brewers occupies 2 floors, formal dining (Level 3) and a rooftop bar (Level 4).
We were pretty hungry so decided to go straight to the restaurant. Dimly lit with simple concrete interiors topped with 90s slow jams, think Atomic Kitten, Mariah etc. The mood was set for a cute date night.
Overall the menu is pretty heavy on red meat and seafood dishes, so not a great spread if you’re vegetarian. We grazed on a bread and cheese platter to start. Not bad, but not memorable. Next up a scallop ceviche, beautifully presented (see photo) and served with a seaweed type cracker – yum! Which is where they should have left it. Unfortunately the ceviche was heavily garnished with a rose flavoured jelly - let’s just say Ottolenghi would not be impressed. Final dish was a cuttlefish tagliatelle. Now here I was expecting a plate of tagliatelle pasta with cuttlefish IN it, but in fact the cuttlefish itself had been ‘tagliatelled’ (I don’t know – is that a thing?). Drenched in a basic buttery sauce with a few herbs, this was pretty uninspiring given the price. Come 9pm the tables are decked with large neon bulbs and the tempo starts to pick up. The rooftop bar has a great vibe. We didn’t spend much time here, but I liked the modern design of the booths looking out across the Shanghai skyline, a nice place for Friday drinks over summer.
At the end of this experience I think I was just left a little confused. The quasi-italian inspired restaurant is yet to fall in sync with its humming rooftop bar and extensive craft beer list. A few tweaks to the menu and the place will certainly have potential.
Price: 500-600 RMB for 2 people
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