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Molokai (Xingye Lu)

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    • ADDRESS:
      3/F, Bldg 6, 123 Xingye Lu,
      near Huangpi Nan Lu
      兴业路123号6号楼3楼, 近黄陂南路
    • PHONE:
      5321 0881
    • WECHAT:
    • AREA:
    • METRO:
      6 mins walk from Xintiandi
    • HOURS:
      Daily, 11am-11pm
    • CARDS:
      Local and international cards accepted, Alipay, WeChat
    • PRICE:
      $$ $$$
    • WEB:
    • OPENED:
      Unknown. Listed since Nov 2012
    • Editor's Description
      Molokai is a Hong Kong-style cha canting from the people behind Barbarossa. The menu largely comprises staples like fried lo mein, Hainan chicken rice, shrimp wontons and classic diner drinks like soda with salted lemon, milk tea and Horlicks. Of the three Shanghai locations, only the Disney branch offers all three cuts of beef. At Xintiandi and Taikoo Hui they only use skirt steak. Decor here is a degree of spiffy suitable for Xintiandi.
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    • Cha canting food = Hong Kong diner food that mashes up Cantonese, British, Portuguese, and other cuisines and is exactly what you want to eat at 2am, 3am, and maybe 5:30am, and although only Bi Feng Tang is on Eleme that late, their cha shao fan and milk tea does the trick.

      Good cha cantings are the best.

      And for cha cantings in Shanghai, these are The Big Four: Cha's, whose subway tiles, carefully sourced decorations, and music capture the vibe perfectly; the 24/7 Bi Feng Tang, which is cheap and passable; Xinwang, which tastes better than Bi Feng Tang (next door) but closes earlier now; and Tsui Wah, which isn't as good as Cha's but works better for extended afternoon sessions. There are other minor players, but these are The Big Four. They all have their strengths.

      Less discussed is Molokai, which looks nothing like a classic cha canting and deserves mention for a few reasons. First, they have brownie sundaes with Oreos and whipped cream. Second, all the food – from the chicken curry and brisket noodles to the salmon & egg muffin – is solid, with better ingredients than any of The Big Four. Third, it's a way nicer environment than any of The Big Four, and that's perfect for meetings and people who think Cha's is too real.

      Molokai is kind of a gentrified cha canting (you can order Wagyu burgers and cocktails), and Shanghai has room for that. You can still get a legit pork chop rice, milk tea, and beef-ball soup. And they're all about good service. Just don't go after 11pm – they're closed.

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