The holiday season in right around the corner. Here are 15 Western restaurants with dining areas for a festive dinner, company holiday party, birthday, or any occasion big or small. Book soon, it's already the middle of November!
Pop is the American resident of Three on the Bund. There is a separate events room with a bar and TV, catered by the Pop kitchen. For a party of 20 there is a 15,000rmb minimum charge. For their American/French bistro food, expect to pay 300-600rmb each, another 300rmb for drinks, and a 10 percent service charge.
Frasca is the Middle House's casual Italian restaurant, with a solid reputation for pastas and pinsas, a cross between pizza and focaccia. A private area in the restaurant seats 24 people and can be booked for a 15,000rmb minimum spend (plus 15 percent service charge). Food starts around 500rmb per person and goes up from there, not including drinks.
The French restaurant by chef Jonas Noel has a small eight-person private room, but a long table area on the main floor can accommodate larger parties. The food can be selected from the restaurant's existing fare, adding up to a per person cost starting around 500-600rmb, excluding drinks.
The Boxing Cat Brewery near Yongfu Lu has a third-floor event room with a bar. While there are low tables and chairs, the space isn't set for a sit-down dinner; it can fit about 50 people standing. If a mingling vibe isn't what you had in mind, ask for the second floor for dining tables. Food is a la carte from the menu: American classics. Expect to pay up to 200rmb per person to eat and then another 150rmb per person for free-flow drinks.
Mercato is the super popular Italian restaurant at Three on the Bund by chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. Inside, the casual venue has three private dining rooms. Party planners can choose between four different set menus, though drinks are extra. For a group of 25 people, the minimum spend is 10,000rmb. Food goes from about 250 to 880rmb per person, depending how fancy you get.
The Spanish tapas bar in Xintiandi's Infinitus Mall has a rooftop level that can be rented out for events and private dinners. There isn't a private room, but a section of the indoor downstairs restaurant can be arranged. Exact prices for bookings are kept loose to be accomodating, they say, determined on a case by case basis from 300rmb per person all the way up to 1,000rmb.
Nicolas Le Bec's homebase is a historic villa on Xinhua Lu with strong French cooking. The villa has more than one private room, with an upstairs one seating 20-30rmb for a minimum 18,000rmb, and the downstairs one holding a maximum 40 people. Food varies but expect to pay around 800rmb per person (plus a 15% service charge) before you add drinks.
The modern French restaurant by chef Paul Pairet is situated on the Bund, as the name suggests, with a great view of Lujiazui. Inside, the dining room can be divided into private spaces with curtains. As you might expect, it's a more upscale affair: a private section for 20 people is 400-1,000rmb per person with a 30,000rmb minimum spend. Drinks are an additional 300rmb per person.
Old reliable Cotton's has been around for 17 years. The historic Anting Lu villa has a few private rooms that can be reserved for private events with a minimum spend of 500rmb per person, including two drinks.
A brunch stalwart from the Camel Group, The Bull & Claw has a terrace that can be rented out with a minimum spend of 15,000rmb. The terrace can seat 30, while the warmer indoor third floor can seat a smaller party of 14, with a minimum spend of 8-10,000rmb. Expect to pay 300-600rmb per person including free-flow booze. They also have a suggested set menu for the holiday season.
Heritage is the restaurant from the late great Austin Hu. Located in the Bund Financial Center, it serves some funky western and Asian stuff — whatever Austin dug up from his background or invented in the kitchen, from salted duck egg yolk flavored lotus root chips to General Hu's cauliflower. The private room seats up to 32 people, with a TV and couches, and is available for a 6,000rmb minimum spend. A sit-down sharing-style dinner runs 350-400rmb for the food and another 188rmb per person for drinks.
Highline is the mid-century modern American restaurant at the Ascott Huaihai serviced apartments. Their deck is a popular spot for good views of the People's Square skyline. For dinner parties, long tables can be set up inside. The menu is sharing style with food ranging 350-500rmb per person and free flow drinks for another 250rmb per person. The restaurant asks for a 10,000rmb minimum spend and a 50 percent deposit to hold the reservation.
The French wine bar and lounge on Julu Lu is known for its rooftop. Downstairs, there is a spacious event space fitted with couches, a bar and AV hookups — video projector, sound system and wireless microphone all ready for HR's end-of-year slideshow. A sit-down dinner in the room can fit up to 40 people for a sharing style or a set menu of three to five courses. Costs vary from 200rmb to 1,000rmb per person including drinks depending on the menu. The minimum spend for weekdays is 5,000rmb, or 8,000rmb on weekends.
Colca is Eduardo Vargas's Peruvian restaurant, with two locations. The Hengshan Lu restaurant has a partition for two private rooms and a heated patio. When the weather is colder, indoor seating can fit up to 32 people. The room can be booked for a minimum spend of 12,000rmb with a 1,000rmb deposit when reserving. Expect to spend around 600rmb per person including drinks.
The Cannery, sister restaurant of The Nest, is heavy on its seafood theme with things like octopus, steamed clams and tuna jaw. In the back area, past the bar, there is a private area that sits about 24 people and has rolling doors that can close it off from the rest of the dining room. Events here are around 600rmb per person, including food and free-flow drinks, though of course that varies by exactly what's on the menu and the drinks list. On weekends, the private area has a 12,000rmb minimum spend; weekends a bit more. They recommend booking two weeks in advance, and ask for a 30 percent deposit to reserve.