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[Industry Nights]: Craig Willis

That's Mr.Willis to you. He's been here 10 years. He's eaten at and forgotten about more places than we have listed on this website.
Last updated: 2015-11-09


Industry Nights is a semi-regular column featuring the haunts of chefs, restaurant owners, F&B managers, and other marginally sane people with good eating recommendations.

...That's Mr. Willis to you. He's the chef who helped build the Wagas empire. Before that he was a guest chef at M on the Bund. He's got ten years in Shanghai under his belt, so he's eaten at and forgotten about more restaurants than we have listed on this website.


Sinan Lu Dim Sum at Fulin Xuan


2/F, 300 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu

"I’ve been going to Fulin Xuan since I first arrived in Shanghai 2001, Bruno, Julie, Marcus & Mike – the M team took me there often. This was back when it was in a big French house on Sinan Lu. Now, of course, it's in the Hong Kong New World Tower with a few other locations around town, too. Dim Sum is a great way to meet lots of friends at once and you get more variety that way too. My favorites have to be their chashao su, chasao bao, black pepper tripe, luo bo gao (white radish cake with scallops), chicken feet, black bean pork rib, prawn roll in tofu wrapper, crystal prawn dumplings, He ye nuo mi or lotus leaf-wrapped grains with pork with duck, spring chicken soup, dan ta. I always roll out of there drunk on tea and food."



The Duck at Nanling


168 Yueyang Lu, near Yongjia Lu

"Nanling was the staff canteen for No.3 Peking Opera Shanghai. It's great for for big parties. Lots of delicious Shanghainese dishes and a great value. We always pre-order Beijing roast duck and cong you ji, or spring onion chicken, and pai tiao xiao huangyu, which is basically fish fingers fried in a seaweed batter. The place is great for large groups. Though I always wonder about the wall porn which used to be veiled by fishing nets."


The Big Fish at Dongjun


518 Huai Hai Xi Lu, near Hong Qiao Lu

"A Grand piano and a Rolls Royce juxtaposed with wet market fish tanks fills the massive lobby of this restaurant. Walk around the tanks and order your fish exactly how you want it cooked. Then walk up the oh-so-grand staircase to eat your catch upstairs. It’s Shanghai’s Golden Century (A chefs' hangout back home in Sydney). Come here and overdose on seafood. Then see how game you are to try some of the more interesting items on the menu. I, for one, cant do the water bugs or those donkey dicks."


Sushi Oyama


2/F, 20 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Lu

"I love all the personal attention you get when you're at the counter here. It's a pleasure watching Oyama chat with guests while he serves a superb Omakase meal. He also uses such a beautiful selection of bowls & plates, the real deal in shanghai. I usually take one good friend here, order a bottle of sake and chat and eat the whole night."




Makoto


2177 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu

"This family has been running this restaurant for 15 years. The son is also an actor and seems to always be play the stereotypical ‘bad Japanese soldier’ in movies. The food is very traditional - fresh light foods. I order a lot of cold dish and vinegared dishes like cucumber with miso, vinegared octopus, ‘escabeche’, grilled bamboo shoots, monkfish liver, beef tataki and agedashi tofu. It's nothing flashy, but you'll see lots of suits in here during the weeknights. It's my first choice for a regular dinner - its good for couples at the bar or fours on the Tatami. There's a great tatami room upstairs, too. I was able to fit about 24 people up there on my 40th birthday."


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