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.
Mike Solovey first hit the Shanghai scene with a brief stint at Bubba's before he made a jump to Boxing Cat. Now, when he's not manning the grill at New York Steak and Burger, he's planning his own restaurant. Expect an opening this coming spring.
All 5 Things Served at this Late Night Street Stand
"I don’t think this place has a name. Out of all of the late night places around town that I know and love -- yeah, chefs work late -- this is the one that I have been most impressed by. This stand is a favorite of many locals around Shanghai, especially cabbies. They serve sweet or savory congee, fried dough sticks, fried rice cakes and glutinous rice rolls. All of them specifically designed to give you fuel. They are also particularly efficient at warming you up on a cold Shanghai night. I highly recommend that you stop by after you roll out of work or the club. They start serving at midnight and end around 9am."
The Blueberry Danish at Mollica Di Pane
"It means “center of the bread” and the words just roll right off the tongue. Although I’m a late night eater, I’m also an early riser. I like to sit down for a big black coffee in the morning but hate that feeling I get from drinking coffee without having anything to eat. This place is my “Cheers.” Every time I walk in the door, the girl behind the counter says, “Americano with a Blueberry Danish”. I’ve tried most of their pastry and bread selection and its all generally impressive but the puff pastries in particular are something to behold. I have been there many times as their pastry chef is delivering the freshly baked goods from the upstairs kitchen and I always get a bit giddy when I see those confectionary delights roll out on a speed cart. He always has a smile on his face and takes great pride in his work. Now that’s what I call a chef (pâtissier or not)."
The Laarb and Fish Cakes at Urban Thai
"Earlier this year I took one of the best vacations of my life and it just so happened to be in Thailand. There are many reasons the vacation was unforgettable, most of which we don’t need to get into right now (no, it didn’t include any lady-boys...) The most amazing part was the food. Now there is Thai food and there is Thai food in Thailand. Nothing quite compares to the genuine article when it uses fresh, local ingredients, but this is as close as I’ve gotten outside of Siam. I’ve been so many times that the lovely lady in the kitchen knows exactly what I want every time I show up – Laarb and Fish Cakes. Oh so delicious, oh so authentic. The ambiance in this place is second to none and service is on point. You will probably want to make a reservation because this place is as tiny as all get out."
The Macarons at La Maison du Macaron
"Yet another sweet that I’m addicted to. La Maison du Macron is owned and operated by Linda Gong who is, like me, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. Granted, she attended the original LCB in Paris and I attended the one that was set up in an abandoned golf club in the Arizona desert. Nevertheless, I still feel a kinship with her. Especially when I eat those delicious little cookies. Her macarons are top notch and she compromises quality for no one. In my estimation, they are the best in town."
The Kung Pao, Hunan and Lemon Chicken(s) at My Kitchen
"I hear expats complaining all the time about how they, “can’t get American-Style Chinese Food in China.” Kinda asinine, I know. Nevertheless, that stuff is good and I miss it sometimes too. However, we are not completely without it here in Shanghai. My Kitchen is a little cornershop restaurant at Huaihai Lu and Wanping Lu that serves foreign and domestic Chinese favorites. The only two things that are missing are the paper take out boxes and fortune cookies. Now, its not exactly fine dining and may be about as close to fast food as I get, but I must admit that I call this place at least once a week for delivery."
Belgian Beers at No. 37 Dining and Bar
"With Belgian beers being the main focus for anyone in the beer game in Shanghai that isn’t making their own, competition has risen for fun joints that pour a strong brew. This place caught my attention with its outdoor long bar and cottage-like décor. Once I got to know owner-operator Maggie Liu, I knew I had a new favorite hangout. It’s very unassuming and unique (which says a lot, considering the fact that like 90% of the places in the tian zi fang maze are exactly alike). No. 37 has an excellent beer selection that seems to be getting even better but service is where this place shines. If you found yourself in tian zi fang, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking this place out."