There are nearly 200 The Cheesecake Factory restaurants around the world. One of them is at Disney Shanghai, and it's a pretty good one at that. Burgers, sliders, pasta, sandwiches, fried chicken, cake, warm fudge brownies, milkshakes - the huge menu mostly consists of food and drink that could easily put you in a carb-induced state of bliss. Average spend per person is about 200rmb but you may be subject to a different kind of payment down the line if you eat here regularly. Great place for Americans to come over all nostalgic.
The only thing different about the menu at the Disney Town Cheesecake Factory compared to any Cheesecake Factory chain is the fact that the caloric content isn’t printed on the menu. If anything, this makes Shanghai’s Cheesecake Factory taste infinitely better because while I can taste the abhorrent coronary-bypass-inducing food that’s entering my body, I can’t quantify in numbers that reflect anything other than the price. It’s also a journey to get down there on line 11, but it was so worth it.
We arrived inside, and it was an exact replica of every Cheesecake Factory ever. I felt more American there than I ever have inside the US Consulate building. The portions were bigger than my face and the clientele was at least 50% the same kind of American you’d expect to travel halfway around the world for Mickey Mouse and then dine at the Cheesecake Factory. I’m not sure patriotism is what I’m going for here, but a delightful waitress brought me a milkshake before I had to overexert my brain.
I have never felt more disgusted with myself, but I think that was kind of the point given how we ordered. An assortment of very brown appetizers made for a sleepy metro ride home. Luckily, we got a seat. We also had to take out leftovers and the actual cheesecake to go because obviously I’m just not the proud American I used to be.
The Beef: In the Disneytown area, you don’t have to buy tickets into Disneyland to dine (ahem, spend money) and get the full American experience. The Cheesecake Factory, one of the thousands of reasons for expanding waistlines in the US, has made its arrival into Shanghai – and I was excited to try it!
The restaurant décor and waiters were exact imports – down to the menu design and booth seating. The menu here is extremely extensive, as much as American food can be. Salad, pastas, pizza, burgers, sandwiches. We started with an Oreo milkshake, so rich and thick…a caloric bomb but who cares! We were here to splurge. Mac & cheese, chicken pasta, and a salad to even things out. The first thing you’ll notice here is that the portions are huge…almost Texas-sized! Or maybe I’ve been in Asia too long to recall what normal US portions look like. The Cobb Salad turned out to be the winner surprisingly. Next time, if there is one, I’ll stick to salad and a shake.
…before moving onto the dessert portion, of course! Did I mention the menu was extensive? There are 23 different flavors of cheesecakes alone and 5 non-cheesecake cakes. For someone with decision-making disorder, this is torture. But omg, redemption came with the Red Velvet Cheesecake. It was just as towering, cream-cheesy, and delicious as I remember *tears* (don’t know if from joy or from knowing this meal was putting us back by 5,000+ calories).
The Gang: Lots of families and kids (big surprise!). As with anywhere in this area, it’s fun to see the kids and even adults get all dressed up in their best Disney costumes or matching outfits.
The Motive: Would I make the trek there solely for the sinful piece of cheesecake? Probably not. But if they did delivery I would splurge for a whole cake on special occasions.
The Damage: Cheesecakes 70RMB/slice. Appetizers and Mains 99RMB and up.
The Down n’ Dirty: Brought me back to the US – they even replicated the bathrooms. The elevated toilets, beige partitions, even the stainless steel toilet paper holders…this is where the final hit of nostalgia really kicked in.
SmartShanghai.com is an independent media publication dedicated to honesty and editorial transparency. We are for Shanghai residents,
written by a team of long-term, opinionated and knowledgeable writers and editors. We never give an opinion or recommendation that we
wouldn’t also share with our own friends and family.