The Shanghai EDITION's Canton Disco is a mash-up of funky Chinese food like a celtuce ‘Caesar’ salad, Chongqing-style chicken wings, Wagyu carpaccio with smoked beef fat chili, and classic roast meats (goose is the standout) and expensive live seafood, like lobsters or Dungeness crabs done ‘Typhoon Shelter’-style, i.e., completely showered in crispy fried garlic. It’s not your everyday restaurant. The name really sums it up. It’s sort-of Canto cooking and a loud soundtrack of 1970s dance music. Italo-disco meets cha chaan teng, with low low lighting and Neri + Hu design.
Walking into the entrance lobby of the Shanghai Edition feels like a serious undertaking. The whole place is dusky and stylish, and the dark corridors encompass several restaurants. I’ve been to two, and they’re both so much better than a hotel restaurant needs to be. Go to the Shanghai Tavern, downstairs, for solemn food on little plates. Canton Disco upstairs, though, is incongruously fun. I loved it.
Look at the cocktail selection. Mine sounded pedestrian but came topped with a little stretch of the fizzy space belts I used to scarf down as a kid. There’s one containing cough syrup and coffee, as well as the obligatory booze, and it actually tastes good.
Then look at the food. There are some serious and heavy options, like the house short rib, but the best dishes are those that sound… playful. The prawn toast x okonomiyaki is an absurd, deep-fried package of chubby prawns, crispy bread and batter. If it doesn’t make you happy, I’m not sure what to suggest. Unless you’re allergic to seafood, of course, in which case I’d probably order one just to look at anyway.
The light and crispy salt and pepper tofu bites, the fat shrimp wontons, the – oh man – crispy ham hock with its impeccable accompanying sauces and lettuce for wrapping. Everything was great. In total, we paid 778rmb for the dishes and drinks mentioned here, including a 75rmb bottle of water. (I wouldn’t recommend the water.)
Canton Disco’s sultry décor forms a piquant contrast with its disco soundtrack and irreverent menu. Michael Janczewski and his team cook up a storm of fun, and the cocktails taste as good as they sound. It’s a perfect date night destination.
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