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Kanpai 乾杯烧肉居酒屋

  • Kanpai
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1/5

Kanpai 乾杯烧肉居酒屋

  • 5/F, Grand Gateway,
    1 Hongqiao Lu,
    near Huashan Lu

    Xuhui District

    虹桥路1号港汇广场5楼,
    近华山路

    Inside: Grand Gateway
    6417 2019
    5 mins walk from  Xujiahui
    Web: -
    Daily, 11am-11pm
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    Editor’s Description

    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021

    This venue has yet to be experienced by our editorial staff of discerning nitpickers and sardonic critics. Editor's Description forthcoming.

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  • Smartreviews

    High Stakes RPS, a kissing contest, and Japanese style bbq, what’s not to like?
  • Smartreviews

    • When was the last time you played Rock, Paper, Scissors for something that mattered? When’s the last time you played for any stakes at all? If you can make it to Kanpai before 7 and order a draft beer, it’s your choice to challenge one of the waitstaff to RPS. Lose and you have to chug your beer (hence the name Kanpai). Win and you get a free beer. So really, it's pretty win-win.

      Kanpai is in the newly opened North section of Grand Gateway (aka the lipstick towers) in Xujiahui. Even only partially opened, this is a pretty sweet mall. There is a Starbucks that serves alcohol and baked goods on the first floor across from a rad Jordan store. Twinkle, the super nice, but still overpriced, kid’s playground/café also opened an outlet here, and there’s a really nice movie theater.

      Kanpai’s other location is in Xintiandi and there is almost always a line there. They are also in the same group as Kanpai Classic on the Bund which is a fine dining version (probably sans RPS). With this new location, it is still easy to walk in and get a table on a weekday.

      The food is pretty standard Japanese style BBQ done well. The service is excellent and the waitstaff can do the actual cooking for you tableside which I think is the way things should be when you eat out. There weren’t any really amazing dishes, but there weren’t any bad dishes which is sometimes even better.

      The main attraction is probably still the entertainment. One of the waiters is also the MC and works the crowd intermittently throughout the meal. About half an hour after the RPS ended, the kissing contest began. The rules are simple, hold a kiss for 10 seconds, and get a free dish of meat. In the traditionally anti-PDA, but pro-free stuff Chinese culture, hilarity ensues. There is a whole wall of photos by the entrance of past kissing contest winners.

      After about another half hour, it was time for the 8 pm social cheers. The MC collects messages from each table about what they are celebrating or happy about leads the entire restaurant in a collective chug (Kanpai!). Some messages were standard birthdays or just getting a table, others reunited old friends or celebrated getting off long or tough days at work. The rules are that everyone who finishes their drinks gets free refills. The reality is that everyone’s a winner and they basically bring everyone a free beer of highball regardless of how much you chugged.

      I’m sure there are some party poopers out there that find this type of restaurant annoyingly akin to the TGI Friday’s of the 90’s where waiters in flare belt out Happy Birthday (which they also do here). This is definitely not a place you want to come to all the time as I’m sure the schtick is the same every day and gets old quick. But despite the constant interruptions by the overly enthusiastic MC and the cheesiness of the whole thing, everyone I saw left smiling. What’s not to like about free beer?

      About 250rmb per person with lots of food and beer/highballs.

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