This massive, minimalist warehouse of a Japanese restaurant is easy to miss; look for an unmarked doorway in the gray wall and follow the bamboo-lined path beyond. Shintori has remained immensely popular since opening in 2002, more for its hip decor and vibe -- lofty ceilings, fully-open kitchen, polished concrete warehouse interior -- than its passable food. There's a wine list in place of sake or shochu and English-speaking staff. Expect some sticker shock on the prices.
Shintori was one of the first nice Japanese restaurants I visited when I came to Shanghai the first time around 15 years ago. Given how restaurants don’t seem to make it past the first year very much in this town, it’s amazing that this place has now been open for 20 years.
We were in the neighborhood so stopped by for an early dinner. The place was completely empty, and we were able to get a table with no reservation on a weekend.
The décor is the coolest part of this place. The kitchen is completely open air and you can see the chefs working clearly from almost any table in the restaurant. There are also private(ish) rooms upstairs. The place is super dark and basically decorated like the secret lair of a super villain.
I thought the food was overall very good. It is a higher end type place with higher end type prices, but everything was executed flawlessly and the presentation even on simple dishes was a nice touch. Even the fried chicken had a really nice garnish of a split pea with the peas still attached to the pod.
If you want unique Japanese, you should go to Hiya. If you want a place filled with Japanese people, you should go to Gubei. But if you want to stay close to the area and have a nice meal, you should go here.
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