Satisfy your appetite in stylish Shanghai
Shanghai is China's capital of all things cosmopolitan, and this extends to its food. Here are three popular eateries when you're visiting the city.
Goga, 1 Yueyang Lu, near Taojiang Lu; Tel: +86 21 6431 9700
Shanghai's most beloved Western restaurant is also its tiniest, with just 20 seats. Chef Brad Turley, dressed in his Hawaiian shirt, is in the kitchen every night whipping up California/Asian fusion, like miso broiled black cod and tuna tataki. There are two sittings per night and tables soon book out. To appease his hungry, loyal followers, Turley opened Hai by Goga, on the rooftop of the hotel, right behind Goga. The menu is similar, with a focus on sharing. At either venue, be sure to order the off-menu blue cheese burger, whose juicy, tender meat is offset by crispy garlic fries.
Bao Luo, 271 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu; Tel: +86 21 5403 7239
If you can find this ramshackle restaurant, you'll be rewarded
with authentic, expertly done Shanghai cuisine with a side of noise. The tables are squeezed tightly together and between the clinking of beers, tapping of chopsticks and squawking of other diners, it's a symphony of satisfaction. Perpetually packed, Bao Luo is the ultimate in cheap and cheerful dining. Sublime steamed broccoli (xi lan hua), sweet-and-sour fried fish (songshu luyu) and the must-for-gluttons braised pork belly (hong shaorou) will all call out to you.
Alchemist, Sinan Mansions, No. 32, 45 Sinan Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu; Tel: +86 21 6426 0660
This is the house molecular gastronomy built, where sauvignon blanc fog, jalapeno-gribiche emulsion, and micro amaranth come together. Though there's a full dinner menu of American-sized dishes, it's the well-curated list of bar bites that beckons and pairs best with Alchemist's craft cocktails. The red miso-fried chicken, with passion fruit mustard aioli, caramelised pumpkin seeds and roast pumpkin is tops, but you won't forget the to-die-for 'eggwiches'. Served on squares of buttered toast slathered in arugula and Raclette pesto, the sous-vide yolks are sprinkled with sea salt, ready to melt in your mouth.