• Blog
  • Restaurants

Food news: a new tiki bar, 'topless' pies and Homeslice's summer 2019 pizzas

It's really summer, guys

Photograph: Betty Richardson, courtesy Birds of Paradise
Is there anything more summer than tiki? Yao Lu and Austin Hu (Union Trading Company) are embracing Hawaiian prints and tropical drinks at their new tiki cocktail bar Birds of Paradise on Yanping Lu. It opened quietly last month and they’ve been slowly rolling out the menu, with twists on tiki classics like the Zombie and Piña Colada. For eats, there are poke-esque bowls and Spam katsu sliders – so very Hawaii.

Photograph: courtesy Pie Society (English Breakfast pie)

Another question: is there anything more summer than going topless? Pie Society in Jingan has debuted three new pies sans top crust and they all look delightful. There’s an English Breakfast pie stacked high with sausage, bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, baked beans and an egg; a vegan saag paneer pie with spicy mango sweet potato mash; and a three-cheese mac and cheese pie.

Photograph: Cat Nelson (Four Cheese pizza at Homeslice)

Always the event of the season, Homeslice Pizza dropped its summer 2019 collection of new pizzas. The lineup includes a guest chef pizza by Michael Wending (Cuivre) who turned out a Provençal-inspired pizza with spicy sausage, olives, goats’ cheese, pesto and salted lemon; a vodka sauce pizza riffing on the Italian American classic pasta dish; a Catalan pizza with three kinds of Spanish sausages (chorizo, morcilla, salsichon cular), charred leeks and Romesco sauce; and a four-cheese pizza with gorgonzola, provolone piccante, house ricotta and the usual mixed cheese base plus a sesame crust that’s reminiscent of an everything bagel.

Photograph: Cat Nelson (Chuckville)

The team behind Bulldog BBQ on Julu Lu has opened a new, bigger barbecue concept near Laoximen called Chuckville. It’s street-level in a new mall complex fitted out with TVs for screening sports and a large terrace on the second floor. The menu’s expanded slightly from Bulldog with honey-glazed ham and weekend-only beef ribs alongside brisket and pulled pork, all smoked in house. There are also some delightfully tangy buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce and very American fried Oreos.

Casual new bar Jo.bu has popped up on Xinzha Lu with beer, simple cocktails and small Taiwanese bites that Pirata’s Ling Huang consulted on. A small terrace makes for a decent spot to knock back a few beers with fried chicken or a bowl of cold sesame noodles.

Photograph: Cat Nelson (Black fideua at Mercado)

Refreshes are happening around town. Indian fine dining spot The Tandoor in the Jin Jiang Hotel, which has remarkably been around since the early 90s, has re-opened with a new menu after renovations. Mercado 505 at Huashan and Wulumuqi Lu has undergone another kitchen transformation, with Aitor Olabegoya (formerly of Migas in Beijing) reshaping the food programme and launching a new brunch this weekend that’s 528RMB for two people, with a selection of oysters, Cinco Jotas (5J) ham, eggs with squid and a choice of scallop and red prawn black fideua or chicken artichoke paella amongst other dishes. In a freakishly temperate summer (no complaints here), it’s still very much terrace weather for brunching and Mercado has an ace one.

Lots happening on the long strip of Anfu Lu between Wulumuqi and Huashan Lu. Outdated wine bar Sideways has closed and the space is being gutted – let’s see what slides in there. Further down, Wagas has opened a downtown location of its new(ish) brand Funk & Kale, the first outpost which opened earlier this year in Gubei. It’s already teeming with fledging KOLs (where isn’t on that street) brunching on ‘Happiness Bowls’, loosely inspired by poke.

IMG_6465 2
Photograph: Cat Nelson (hot smoked salmon at BOR)

Upstairs, the group has given Kasper Pedersen his new kingdom BOR. Pedersen helmed the kitchen of Pelikan for two years before shuttering it last month and opening what feels like a more personal project. At Pelikan, you’d always find the very personable Danish chef visiting every table throughout the night; at BOR, he’s put the kitchen directly in the dining room, giving it an ultra-homey vibe. For dishes, think hot-smoked salmon with sweet mustard, grilled sardines with almonds, parsley and a squeeze of lemon and barbecued smoked ribs with sour apple.

Finally, at the end of the block where Anfu meets Huashan Lu, excellent bakery Luneurs has opened a second location slinging flaky croissants and salted caramel ice cream cones that scream summer.

Read more