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10 legit dining deals at China Restaurant Week 2020

DiningCity's biannual restaurant fest is back with 25 days of bargain prix-fixe menus and priority booking for Time Out readers

Photograph: Cat Nelson (Temacos at HIYA)
As Shanghai's eating and drinking scene slowly returns to normal after a gruelling winter, DiningCity's biannual restaurant fest China Restaurant Week is back with its bumper spring edition and good reason to crawl out of hibernation. This time, there's almost a month of prix-fixe menu deals from some of the finest chefs in the city from Thursday 30 April to Sunday 24 May. Whether you're looking for an excuse to revisit an old favourite, check out a splashy new spot, or you just love a bargain, here are ten brilliant (and delicious) deals.

Some small print: All prices are listed per person (starting from 78RMB for lunch) and seats tend to go quickly (since American Express presale opened on April 22, a few restaurants are already listed as fully booked). Booking officially opens to the public on Tuesday 28 April, but Time Out readers can get in early with priority booking from 2pm on Monday 27 by scanning the QR code below.

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Bird

What: A neighbourhood wine bar and kitchen from unstoppable Shanghai restaurateur Camden Hauge. 
Why go: For playful, inventive eats and a drink list to match in effortlessly cool surrounds.
Menu highlights: Mala chicken Sloppy Joe, pork belly vindaloo with kaffir leaf bánh xèo, smoked zucchini with Z-Rou pâté, mapo tofu with mashed potato and cheese crust, yuzu posset.

108RMB (lunch); 198RMB (dinner).

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50 Wuyuan Lu

Canton Table

What: Classy Cantonese restaurant set in the historic Three on the Bund building. 
Why go: Sparkling Bund views, Shanghai shikumen-inspired decor and signature Cantonese dishes with a few modern touches.
Menu highlights: Deep-fried salt and pepper hargow, honey glazed barbecue pork, crispy crab claw, chilled sago cream with pomelo.

138RMB (lunch); 288RMB (dinner). Plus 10 percent service charge. 

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3 Zhongshan Dong Yi LuOnline booking

Colca (North Bund)

What: The second location of Shanghai veteran chef Eduardo Vargas' fantastic Peruvian concept. 
Why go: On their 'Peruvian food adventure', Vargas and executive chef Oscar Beltran give the classics a contemporary twist without straying too far from tradition. 
Menu highlights: Octopus al Josper, lomo anticuchero, Peruvian flan.

108RMB (lunch); 198RMB (dinner). Sharing menus for a minimum of two people. 

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588 Dongchangzhi Lu

Heritage by Madison

What: Refined small plates from ‘king of comfort food’ Austin Hu. 
Why go: Hu pays homage to flavours from his childhood (spent across Shanghai, Japan and the US) with delightful results.
Menu highlights: Golden rye mantou and edamame hummus, Hokkaido uni puff, beef tartar cups, Chongqing hot chicken, halibut with kimchi bouillabaisse.

138RMB (lunch); 288RMB (dinner).

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600 Zhongshan Dong Er LuOnline booking

HIYA

What: A Japanese izakaya-inspired gem from well-known restaurateur Jason Atherton, set on the 27th floor of The Shanghai EDITION.
Why go: While its sister venues Canton Disco and Shanghai Tavern remain temporarily shuttered, HIYA’s prix-fixe menu brings a mash-up of greatest hits from all three.
Menu highlights: Seared salmon temaco (HIYA), braised beef cheek (Shanghai Tavern), pineapple ‘carpaccio’ and coconut sorbet (Canton Disco).

228RMB (lunch); 388RMB (dinner).

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199 Nanjing Dong LuOnline booking

Mercato

What: Relaxed-but-classy Italian dining from celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Why go: Black truffle pizza. Mercato’s best-selling dish (for good reason), a chewy pizza crust is topped with a layer of Italian truffle, a three-cheese mix and a cracked egg. After taking a turn in the wood-fired oven, it’s showered with shavings of fresh black truffle. 
Menu highlights: House-made ricotta with strawberry compote and grilled bread, black truffle pizza, porcini-crusted salmon. 

288RMB (dinner; sharing menu for a minimum of two people). Plus 10 percent service charge.

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3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
Online booking

The Commune Social

What: Small plates, desserts and cocktails in beautiful Neri & Hu-designed surrounds.
Why go: For gorgeous dishes and a whole new outlook on just how good a dessert can be.  
Menu highlights: Salted cured tuna, Ibérico pork and foie gras burgers, eggplant ‘tonkatsu’, brown buttered wagyu meatballs, banoffee cake, lemon meringue with basil sorbet, PB&J (peanut ice cream, red fruit, salted peanut caramel).

138RMB (lunch); 198RMB (brunch, weekend only); 288RMB (dinner). Sharing menus for a minimum of two people. 

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511 Jiangning Lu

Tomatito

What: The el Willy group’s ‘sexy’ tapas lounge serving up home-style Spanish bites.
Why go: This lively restaurant offers nothing but good vibes and a sprawling terrace that overlooks Xintiandi’s Taipingqiao Park.
Menu highlights: Gambas al ajillo, salmón TNT 2.0, filete con airbag, paella de marisco, spinach and Manchego croquetas (off-menu vegetarian options also available on request).

108RMB (lunch); 198RMB (dinner). 

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168 Hubin LuOnline booking

Yongfoo Elite

What: Two Michelin-starred Shanghainese cuisine.
Why go: Set in a 1930s villa in Old Xuhui housing the owner’s private antique collection, capped off with Secret Garden-style grounds, YongFoo Élite’s stunning location makes it worth a visit alone. 
Menu highlights: Keemun tea-smoked cod, sous-video smoked beef, chicken and pork fermented in huangjiu.

298RMB (lunch); 498RMB (dinner). Plus 15 percent service charge. 

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200 Yongfu Lu

The 1515 West Chophouse

What: A high-end steakhouse at the Jing’An Shangri La Hotel.
Why go: From its marbled cuts aged in-house through to its stunning leather and dark wood bar and open kitchen fronted by a flaming grill, this stylish steakhouse doesn’t miss a beat. 
Menu highlights: Black Angus tenderloin, grilled beef tongue, pan-fried cuttlefish, deep-fried Snickers.

138RMB (lunch); 288RMB (dinner). Plus 10 percent service charge and 6 percent VAT.

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1218 Yanan Zhong LuOnline booking

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