Food bites: dining news round-up

A new Korean venture from Jean Georges and more openings

Just one of many new Italians in our pages this month, Binjiang Avenue’s Acquolina is helmed by a Japanese chef creating Southern Italian-style dishes such as handmade pappardelle in an Iberian pork and porcini sauce (138RMB) and a superb garoupa (228RMB) with clams bathed in an umami-rich broth. Set on the same strip as TGI Friday’s, the restaurant’s excellent cooking is unfortunately not matched by its design, with blue tablecloths and a thick patterned carpet evoking more of a 1990’s hotel lobby than modern Shanghai, though the huge anemone-filled fish tank does add some life to the scenery.


New fish ’n’ chips shop Angry Fish has joined the fray at 70 Yongkang Lu with a small, utilitarian shop serving a full platter including tasty flounder, cod, onion rings, calamari and chips for 98RMB, plus sandwiches (38RMB) and crêpes (40RMB).


CaliBurger, the cult diner modelled after In-N-Out burger, has expanded from its Hongkou branch to 1818 Nanjing Xi Lu in the new Eco City Mall. This branch serves an expanded drinks menu including craft beers, Californian wines and cocktails in a 200sqm dining room and 150sqm basement-level terrace.


Shanghai is finally getting its ‘first authentic British restaurant’ according to former UK banker Harry Spencer who moved to Shanghai last year expressly to launch Mr Harry. Opening late this month on the fifth floor at 819 Nanjing Xi Lu, Mr Harry’s will serve mainstays like fish ’n’ chips, Sunday roasts, bangers ’n’ mash, Eton Mess and bread and butter pudding. Spencer says that ‘when dining at Mr Harry, clients will feel like they are in Britain.’


Jean Georges Vongerichten’s third Three on the Bund restaurant is set to open later this year. He and his Korean-American wife Marja are collaborating on an upscale Korean restaurant which will take over the defunct Evian spa space. Says Vongerichten, ‘The design is crazy, it’s going to be a very zen restaurant.’ The cuisine will be ‘semi authentic’, he says, with kimchee, stews, soups, noodles and an in-table charcoal grill where diners can cook veggies, chicken and pork as well as wagyu beef, scallop and lobster. He also reveals that they will undertake a full renovation of Jean Georges restaurant in time for its 10th anniversary next year. See for the full interview.


Jia Hotel’s Issimo, part of the successful Salvatore Cuomo Group, has a new chef and concept offering lower costs and more casual cuisine. With new breakfast, lunch, an early bird dinner and an à la carte menu, 26-year-old chef Roby Barazzutti is serving dishes like a brilliant creamy mint, asparagus and goat cheese risotto (98RMB) and crispy calamari with slivers of zucchini and a bright rocket salad (78RMB).


French cafe Patachon has launched a second branch at 207 Mengzi Lu serving French wines, cocktails and a simple menu like an excellent 188RMB cheese and cold cuts platter, fluffy pizzas and luxurious waffles. Their third branch on Dagu Lu, a two-story 320sqm space with a terrace, is also opening soon offering a kids’ playroom where parents can drop off their children upstairs while they enjoy dining on the first floor. Childcare runs 50RMB/hour which includes a kid’s meal, and 150RMB for the whole day.


Finally, Bund 22’s European restaurant Red Door (formerly German brauhaus Brix before that) has transformed into modern Thai restaurant Lotus Red, and a new Vietnamese joint, Pho Co, has opened in a handsome former Concession villa with a generous terrace on Changle Lu.