3 restaurants to try this December

Hot pot, Suzhou noodles and a slew of herb-forward dishes

Photograph: courtesy Terra

Terra

Sparkling like a crown jewel in the Dolomites at an altitude of 1,622 metres, ten-room hotel and spa retreat Terra could not have picked a more polar opposite setting for the second location of its two Michelin-starred restaurant. Neither Reél Mall nor Nanjing Xi Lu scream peace, tranquillity and natural beauty. Tucked in a private, almost speakeasy space behind Urban Harvest, 20-seater Terra Shanghai showers you with course after course – it’s tasting menu only – of herb-forward dishes, accented with the likes of yarrow and woodruff.

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1601 Nanjing Xi Lu

Diantaixiang (电台巷火锅)

Have you ever thought that you’d like to wait four hours for hotpot? If so, then this one’s for you. Besides massively long queues since opening in the early autumn, this hip Chengdu brand has brought its mouth-numbing, tongue-tingling mala hotpot to Hongkou. The vibe is distinctly Chinese retro – green-and-white tiled interior, sturdy metal stool set around tidy hotpot tables and harsh overhead lighting. Besides the usual hotpot suspects, try the restaurant’s house specialities: handmade brown sugar mocha and brown sugar jelly.

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444 Jiangwan Dong Lu

Yuxingji (裕兴记)

Suzhou laozihao (‘time-honoured brand’) noodle shop has opened a location in downtown Shanghai. Arguably the most famous of the city’s noodles spots, the brand claims its origins in the 1600s. Fast forward to today and what Yuxingji is best known for are its shrimp noodles and liang mian huang, a fried noodle dish with tiny peeled shrimp and jelly-like pork tendon. Suzhou’s only a fast train away, but even still Shanghai seems thrilled at Yuxingji’s arrival. Go early or risk items being sold out – and prepare yourself for a queue.

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830 Weihai Lu

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