Part of the growing development of food stops on Yuyuan Dong Lu, just behind the newly opened Crystal Galleria mall
, the Canadian owned Co. Cheese is Shanghai's first dedicated grilled cheese restaurant serving more than 20 varieties of the not-so-humble cheese toasty.
At night, the small wood-clad space with now-obligatory exposed filament lightbulbs twinkling has the feel of a cosy, warming log cabin and there's a small terrace out front for warmer weather. There is just enough space for around 12 people to sit around the bar and few high top tables, while out back there's a petite kitchen with a griddle, hot plate and not much more.
The menu starts with The Classic (20RMB), a basic but satisfying mix of processed cheese on plain white bread. There's also the option to upgrade your cheese (Swiss, cheddar, mozzarella, 10-20RMB) as well as add additional fillings such as ham, pickles and chillis.
At the top end of the menu there are more 'gourmet' sandwiches served on a light and tasty sourdough bread. We like the Number One, filled with ham, pickles and Swiss cheese (42RMB) as well as The Green Goddess, with avocado, spinach and feta cheese (45RMB). For more adventurous palates, try the localised varieties such as a hongshao rou melt, or a Hunan Pork with mozzarella.
Portions are decent but a touch too thin for a filling meal, so for a proper feast try the mighty Mac 'n' Cheese , a gooey, inch thick monster of a bite. Alongside the cheese melts there are decent sized bowls of Campbell's tomato or chicken soup (15RMB) for dunking.
On the drinks side, there's a good selection of bottled beers, whiskey and pickleback shots as well as unusual alcoholic bowls of cereal, we particularly like the Cap'n Crunch with Bailey's milk.