The dust has settled and the winners from the latest edition of DiningCity's biannual eating fest China Restaurant Week have been announced and given an extended run around Shanghai for the next two weeks (until Sunday 25). That means more time to revel in the magic of dining at some of the city’s top restaurants while not having to worry (as much) about the deep hole that's burning through your wallet. Here are seven of our picks – ticking the key boxes that are fine food and great value – that you can't miss.
Photograph: courtesy Shanghai Tavern
You could probably spend a whole day eating at the Shanghai Edition’s lavish take on the British brasserie (and we wouldn’t fault you for it) but brunch is your best Restaurant Week bet if you’ve only got time for one meal. It’s your cheapest chance to sample the mac and cheese topped with braised beef blade (normally 248RMB; à la carte) while adding further layers of excess to the meal through a choice of an egg-based dish (crab eggs Benedict, eggs royale and more), access to the semi-buffet and two complimentary oysters upon arrival.
Shanghai Tavern First Floor, The Shanghai EDITION, 199 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Henan Lu. 318RMB (brunch); 178RMB (lunch); 298RMB (dinner).
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler
Hakkasan's menu for Restaurant Week is lunch-only and is also a steal at 148RMB. While it’s likely the most cost-effective route to dining at Bund 18's classy Cantonese restaurant, it’s also a popular one (there are currently only a few spaces left). The five-course menu begins with a starter (opt for the colourful dim sum trio) before moving onto mains (choose between stir-fried black pepper NZ rib-eye, Chilean sea bass claypot or slow-cooked chicken with soy), a vegetable dish, beef fried rice and dessert to finish.
Hakkasan Fifth Floor, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu. 148RMB (plus 10 percent service).
Photograph: Cat Nelson
The refined but relaxed Italian at Three on the Bund has been around for a while now and never dissapoints. For Restaurant Week, taste its greatest hits like the black truffle pizza, panko-crusted eggplant parmesan and house-made ricotta with strawberry through a seven-course sharing menu (designed for two people) or go early for its recent brunch offerings that are capped off with French toast with caramelised apple and gelato.
Mercato Sixth Floor, Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu. 188RMB (brunch); 358RMB (dinner).
Photograph: courtesy Wanda Reign on the Bund
Feast like a king and leave looking like one as well (watch the belly) at the Wanda Reign hotel's glammed up all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner buffet. Naturally, options are aplenty but we recommend making a dash for the carving station with rib-eye steak and roasted chicken, while leaving room at the end for the homemade gelato. Complementing the food are some very swanky surrounds – think glass-stained chandeliers and crystal-adorned walls.
Café Reign First Floor, Wanda Reign on the Bund, 538 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Fuyou Lu. 148RMB (lunch); 298RMB (dinner).
Photograph: courtesy Kathleen's Waitan
Pair those always-dazzling Bund views at Kathleen’s with beef wellington or handmade pasta with Yunnan truffles for its Restaurant Week Winner's deal. Lunch and dinner sets are available so you can soak up the skyline under both the sun and the Lujiazui lights. Other menu standouts include seared king scallops and meringue chiffon (lunch) plus caviar translucent slow-cooked eggs (dinner).
Kathleen's Waitan Fifth Floor, 453 Waima Lu, near Maojiayuan Lu. 198RMB (lunch); 398RMB (dinner).
Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe
Eduardo Vargas’ playful Peruvian eatery always pulls out all the stops for Restaurant Week and this year’s no different. Expect to leave still lusting for more, even after navigating a lengthy multi-course sharing menu that’s rife with the restaurant signatures like ceviche, tuna steak, octopus al josper, Lima-style beef stew and Vargas’ famed flan.
Colca Second Floor, 199 Hengshan Lu, near Yongjia Lu. 149RMB (lunch); 298RMB (dinner).
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Photograph: courtesy L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at this Bund-side French fine-dining stalwart at a price that might not make you baulk (yes, it’s still not cheap). Usually taking you into four digits, both Restaurant Week lunch and dinner six-course menus are 698RMB (plus 10 percent service) and feature standouts like Le Raviola (ravioli stuffed with carbonara sauce and asparagus) and the photo-friendly La Pomme De Terre Roseval (confit potatoes with lightly smoked foie gras shavings). Just be warned, nabbing a seat is tough with availability dropping in and out.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu. 688RMB (lunch and dinner, plus 10 percent service).