Eggs and free-flow: 7 new brunches for your radar

Eggs Benny capped with caviar, masala sausage rolls and lots more

Photograph: courtesy Grand Bands
Terms attached to brunch in Shanghai like institution, church, religion and the like may feel a little tired at times but there’s no denying that brunch is a quintessential part of living here. And while we don't hear the end of it, this breakfast/lunch-hybrid never gets old with new restaurants regularly joining the mix. Here’s seven fresh menus in town worth testing for a weekend of early boozing and egg-based gluttony.
KLAY
Photograph: courtesy Klay

KLAY

Over-ordering is pretty much a given when it comes to brunch at KLAY – even when with clocking in with a large crew. Bold statement? Take a peek at the menu of creative Indian-influenced comfort eats conjured up by Head Chef Hardeep Somal (formerly of The Bull & Claw) and you’ll see what we mean: there’s chicken tikka mac and cheese, Keralan fried chicken with curry mayonnaise, homemade lamb masala sausage rolls and a plate of Raji pancakes glitzed up with caramel banana and rice pudding ice cream – and that’s before even getting into the curries (the red crab showered in aromatic spices needs a mention). 


On the drinks front, while classic cocktails like espresso martinis, mimosas and the rest are all available for a day’s boozing (60RMB each) along with bottles of wine (two for 388RMB, three for 588RMB), those steering clear of the sauce won’t feel left out – the lassis (mango and saffron, strawberry or salted) are worthy substitutes.

When 11am-3pm, Saturday-Sunday.

Something
Photograph: courtesy Something

Something

Spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon in Craig Willis’ new restaurant Something and you won’t want to leave – not only because another Monday morning awaits. Offering a little bit of summer escapism, the roomy industrial interior – dappled with sunlight through greenhouse-esque windows – lays the groundwork for a long and lazy brunch session with a menu that draws inspiration from across the region. There’s the katsu sandwich stuffed with fried chicken, eggslaw and pickles, seafood salad drizzled in bloody Mary dressing, French oysters and a health-conscious take on steak and eggs that’s served beside broccolini, mushrooms and ox heart tomatoes.


There’s no free-flow deal, but the cocktails deserve more than just being chinned in 20-minute rounds anyway. The Wake Up (88RMB) sees a boozy hit of rum, Frangelico and Patrón XO Cafe mixed with espresso and garnished with sea salt, while the Cheese & Mary (88RMB) fits jalapeño and parmesan into the famous breakfast drink – both strong enough to bring you out of any midday slumber.

When 10am-4.30pm, Saturday-Sunday.

Grand Banks
Photograph: courtesy Grand Banks

Grand Banks

This lavish lounge on The Bund has been turning heads with its aristocratic appearance and dramatic hundred-year-old setting and and it's set to impress again with its new refined brunch – you'll want to dress up for this one. This isn’t your average Joe on the cheap free-flow, instead it’s more of a champagne-with-a-live-cellist affair (live music rotates and happens monthly). The food can be fancy, in the mounds of caviar on poached eggs with salmon sort of way, but also fun – like the up-market take on a ham and cheese toastie that encases gooey Comté cheese and sliced Ibérico chorizo served with a smooth pumpkin soup. 


Sets come in two (268RMB) and three-courses (328RMB) and include a non-alcoholic drink like a coffee, tea or clarified juice but adding a breakfast cocktail (88RMB) would be a wise move. Those trying to put a lid on a late night can look to the Nutty Coffee, an ice-cold blend of toasted almond and cashew, Barcardi, blossom water and espresso that’s a classy morning pick-me-up if there ever was one.

When 11am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday.

The Smokehouse x The Camel
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler

The Smokehouse x The Camel

The Camel recently got a leg-up on the competition for Shanghai sports bar supremacy with the addition of Kansas-style barbecue king Matty Waters, who has re-jigged the food menu with his signature low and slowed-cooked meats. The new-and-improved brunch offerings have been given the smoky makeover too with hangover-slaying dishes like two sturdy pieces of fried chicken sitting atop honey maple-glazed waffles, tacos filled with brisket, scrambled eggs and bourbon butter onions and a morning-after burger that’s teamed with hash browns, fried egg, grilled onions and a juicy beef patty. 


If you’re in it for the long haul, there are free-flow drinks deals that run until 3pm, one of which includes a must-get bloody Mary (70RMB on its own) garnished with crispy bacon – all now making The Camel a space where sports fans might actually have a shot at convincing friends to ditch regular Sunday brunch plans in favour of catching up on last night’s game.

When 11am-3pm, Saturday-Sunday.

Bubba's Food Co.
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler

Bubba's Food Co.

Re-introduced in May, brunch at temple to Texan barbecue Bubba's in Shankang Li does a solid job at catering to carnivores. Breakfast staples like eggs Benedict are served with made-from-scratch Southern biscuits and beefed-up by USDA prime brisket, while those who want their tacos in the am can expand on a cheese and egg base with meaty goodies from the smoker like house-cured bacon, chorizo and brisket. Alternatively, trust the hype and roll with the restaurant’s signature The Matador that packs in spicy ground beef together with a fried egg, hash browns and hot sauce. 


When weather permits, wheel that food-coma haze into the courtyard where owner and Texas-native Ken Walker mans the grill for wood-flamed specials like chilli dogs, smoked Texas hot gut sausage and applewood-grilled burgers. For booze, there are deals on beer but the free-flow brigade will need to arrange in advance (usually in group packages, 188RMB for three hours per person).

When Midday-3pm, Saturday-Sunday (brunch); 3-6pm (courtyard barbecue happy hour).

Smaka Bakery & Bistro
Photograph: Smaka Bakery & Bistro

Smaka Bakery & Bistro

One of Shanghai’s best kept brunch secrets, Swedish bakery turned brightly lit bistro Smaka should be on your radar. The atmosphere is animated while unobtrusive, the service all smiles and on sunny days the patio is well-placed for people watching over a tiramisu latte in SOHO Plaza. The menu is stamped with photo-friendly Scandinavian-inspired fare that you’ll wolf down before even bothering with a picture like a räkmacka (an open-faced sandwich) topped with hand-peeled shrimp and creamy seafood salad, medium-cooked eggs and gravlax on guacamole-smeared syrup bread, Nutella pancakes with Swedish brownie or a roast beef sandwich oozing with truffle parmesan sauce between two slices of sourdough. 


If that sounds a touch heavy, there’s a range of a hand-pressed juices on offer each named after Swedish cities – like the Stockholm with beetroot, ginger, orange, lime, apple and carrot – alongside power bowls filled with yogurt and mixed berries or avocado, almond milk and honey that’ll have you feeling as a fit as a Viking on a cleanse.

When 10.30am-7pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-8pm, Saturday-Sunday.

Mikkeller (Xintiandi)
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler

Mikkeller (Xintiandi)

The Danish craft beer bar’s new brunch isn’t beating around the bush with what it’s trying to achieve: curing your hangover. Pick your remedy from choices like eggs on sourdough with shaven foie gras terrine, a breakfast muffin stuffed with Danish bacon, sausage, a fried egg and cheese, or (if you’re really reeling) an OTT burger packed with two beef patties, beef short rib and creamy mac n cheese oozin out from the sides.


When 11am-2pm, Saturday-Sunday. 

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