Brazilian chef recommends regular hang-out venues
Brazilian Victor Vieira, who is the head chef at Tomatito Shanghai, has developed a deep affection for the city's culture, people, and, most importantly, food. Having been in Shanghai for 12 years, his journey has taken him from being a creative director in advertising to becoming a runner up on TV reality show Masterchef, having then made a definite move into the kitchen. Before landing as head chef at Tomatito, he worked in many kitchens around the country (and the world), and has been an active foodie personality on Instagram, amassing 95,600 followers that share his passion for food.
Introduce the neighborhood you live in.
I live in that limbo area between Jing'an and Xuhui districts, My home is on Changshu Road, close to Julu Road, with easy access to Fumin and Wulumuqi roads.
What's the best thing about living in this neighborhood?
The best thing about living in this area is that you are literally in the middle of everything! Everything is walking distance from home. And If it's not walking distance than it's not worth going (that's my rule). In my opinion, this area really is the bull's eye of what is happening in town.
What's the unmissable attraction here?
When you walk around these streets it's impossible to miss the vibrant F&B scene. There are literally hundreds of cafes (maybe thousands), new bars popping up everywhere, excellent restaurants and many things happening all around you in general.
Each person may have different stands, but they all want a great café. What's your favorite café near home?
There are so many little trendy spots around here … every time you see people queuing randomly at Wulumuqi Road, you can be sure that there's a new café there. I love the convenience of grabbing a coffee on the go at Manner Café because they are literally everywhere, but my favorite places to stop and chill are: Dufour (243-7 Wulumuqi Rd M. 乌鲁木齐中路243号-7), because I love to stop and watch the people go by on the busy street and bump into friends coming or going from the Avocado Lady across the street, and Egg (12 Xiangyang Rd N. 襄阳北路12号), which is very intimate and cozy.
Where to eat around here?
Everywhere! There's food for every taste around here, local or Western. My usual spots are LoonFung House (Bldg 7-8, 889 Julu Rd 巨鹿路889号7-8号楼) for my favorite dim sum in town. I also love the sushi lunch set at Meiji Kyoto.(913 Julu Rd 巨鹿路913号). My favorite Sichuan restaurant is this small place called Sanhe (354 Wulumuqi Rd M. 乌鲁木齐中路354号), which offers the best mapo tofu in town. Oha Eatery (23 Anfu Rd 安福路23号) is also nice for dinner if you are with a petit comité. I get my French baguette every day at Four Douceur (79 Changshu Rd) and I'm always grabbing a kebab on the go at Eli Falafel (294 Wulumuqi Rd M. 乌鲁木齐中路294号), or an Ice cream for my baby daughter at that small almost hidden place Dip in Gelato (205 Fumin Rd 富民路205号) For late night after party food, I often head to Brother BBQ (No.18, Lane 339 Changle Rd 长乐路339弄18号).
From high fashion to emerging designers, from flowers to fresh produce, where do you shop in your neighborhood?
My absolute number one shop in Shanghai is in this area, Avocado Lady! (274 Wulumuqi Rd M. 乌鲁木齐中路274号). As someone who cooks Western food, I'm a regular! I buy my flowers from the flower guy who always appears at the corner of Changle and Fumin roads. Wine shops are everywhere but I like to visit LivingWines (1/F, Lane 816 Changle Rd 长乐路816弄1楼) from time to time to check on their good French wine selection. There's also this lovely pottery store I really like - Gathering (198-200 Wulumuqi Rd M. 乌鲁木齐中路198-200号). Every time I pass by its window, I have to come in to check out their cute pots and plates, thinking of what I could plate in them.
Any neighborhood place for a night out or simply a drink after work?
It's impossible to miss what me and my friends call "the corner", which is the corner of Changle and Fumin roads a.k.a. Cantina Agave (291 Fumin Rd 富民路291号) and Funkadeli (291 Fumin Rd 富民路291号). I am always having an after work drink there because there's always someone to say hi to. I go often to RAC Bar (Bldg 6 322 Anfu Rd 安福路322号6幢) as well for some wine and quick bites. Bar Lotus (758 Julu Rd 巨鹿路758号) is always a good option for a nicely crafted cocktail. I also like to just sit at Plan B (77 Xiangyang Rd N. 襄阳北路77号) to have a beer on the sidewalk looking at people go by.
Any new discovery in your neighborhood lately?
Everyday there's a new discovery! All you have to do is walk. Leave the scooter aside and go by foot, you will for sure find a new little café, a little trendy shop or a discreet little cool bar opening in one of these beautiful streets.