Fresh feasts for summer
This season, you may find yourself seeking a quick antidote to an appetite sapped by the steamy summer weather. Here, some of the city’s finest restaurants showcase their latest splendor in an array of zesty, mouth-watering dishes from hotpot to sashimi, from barbecue to caviar.
At Xintiandi area, this Sichuan spicy hotpot restaurant offers an elevated epicurean experience with high-quality ingredients and a range of base soups.
Hotpot frequently represents a challenge to those unused to spicy food, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other novel soup bases here, such as sliced fish and tomato, chicken, and truffle with wild mushroom. You can also order a double hotpot, one half spicy and the other more laid-back.
The signature chili soup uses red chilis, Sichuan pepper, star anise, cinnamon and several other spices stewed for hours with butter and beef bone.
Hotpot gourmets cook the meat before the vegetables. Yanzhi's signature Wagyu beef is imported from Australia. The best sellers are M5 Wagyu sirloin, M5 Wagyu ribeye, M6 beef brisket and M9 Wagyu rib cap — fresh and tender. The fatty part is tasty without being greasy.
Seafood lovers can choose to add imported sliced grouper, eel, Alaska crab, sea whelk, geoduck clam, lobster and shrimp into the hotpot.
Do not miss the Sichuan specialities — fresh beef trachea, pork aorta, beef tripe, duck intestine and bean curd.
The restaurant has a private dining room with an exclusive bar for 12 people and eight booths for six, perfect for families and friends. And the staff members are ready to help with the cooking process and even to shelling shrimp and crab. There are two kinds of dipping sauce: the youdie (the oil saucer) is basically sesame oil with chopped garlic, while the gandie (the dry saucer) is a mixture of several powdered spices.
Opening hours: 11:30am-12pm
Address: 2/F, 9 Jinan Rd
To add some summer luxury to your tongue, Shanghai Tang has introduced a new caviar menu at 788 yuan (US$114) per person.
Start with an appetizer plate featuring sliced crispy pork neck, white asparagus salad and shrimp, all topped with caviar. A true breath of fresh air on any sultry day.
The chef gets inspiration from the subtle flavor of caviar and seasonal ingredients from Jiangnan area (south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River). Before the soup and main courses, oysters arrive with caviar (of course) and topped with a spume of tom yum goong foam. Jamon iberico is an optional extra.
The highlights of main courses are the braised Wagyu marbled beef topped with caviar, and crispy Peking duck with sliced hawthorn cake and imperial caviar. You will be absolutely blown away by this exceptional twist on the classic recipe.
And of course no meal can be complete without dessert.
Shanghai Tang brings peach gum, or taojiao, crystalized sap secreted from the bark of peach trees. It is also known as “tears of peach blossom” because of the amber-like appearance. Not only is this dessert excellently plated and as much a feast for eyes as it is for the mouth, it is reputed to have many medicinal effects, including toning the spleen. Rich in collagen, the nourishing gum is considered to have almost mystical beautifying powers by women in China. Be sure not to miss out on this rare opportunity to try this mouth-watering postprandial pick me up.
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 5:30-9:30pm
Address:5/F, Bldg N3, 600 Zhongshan Rd E2
High-quality meat demands high-quality charcoal as Tsingtao1903 at Laomatou (old dock area) knows only too well.
This yakiniku (Japanese grill) and beer restaurant uses only the highest quality materials. It is an ideal place to shoot the summer breeze with friends, and the experience is not diminished in any way by the amazing night view over the Huangpu River.
Australian Wagyu beef ranks in quality from M4 to M14. Typically, M4 beef requires between 200 to 350 days of feeding whereas grade M14 beef requires a minimum of 800 days. M14 beef is about as exquisite as a piece of cow flesh can get, and only about 5 percent of beef makes the grade.
Here you can choose the M10 or M12 sirloin, beef short rib and various steaks. You can feel the beef melt upon contact with your tongue, one of the most pure and flavorful sensations that will ever seep across your taste buds. Moreover, less expensive cuts including the thick-cut beef tongue, abdominal meat and shoulder chops are highly recommended.
For seafood lovers, the restaurant receives daily shipments straight from New Zealand. There are sea urchins, white shrimp and many other fishy delights.
Beer lovers will definitely try the special cocktails made with Tsingtao beer including Romulan Ale, Mark III, Mango Tsingtao Rita and Orange Spritz.
Opening hours: 11am-9:30pm
Address: Rm 206, 601 Waima Rd
At Sinan Mansion, Huaiyang cuisine comes with multiple twists. One of the four great traditions in Chinese cuisine, Huaiyang is derived from cooking styles of the lower reaches of the Huaihe and Yangtze rivers.
This season, the chef has prepared high-quality huiyu (also called Yangtze herring, and a specialty for the Yangtze River) menu. Huiyu becomes particularly fatty and tasty in the summer.
The restaurant has selected four of the most popular time-honored ways to cook the fish in order to retain the original taste. Moreover, the chef chooses only the highest-quality huiyu, distinguished by their less earthy taste and delicate texture, and steams it simply with spring onion, ginger and a little salt.
The highlights of the menu are braised huiyu meat, steamed huiyu meat with egg white and bayberry, huiyu and tofu soup and huiyu xiaolongbao (a traditional Shanghai little steamed bun).
Besides, bayberry, a topping of the steamed huiyu meat, is a quick antidote to appetites sapped by summer heat. The berries contain thiamine, riboflavin, minerals and high levels of vitamin C. The huiyu soup is simple, tasty and healthy. Tofu is added for extra body.
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
Address: 539 Fuxing Rd M.
The newly opened Lang Yue at Lujiazui is a sashimi and sake restaurant. The large outdoor garden is perfect for holding event or gathering with friends.
Walking into the restaurant, you will be attracted by a huge shrimp installation on the wall and a 4-meter-long jellyfish tank. The assorted sashimi features imported salmon, seabream, yellowtail, flatfish, tuna, clams, oysters, live urchin and scallops. The highlight of this platter is peony shrimp sashimi. When you finish the dish, the heads of the shrimp can be cooked in soup. The executive chef who has more than 10 years' catering experience in Japan makes sure everything is as fresh as can be.
If you like cooked seafood, you can try the grilled snow crab legs or have them in a hotpot. The hetun, or puffer fish, set is made in three ways: sashimi, fried and hotpot. The sukiyaki for two to four people is also very popular.
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
Address: 10 Fucheng Rd