Top Ten Taste Experiences in Shanghai

Aside from their passion for politics and the economy, Shanghainese can often be found in search of delicious flavors of foods. Shanghai is a city which integrates various flavors from all over the world, a paradise for food-obsessed people. Here is a list of the top ten food flavors in Shanghai that you cannot miss.

1. The Most Authentic Spanish Restaurant

Why does this young restaurant, with less than a year’s history, claimed itself as "the best Spanish restaurant" in Shanghai, or even "the best foreign restaurant" in Shanghai? The name with golden tooling on the plaque outside the restaurant provides us a clear answer – it is a restaurant "by Martin Berasategui". Martin Berasategui is a prominent Michelin-three-starred chef, and one of the top four celebrity chefs in Saint Sebastian in Spain. One of the 50 world-recognized dream restaurants in Spain is named after him. Now Mr. Berasategui has opened a restaurant in China and sent his chief apprentice to take control. All dishes are authentically Spanish with menus regularly handled by Mr. Berasategui to make sure the replacement frequency and diversity of dishes synchronize with his restaurant in Spain. The perfect culinary skills and delectable taste win numerous customers, and even the Spanish consulates attendance at the restaurant few times a week.

  • Specialty: Goose liver, and cod fish cooked by chef’s recipes.
  • Address: Martin Restaurant (马丁餐厅) in Hengshan Road, inside the lawn of Xujiahui Central Plaza. (徐汇区衡山路811号徐家汇中心广场绿地内 马丁餐厅)
  • Tel.: 021-64319811 64316639

2. The Most Delicate Tempura

Karaku is not an ordinary Japanese restaurant. It appeals to customers who are so fond of Japanese cuisine and Japanese eating cultures as to ignore the high cost.

The chef of the restaurant is of the fifth generation of the time-honored Japanese restaurant – Ippoh, which has preserved the traditional Kansai flavor of tempura for over 150 years. Karaku, from its decoration to its service, delivers original Japanese culture to its customers.

Karaku is a set-meal-based restaurant, but you can order dishes separately if you like. The specialty is tempura, which inherits its great flavor from generations ago. Other special foods include sashimis, consommé, and roast Japanese beef. The set meals use the freshest seasonal produce providing customers with a superlative crispy and light taste.

  • Specialty: Tempura set meal
  • Address: Karaku restaurant (花乐) in 2421 Xietu Road, near South Wanping Road 汇区斜土路2421号4号楼(近宛平南路)
  • Tel.: 021-64383822 64688922

3. The Most Delicious Double-Stewed Soup

Manchuria Chinese restaurant, on the upstairs floor of Club Vietnam, is a Cantonese-cuisine-based restaurant, which provides delicate and exquisite luxurious foods. The chef is an experienced cook from a renowned luxury hotel in Beijing.

It advertises "unmixed Cantonese cuisine", and the double-stewed soup tastes unsurpassed. The Manchurian chicken in red skin is a toasted chicken with crispy skin and tender meat inside. And their conch flesh tossed with mango is ample in your mouth with a sweet flavor.

  • Specialties: Manchurian chicken in red skin, and conch flesh tossed with mango
  • Address: Manchuria Chinese restaurant (满洲中华料理) in 889 Julu Road, near Changshu Road. (静安区巨鹿路889号11-12幢3-4楼(近常熟路) 满洲中华料理MANCHURIA@F.C.C.)
  • Tel.: 021-64458082

4. The Most Tasty Spiced Chicken with Chili Sauce

Furnished with no antique Chinese rosewood furniture or Jiangnan decoration of flowing water and little bridges, the restaurant is just like a Western dining room for a family party in the Middle-Ages, with sofas of European style and complicated classical chandeliers, retro candelabras, and Western porcelain set on the table.

Chef Pan, a luminary of Hangzhou cuisine, serves at the restaurant. He claims that the key to Hangzhou cuisine is to preserve the original flavor of the foods and maintain the savory and fresh taste of it. Zheli restaurant produces traditional flavor Hangzhou cuisine mixed with creative cooking.

  • Specialty: Spiced chicken with chili sauce
  • Address: Nanlu and Zheli Restaurant (南麓 . 浙里) in Floor 2, Tycoon Building, Julu Road, Jing'an District 静安区巨鹿路768号巨富大厦2楼(近富民路)
  • Tel.: 021-62477677 62477877

5. The Best Capital Soup

A branded restaurant in Beijing, it has made some localization changes since it opened, with its furnishing now representing a sense of Old Shanghai. The head chef Mr. Kong said the special dishes in Tiandi Yijia are a self-initiated cuisine "goose liver soaked with fine rice wine" and a special soup "capital soup".

The rose-like goose liver, soaked with fine rice wine, is just like a vat of sweet savouriness and tenderness melting in your mouth. Meanwhile, the capital soup, is a traditional representative cuisine of Old Shanghai which is extremely yummy.

  • Specialties: Goose liver soaked with fine rice wine and capital soup
  • Address: Tiandi Yijia Restaurant (天地一家) on the 3rd floor of 6 the Bund, on Zhongshan East First Road 黄浦区中山东一路6号外滩6号3楼(近广东路)
  • Tel.: 021-63297333

6. The Best-Tasting Italian Cuisine

The comfortable atmosphere of 3.Top Restaurant & Bar is an attractive point aside from the delicious cuisine. The whole layout of the restaurant is designed like a house of glass, giving off a beauty of purity and warmth, and providing a transparent visual effect of spaciousness to diners. Sitting and eating at 3.Top Restaurant & Bar is an enjoyment of the soul as well as the tongue.

3. Top Restaurant & Bar is an Asian restaurant, and the specialty is Southeast Asian dishes. The recommendation from the chef is fried crab with Thai curry sauce. What makes it yummy is adding coconut milk, says the chef Mr. Hu.

  • Specialties: Malacca stir fried crab meat, lobster pasta, and Vietnamese roasted big-head shrimp with grills and butter
  • Address: 3.Top Restaurant & Bar is at 47 Xinle Road, near Xiangyang Road, Xuhui District 徐汇区新乐路47号(近襄阳路)
  • Tel.: 021-5438625 54038896

7. Bellissimo Berry Juice with Cheese Pudding

Located in the bustling dining area in Shanghai, Issimo is so low-pitched that the general populace takes no notice of it. It is definitely noticed however by those who have a pure desire to satisfy their mouth with Italian foods. Issimo will provide a feast and pure satisfaction for those food-obsessed diners attracted by authentic Italian flavors.

Cooperating with a famous Italian chef Salvatore Cuomo, Issiomo conceptualizes his cuisine and dishes. The traditional Italian flavor, plus the spacious and comfortable design, give a real sense of sitting and eating in a restaurant in a small town in the Italian countryside.

  • Specialty: Italian appetizers, Napoli pizza, and berry juice with cheese pudding
  • Address: Issimo is on floor 2 of 931 West Nanjing Road, Jing'an District. 静安区南京西路931号2楼
  • Tel.: 021-33024997

8. The Top One Lobster Bisque

VUE Restaurant is a restaurant whose space is designed based on the layout of a house, with a comfortable living room, a study, and a kitchen, all packed with with family-life atmosphere. You can take the whole scenery of the Bund in at a glance when eating in VUE.

Recently VUE brought out a set menu for only 588 yuan, allowing patrons to taste all the typical dishes of the restaurant. Our recommendation is the delicacy lobster bisque, with a big lobster inside. The most attractive part is that you can enjoy the show of the cooking while sitting in the kitchen. Another great dish is a creative dessert called chocolate fountain.

  • Specialty: Lobster bisque and chocolate fountain.
  • Address: VUE Restaurant (非常时髦餐厅) is on floors 30-31, in the west building of Shanghai Bund Maoyue Hotel, 199 Huangpu Road (near Wumao Road), Hongkou District. (虹口区黄浦路199号上海外滩茂悦大酒店西楼30-31楼(近武昌路)
  • Tel.: 021-63931234-6328

9. The Best Clam Chowder

Amazingly PIER 39 has achieved high public-praise from all classes of people. PIER 39 is the name of a fishermen’s wharf in San Francisco, a place full of joy and happiness. The Shanghai restaurant owner’s uncle had a restaurant there too. The flavor of San Francisco has been brought to Shanghai.

The authentic coffee is impressive, not to mention the toothsome "American cuisine". The main dish of the restaurant is the clam chowder. Served in a bowl made of bread, it tastes thick and yummy.

  • Specialty: The clam chowder and wharf salad.
  • Address: PIER 39 is at 172 Jinxian Road, Luwan District 卢湾区进贤路172号(近陕西南路)
  • Tel.: 021-62581939

10. The Tasty Business Meal

Known for being a high-ranking restaurant for business meals, Pho Asia and Thai loft is on the first floor of Shanghai's Business Center Mall. The most interesting part of the restaurant’s design is the two entrances both facing the office buildings. The left entrance is to "Pho Asia", supplying Vietnamese Cuisine and the right entrance is that of "Thai Loft" supplying Thai meals.

The top dishes are the health beef pho and Thai-style BBQ pork with honey sauce rice, which are ordered constantly by diners. Mixing the cooking culture of China, Thailand, Malaysia, and France, the light Vietnamese dishes win numerous fans in Shanghai.

  • Specialty: Vietnamese-style health beef pho and Thai-style BBQ pork with honey sauce rice.
  • Address: Pho Asia/Thai loft is in Unit 105B of Jiali Business Center Mall, 1515 West Nanjing Road, Jing’an District. (静安区南京西路1515号嘉里商务中心商场1楼105B单元(近铜仁路)
  • Tel.: 021-62891016

Eat Well on Your Shanghai Tour

Our flexibility allows you to eat where you want when you travel with us. Just let us know if you want to try one of the above restaurants.

Questions and Answers About Top Ten Taste Experiences in Shanghai

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I updated this article on March 23, 2014
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