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Here are 5 great new spring menus in Shanghai

Special edition pizza, Japanese sandwiches, steak and smoothie bowls, oh my

Photographs: Cat Nelson, Yang Xiaozhe (Xime)
Finally. We’re in that magical moment of peak Shanghai, when every year a confluence of three things that lasts about six weeks (if you’re lucky): blue skies, warm morning breezes and no torrential downpours from the plum rains. A new season means new menus, and here are five of our favourites around town right now.
Homeslice Pizza

Homeslice Pizza

Move over Fashion Week – the collection we’re most excited about this season? Homeslice’s new spring collection of pizzas. The NY-style pizzeria has rolled out four new limited editions (150RMB for 16-inch, 230RMB for 20-inch), all of which are quite delicious. The new line-up features a white pizza with Gorgonzola, rocket and pear slices; another white pizza Champy'un, named after Irish potato dish Champ and fittingly tricked out with potato chunks, spring onion and bacon; and the Italian, a classic combo of mozzarella, tomato, Pecorino Romano and basil. Following off the back of guest collab with Christopher Pitts last autumn on a barbecue chicken pizza, Homeslice is pairing up with Carlos Sotomayor, who’s just opened his own new Peruvian concept EKEKO-genesis. Sotomayor is throwing down a lomo saltado pizza, which riffs on a traditional Peruvian-Chinese beef with peppers and onion stir-fry dish – basically just by throwing it on a pizza. Brilliant. You can also grab this by the slice for 30RMB.


If you're after more crust (and Homeslice's sourdough-based one is goals), then the new Detroit pizza is really going to do it for you. Homeslice's Nat Alexander describes it as 'the bastard child of pizza and grill cheese on a focaccia-type base' which is very spot on. For 180RMB a pie, it's being offered every Wednesday in store only – complete with a Detroit soundtrack blasting from the speakers – so make an event out of it 'cause really what else are you doing that could trump pizza?

Homeslice Pizza Found 158, 158 Julu Lu, near Ruijin Yi Lu.

Fifty 8° Grill

Fifty 8° Grill

In some ways, Fifty 8° Grill is a bit of a hidden gem, off the beaten path for the normal Puxi lunch or downtown dinner crowd. Tucked in the curve of the Huangpu on the first floor of The Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, the chic yet casual concept from Richard Ekkebus (of Hong Kong’s two-Michelin-starred Amber) has introduced new dishes that practically scream 'spring', albeit in a very polite, refined way. A green salad which you would think could only be *basic* is actually straight-up rebirth and renewal in the form of fresh greens and herbs mixed with a delicate, grassy goats cheese, chia seeds and a light mustard dressing. The colours are eye-popping on the grilled pork belly with artichokes 'a la barigoule' (a Provençal dish of braised artichokes) – curls of yellow, purple and orange carrots sitting alongside bright red cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. The 'brick chicken' is the season in a bite, with the spring-iest of all spring ingredients, morel mushrooms draped across grilled baby leeks and kale.


Lunch will run you 268RMB for two courses, 348RMB for three or 398RMB for four or do dinner a la carte with salads from 168RMB and mains from 258RMB, plus the standard hotel service charge of 15 percent.

Fifty 8° Grill First Floor, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 111 Pudong Nan Lu, near Yincheng Lu, Pudong.

TRIBE

TRIBE

Health-centric spot TRIBE on Fumin Lu has dropped a whole new series of colourful dishes for the season. Our favourites are the ultra-Instagrammable and quite delicious yoghurt smoothie bowls (58RMB each) – like the kale-and-mint Green Galaxies or the super tropical Paradise Bowl with mango and pineapple topped with coconut chips, chia seed and red grapefruit – and a banging salad (68RMB) cheekily called The Spring in My (Chicken) Step with juicy, grilled chicken leg, which is a pleasant deviation from the salad standard of chicken breast, plus Chinese vegetable kongxinlian and celtuce that round out the bitter bite of radicchio. 


TRIBE Unit 103B, A Mansion, 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu.

WUJIE Shanghai The Bund

WUJIE Shanghai The Bund

The fresh, subtly flavoured dishes that Ivan Xu sends out of the WUJIE kitchen feel like the best of spring all year long. But the vegetarian Chinese restaurant's newest series of menus relies on freshest ingredients of the moment, transforming them into just that much more. There's a choice of four new seasonal menus, starting from 399RMB per person for six courses – and one of which is vegan and allium-free (599RMB per person). In the Sunray menu (799RMB per person), a slow-cooked cauliflower with bee pollen, balsamic vinegar and toon sprouts surprise with a bit of a spicy-sour kick. It's hard to miss spring in the bright flavours of the celery, coriander and parsley soup or the dried tangerine peel ice cream with white tea konjac jelly which cleanses your palate in the midst of the meal. A single tender bamboo shoot is sweet but not cloying – slow cooked in Ningbo style and topped with fresh bamboo fungus and slivers of black truffle.

WUJIE Fourth Floor, Bund 22, Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Xinyongan Lu.

Xime

Xime

The new contemporary Japanese restaurant from Jun Nishio and Sam Norris has launched a line-up of four killer sandwiches: two pork and two fish, all in pillowy Japanese-style milk bread. The heavy hitters include a minced pork curry katsu sandwich and a fried horse mackerel fish sandwich, though the classic pork katsu and fried salmon are nothing sniff at either. The pork curry katsu secrets away a curry centre in the middle of a blend of bacon, caramelised onions and pork belly. All of this is panko-breaded and then fried before a drizzle of tonkatsu sauce and wholegrain mustard. Lighter but also panko-breaded and fried, the horse mackerel sandwich is dressed with shredded cabbage and carrot plus both tartare and tonkatsu sauces. 


Get sandwiches as part of a lunch set for 50-55RMB, which includes a house-smoked pickle daikon and miso soup plus three small sides or for dinner at the same price but with soup only. It's bargainous enough but if you're really after a deal, on Mondays go hard on buy-one-get-one-free sandwiches from 5 to 10pm.

Xime First Floor, 1-B, 989 Changle Lu, near Changshu Lu.

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