The plum rains are finally officially over and the summer heat is on. We're well into the depths of the season but new menus keep rolling on out. From chill breakfast vibes and mindful eating to fancy modern French and Chinese tasting menus (oh, and pizza, of course), there's a whole lot of fresh flavours to try across Shanghai.
Photograph: Cat Nelson (Crispy Chicken Waffle)
The Xiangyang Bei Lu café and all-day brekkie spot has launched a new funky, fresh series of dishes. Think eggs galore (no surprise given the name): HK-style waffles (75RMB) topped with grilled chicken, crispy rice and a sunny-side-up egg; a seasonal shakshuka (65RMB) with two eggs swimming in housemade probiotic yoghurt, a drizzle of chilli oil and fresh herbs; and a Jianbing Benedict (75RMB), which pairs poached eggs on buttermilk scones with a crispy wafer, tianmianjiang (the savoury-sweet jianbing sauce) and 12-spice chilli oil. On the sweeter side, look for buckwheat pancakes (60RMB) topped with coconut cream and showered in fresh fruit and a coffee-infused syrup. They've also extended their hours for summer to include weekend nights until 10pm on Friday through Saturday.
Photograph: courtesy THOUGHT FOR FOOD (Marinated Honeydew Melon)
THE LIVING ROOM by Octave Institute's ground-floor restaurant is all about mindful eating. Think light flavours and fresh ingredients in its summer menu – a very seasonal, ultra-fresh 'tomato four ways' (48RMB) with tomato confit, dehydrated tomato and tomato seeds in a clear tomato juice with basil oil; a sweet black cod (268RMB) with yuzu miso and pickled fennel; or a spicy chickpea, spinach and tomato curry (58RMB) with parsley roti. For dessert, fruit flavours abound, including a marinated honeydew melon with cucumber sorbet (48RMB) and a deconstructed pina colada (48RMB). There's also a lunch set, either two courses for 168RMB or three for 198RMB and an optional coffee for 25RMB.
Photograph: courtesy The PuLi (La Bouillabaisse)
At The PuLi's second-floor French eatery, Pierrick Maire has keyed up traditional dishes and flavours for the season, like his take on bouillabaisse (360RMB, to share), a lighter riff on the Provençal classic seafood stew. A delicate toothfish (290RMB) comes with summery tomatoes, salty capers and light beef jus, or there's lamb saddle (280RMB) served with broccoli salad and a carrot chermoula. Finish with a poached peach with verbena jelly and olive oil ice cream. A solid choice for a date night out and all the romantic vibes.
Photograph: courtesy YongFoo Elite (mushroom sashimi)
Secreted-away Chinese restaurant YongFoo Elite has a new chef Ruomi Gan leading its R&D team. With stints at Mirazur in Menton, France and later at Tai'an Table, the young female chef is behind YongFoo's eight-course summer tasting menu (880RMB per person, plus service). It's refined, subtle flavours with modern touches – a medley of mushroom sashimi including chanterelles and matsutake in chicken broth and drizzled with hazelnut sauce; steamed yellow croaker in a clear fish broth with white kombu and sour fried burdock; steamed rice with fatty hairy crab meat and roe accented with Thai green pomelo. Wine pairing can be added for 480RMB per person.
Photograph: Cat Nelson (Florentine)
It's hardly breaking news as this NYC-inspired pizzeria is deep into its summer 2020 collection of pies (expect the autumn editions to be rolling out in September), but if you haven't sunk your teeth into any of them, use this last month wisely. For vegetarian options, there's a very summery peperonata pizza full of roasted red, yellow and green peppers plus capers, basil and cheese on a tomato base or the garlicky Florentine, with spinach, mushroom and ricotta (30RMB per slice, 150RMB for 16-inch, 230RMB for 20-inch). Get a taste of tropical holiday with the Thai duck curry pizza or try Simon Sunwoo's (Liquid Laundry, Boxing Cat) Pyongyang pizza topped with beef bulgogi, kimchi and shiitake mushroom on a gochujang sauce base (35RMB per slice, 170RMB for 16-inch, 270RMB for 20-inch).