Blackbird

Open Hours: Daily 11:00AM-1:00AM

Phone Number: 187 1627 2292

Price Range: 70-300RMB (depending on if you order their afternoon tea set)

English Address: 2/F 1 Jia Wulumuqi Nan Road near Dongping Road

Chinese Address: 2楼,乌鲁木齐南路,近东平路

Metro: Line 1 Hengshan Road 


Fell in love with their interior space the moment I walked in. The place was still buzzing on a Sunday afternoon, but we managed to snag some seats next to the window.

We ordered their Afternoon Tea Set for 2, which includes 12 sweet desserts, 3 savory snacks and 2 drinks (juice, coffee or tea).

Their savory snacks: 

 Left to right: Mini Roast Beef Burger, Mini Smoked Salmon, Thyme Pea Puree Tart with Crispy Parma Ham 

Left to right: Mini Roast Beef Burger, Mini Smoked Salmon, Thyme Pea Puree Tart with Crispy Parma Ham 

 Their mini salmon burger reminds me of the squid ink salmon bun at  OPSO  in London

Their mini salmon burger reminds me of the squid ink salmon bun at OPSO in London

Their sweet desserts: 

 Left to Right: Homemade Greek Yogurt with Wild Chestnut Honey and Granola, Dark Rum Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Macaron 

Left to Right: Homemade Greek Yogurt with Wild Chestnut Honey and Granola, Dark Rum Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Macaron 

Black Pepper Hot Chocolate 

 Adorable concept 

Adorable concept 

Ginger Cappicinuo 

 Didn't like the overly syrupy sweet layer of pudding underneath the milk foam paired with the coffee blend; not recommended. 

Didn't like the overly syrupy sweet layer of pudding underneath the milk foam paired with the coffee blend; not recommended. 

You got me. I took a peak at their brunch menu and whatdoyaknow, we ordered some more!

Their Roast Beef Sandwich.

 Thinly sliced roast beef served with mushrooms, kale, tomatoes and mustard sandwiched between two slices of crispy pancetta bread; highly recommended. 

Thinly sliced roast beef served with mushrooms, kale, tomatoes and mustard sandwiched between two slices of crispy pancetta bread; highly recommended. 

We liked their bread so much, we ordered an extra side of pancetta bread and bacon. 

 Wish the bacon was fried crispier and less fatty

Wish the bacon was fried crispier and less fatty

Has there been anything more aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Excited to come back next time for a round of their intriguing cocktails...

VUE (Champagne Brunch)

Open Hours: Sunday Champagne Brunch 11:30AM-3:00PM

Phone Number: 6393 1234

Price Range: 688RMB/person + 15% service fee 

English Address: 30/F 199 Huang Pu Road

Chinese Address: 30楼,黄埔路199号

Metro: Line 12 International Passenger Transport Center 


My apologies for being MIA the past half a year, but “adulting” aka working + overloading classes my last year has kept me quite busy. No worries, I made sure to bring my camera back to Boston this spring, so the adventures continue…

No better way to start the first day of 2017 than with my best friend (Papa Zhou of course) on the 30th floor of Hyatt on the Bund with a panoramic view of the most beautiful city. Our waiter chuckled at how long I gawked at the view before even looking at the food. 

So here’s how the deal works: you get free flow champagne and wine. Yes you heard right, you may drink to your heart’s content. If you circle around the room, you can pick up the appetizers you want or ask the chef at the station to cook what they specialize on the menu. 

Their Eggs Benedict with Caviar 

 Creamy and dreamy hollandaise sauce over a perfectly poached egg atop a thick (just enough chew) English muffin, topped with caviar. A must order dish and a favourite order of mine. 

Creamy and dreamy hollandaise sauce over a perfectly poached egg atop a thick (just enough chew) English muffin, topped with caviar. A must order dish and a favourite order of mine. 

Steak au Poivre 

 Tender and juicy 

Tender and juicy 

Vue Aux Sarments, Wagyu Rib Eye

 It was one of my dad’s favourites, but I personally thought there was too much fatty on the beef. 

It was one of my dad’s favourites, but I personally thought there was too much fatty on the beef. 

Foie Gras 

 Paired nicely with the sweetened poached fig 

Paired nicely with the sweetened poached fig 

Fresh fruit over yogurt 

Now for the star of the show: their oysters

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Forget their lobsters (which they are not stingy with, btw), these babies are shucked only a few at a time in front of you to ensure maximum freshness. I don’t like to brag, but I might have slurped 10 or so down…

Forget their lobsters (which they are not stingy with, btw), these babies are shucked only a few at a time in front of you to ensure maximum freshness. I don’t like to brag, but I might have slurped 10 or so down…

Truffle quiches 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  You know it’s meant to be when you take a bite of the quiche and remark that you love it at the same time the chef brings 5 more to the table for you. Cheers to the VUE staff, I don’t know how you manage to read my mind. 

You know it’s meant to be when you take a bite of the quiche and remark that you love it at the same time the chef brings 5 more to the table for you. Cheers to the VUE staff, I don’t know how you manage to read my mind. 

Selection from their already-made dessert platter. 

But do yourself a favour and order the made-upon-request dessert. Their waffle with cinnamon apple and vanilla cream. 

Fluffy waffle and vanilla ice cream paired with a warm gooey poached apple cinnamon pastry entrapped in a buttery crisp layer. Look at that beauty. 

Finished it off with a cup of coffee (I lied, 2 cups). 

My favourite Bund brunch place of all time. Here they focus on quality over quantity so everything you eat is well thought out and freshly prepared. Make sure you order their make-by-request hot dishes and I recommend calling in to request window seating so you can slurp your oysters whilst admiring the most beautiful city in China. 

La Creperie

Open Hours: 11:00AM-Late

Phone Number: 5465 9055

Price Range: 60-100RMB

English Address: 1 Taojiang Road

Chinese Address: 桃江路1号

Metro: Line 1 Hengshan Road  


Oldie, but goodie. This storefront has been alive and well since as long as I can remember. Had a mini reunion with an old buddy from Seoul, so we decided a #tbt wouldn’t hurt. 

We both ordered their La Piano.

Smoked salmon, spinach and a runny organic egg enclosed in a thin layer of crispy crepe paired with a side of salad. My personal favourite from their menu!

We were on a bit of a time crunch so we didn’t have time for their sweet crepes, but I’ll always recommend their classic Nutella. If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth, they also offer other options like salted butter caramel, a variety of ice cream flavours, stewed apple, chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, jam and maple syrup. 


Little Catch Poke Cafe

Open Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00AM-9:00PM

Phone Number: 6272 5788

Price Range: 60-100RMB

English Address: 2B, 89 Taixing Road

Chinese Address: 泰兴路89号2B单元

Metro: Line 2 Nanjing Xi Road 


What do you mean I can personally customize my own poke bowl? I mean okayyyy, if you insist…

This is Little Catch’s second storefront opening after Little Catch Poke Café on Wulumuqi Road. Chose to hit this location instead of their original to avoid playing musical chairs.

Decided to opt for their customizable bowl. Here’s how it works:

1.     Choose a base. Options include furikake rice, grains, salad, ½ rice ½ salad, etc.

2.     Choose a seafood. Options include salmon, tuna, shrimp, octopus, scallop or tofu

3.     Choose a sauce. Options include Hawaiian (aka soy sauce), Hawaiian wasabi, dynamite, sambal, wasabi mayo, umeboshi soy and ponzu soy

4.     Choose four add ons including onion, toasted cashews, fried garlic, tobiko roe and scallions

5.     Option of adding veggies including sugar snap peas, wood ear mushrooms, green beans, carrots and shitake mushrooms

My bowl: Salmon sashimi with Hawaiian sauce over a bed of furikake rice. Add ons include onion, toasted cashews, tobiko roe, wood ear mushrooms, carrots, shitake mushrooms and a side of avocado (+10rmb). 

While the salmon was undoubtedly fresh, the Hawaiian sauce was a bit too overpowering, making the veggies and rice a bit salty. Next time I will be asking for little to no sauce. Besides that, my bowl was extremely filling and I’ll be back next round for their platter of a dozen oysters. 


Uncle No Name Espresso

Open Hours: Mon-Sun 9:00AM-9:00PM

Phone Number: 6236 1220  

Price Range: 20-30RMB

English Address: 931 Nanjing Xi Road

Chinese Address: 南京西路931号

Metro: Line 2 Nanjing Xi Road 


Hidden behind shrubs and greenery, this mini café is located behind the huge Nanjingxi road Uniqlo on Wujiang road. Limited seating inside, but lots of space on their adorable outdoor patio. 

I had their Cappuccino with steamed whole milk using their Columbia, Tanzania and El Salvador espresso blend. 

Decent blend, but not as strong or bitter as I normally like my coffee.

Baristas are extremely friendly and I was happy to lounge around for an hour reading their Monocle magazine selection. 


Daliah

Open Hours: Daily 11:00AM-2:00PM & 4:00PM-9:00PM

Phone Number: 6288 8773

Price Range: 40-100RMB

English Address: 408 Shanxi Bei Road near Beijing Xi Road

Chinese Address: 陕西北路408号,近北京西路

Metro: Line 2 Nanjing Xi Road


When I heard newly opened Viennese eatery, Daliah, incorporated swings as their seats and a gigantic metal slide as their interior centerpiece, I immediately added it to my crammed list of pre departure last-minute-must-go-places. Forgive me, I get too easily intrigued by these kinds of things. 

With a jam-packed restaurant schedule, we were only able to make it for a quick afternoon tea bite, but that was enough for us to fall in love with the place. Dangling single bulbs, concrete paved waves, and all white furniture make for a minimalistic vibe. And as promised: swings, rocking chairs and tree stump stools scatter the place giving off a fun, quirky atmosphere. Even on a Sunday, this place is packed to the brim with kids running around and swings bumping into your chair – you’ve been warned.

 Brb dying of cuteness

Brb dying of cuteness

Their emoji menus are mad cute with playful descriptions and commentary. We went for their Cookie Monster Shake. 

Chocolate shake is creamy in texture and subtle in sweetness. Comes with a scoop of chocolate ice cream served with whipped cream and sprinkles – we’re all for it.

Next we had their Mango Smoothie. 

Very disappointed to say the least. Watery and tasteless, you’re better off ordering something else.

We also got their Cafe Rose Latte and Americano. 

 Left: Cafe Rose; Right: Americano 

Left: Cafe Rose; Right: Americano 

Café Rose Latte was less exciting than anticipated, but Americano was brewed with Lanna’s Yunan coffee beans (which y’all know are my favorite) and smelled lovely. 

For sweets we had the Sacher Torte. 

Typical Viennese chocolate cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing served with a side of cream. This slice goes down surprisingly light, though it would do better if it were moister. We stand by the one we tried in Vienna.

Their Sour Cream Chocolate Raspberry Tart. 

Crowd pleaser indeed. We loved the sour cream and rich chocolate paired with the graham cracker tart crust and strong traces of raspberry flavoring. We devoured this one and proceeded to have another – we recommend you do the same.

I was excited to see that newly trending ice cream shop, Gracie’s, has found it’s way to Daliah. With their own little ice cream cart in the store, I decided to order their peanut butter ice cream.

Hmmm, smooth and buttery – recommended. 

So there you have it folks, my dream café interior design sitting assumingly on the edge of Shanxi Bei Road. Some orders can be a hit or miss, but I would definitely recommend coming here just for the atmosphere. 

I have yet to try their lunch/brunch menu, but that’ll be on the list next time I visit Shanghai. So for now, goodbye Shanghai and hellooooooo London! 

Farine

Open Hours: Daily 7:00AM-8:00PM

Price Range: 40-80rmb/person  

English Address: Ferguson Lane, 1/F, 378 Wukang Road near Tai’an Road

Chinese Address: 武康路378号1楼,近泰安路

Website: www.farine-bakery.com

Metro: Line 10 Shanghai Library


I’ll go to great lengths for my foodie adventures, especially if it involves a fix of my morning coffee and carbs. Since I live an hour away from the city, it took me 12 subway stops, 2 transfers and 8 minutes of walking to get to Farine, but I’m proud to say I have #noregrets.

Arrived just around the time they started bringing out their first few batches of freshly baked bread and already a queue of morning risers had formed. I was instantly charmed by the boutique bakery interior, with its tiled white walls heavily contrasting the dark oak high tables and bar stools. Chalk sketched menus hang above glass boxes displaying their selection of pastries and bags of white flour line the floor as you make your way to the cash register.

If you arrive there early enough for breakfast, be sure to take advantage of their breakfast set that gives you a combo of a cup of coffee and a pastry.

I had their Café Latte. 

Prices here are steep (I’m talking 40rmb for a cup of Joe here), but I’m a sucker for latte art and they do such a great job of presentation.

Their Croissant. 

Flakiest croissant I’ve had thus far in Shanghai. Less crisp than Angelina’s, but more buttery – highly recommended.

Their Ham and Cheese Sandwich. 

Contrary to most Asian taste buds, I actually prefer hard, starchy breads instead of the soft, creamy kinds commonly found here. That’s why I got all excited when I saw this sandwich on display. Baguette is baked until crunchy on the outside and warm and moist on the inside, served with slices of Parisian ham and Emmental cheese. Note: not normally a fan of cheese, but this had a subtly smooth, nutty flavor.

My intention was to get one of their Beaujolais, but logic dictates that two is better than one, right? 

Bite-sized bread rolls with a mix of walnuts and dried raisins. More pleaseeeee

Finished the breakfast feast off with their famous Lemon Passion Tart. 

This one’s for all you folks who love lemon tarts like me. Tangy, thinly whisked lemon custard infused with distinct traces of passion fruit served on a crumbly, delicate shortbread crust. Officially my favorite place for a lemon tart pick-me-up.  

Left Farine with an empty wallet, but full stomach and a big fat smile. This place is one of the most authentic French bakeries I’ve encountered so far in Shanghai and if I lived closer I would probably be a regular. Prices aren’t the most ideal so I would highly recommend going for their breakfast set. Seating here is limited so most people will order to go, but there is a large picnic table right outside if you’re down for sharing some space with others while sipping your espresso. 


Maan Coffee

pen Hours: 10:00AM-2:00AM

Phone Number: 6091 0569

Price Range: 60-80rmb/person (for drink + waffle)  

English Address: 699 Zhong Shan Nan Er Road

Chinese Address: 中山南二路699号正大乐城3-106号203

Metro: Line 7 Long Hua Middle Road


It’s been a long week and all you’re craving is a hug…and maybe some waffles. Korean chain restaurant, Maan Coffee (better known as “that cute teddy bear waffle place”), was one of the most Instagramed/Wechatted cafes when it first entered the Shanghai market a few years back. The hype around this place has finally died down a bit, but we thought it was still worthwhile checking out what all the fuss was about. 

We started off with the basics: Plain Waffle. 

Fluffy golden waffles paired with a side of whipped cream, jam and maple syrup. Though presentation is aesthetically pleasing, I do wish their waffle texture were crispier (insides are much mushier than I thought).

Their Chocolate Waffle. 

Pleasantly surprised. Besides the texture that can be improved as I had mentioned previously, I do love how the chocolate flavoring is mildly infused into the waffle so the sweetness is not overpowering, giving us a chance to finish the chocolate ice cream, wafer and Oreo (with a Transformer face!!!) – recommended. 

Their Nut Waffle. 

This is probably my favorite out of the bunch solely because I love almonds and these were a bit sweeter than the Plain Waffle. 

For drinks we had their Café Mocha, Hazelnut Caramel Latte and Americano. All drinks come with crispy Sugared Breadsticks (mmmm loved these). 

 Hazelnut Caramel Latte and Sugared Breadsticks 

Hazelnut Caramel Latte and Sugared Breadsticks 

 Americano 

Americano 

Their drinks are a bit on the heavy side with an “all-you-can-eat whipped cream” mentality, so it’s definitely targeted for those of you who need your sugar fix.

Overall, highlights of this café include the teddy bears you get to cuddle with when you wait for your order and the Chocolate/Nut Waffles. Though I’ve definitely had better waffles elsewhere, they’ve really decked out their shops with intricate Moroccan lights and gigantic indoor trees, giving off much of a Midsummer Night’s dream kind of vibe. Suitable for quiet afternoon talks and homework sessions. 



Mellower Coffee

pen Hours: Daily 8:30AM-Midnight

Phone Number: 6315 1079

Price Range: 50-70rmb/person

English Address: 9 Jinan Road near Shunchang Road

Chinese Address: 黄浦区济南路9号, 近太仓路

Metro: Line 1 Huangpi Nan Road


Deadlines are coming up? You’ll find me holed up in a café armed with my laptop and a cup of Joe, mooching off free WIFI. It’s kind of sad how long I sat there by myself today, but at the very least my playful coffee kept me entertained.

The coffee joint is walking distance from the Andaz hotel, right across from the Xintiandi Bellagios. Theme of the place is dark oak with dim lighting and dangling lights. I’m in love with their stool-like tables and transparent glass menus hanging above the counter. They’ve even got a training room with all the brewing equipment ready for those who are looking to take classes.

Went for their signature drink, “Sweet Little Rain”.

It’s so fluffyyyyy I’m gonna die. A huge ball of cotton candy dangled above a steaming Americano melts slowly into the coffee creating a “rain effect”. Concept is simple enough for a second grader to understand, but process is still exciting to me.

The taste you ask? Well, really just your average Americano only mildly sweetened. There are definitely more exotic coffee beans from Kenya and Guatemala I look forward to trying next time.

Overall, it’s a great study space with friendly waiters and decent WIFI. I see lots of people coming in for chats, but they tend to keep their voices down so the joint isn’t too noisy. Place gets a bit packed during late afternoons so I would advise going around 1-2PM. Sometimes they’ll even open up the training room tables if spacing is really limited. 


Xin Wang (新旺茶餐厅)

Open Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00AM-10:00PM; Sat-Sun 9:00AM-10:00AM

Phone Number: 6447 5310

Price Range: 50-60rmb/person

English Address: 3/F, 100 Hongqiao Road near Wending Road

Chinese Address:虹桥路100号西藏大厦3楼

Metro: Line 1, 9, 11 Xujiahui


You know you found yourself a Canto restaurant when the store opens earlier on weekends than on weekdays. Since it was a Sunday, we decided it was fitting to hit up the Xin Wang next to Xujiahui’s Courtyard Marriott for a late lunch after church.

I was surprised with the new additions to their menu, but I’m all about it since they decided to keep their old items as well.

Our cold dishes were Tossed Black Fungus with Spicy and Sour Sauce and Avocado in Vinegar.

 Tossed Black Fungus with Spicy and Sour Sauce

Tossed Black Fungus with Spicy and Sour Sauce

 Avocado in Vinegar 

Avocado in Vinegar 

Normally I love black fungus, but I wasn’t a fan of this dish at all. Their spicy and sour sauce is the kind that goes up your nose and leaves you with a weird aftertaste - I'd pass. The avocado in vinegar, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise (I’m thinking about trying this one at home since it’s so easily prepared). 

I had their Original Milk Tea, which was smooth tasting and presented in the typical Canto way.

Next was the Braised Spinach with Preserved Egg & Salted Egg in Soup. 

My first time ordering this and I’m very pleased. Generous portions of spinach mixed with carrots, mushrooms, preserved egg (gives it an extra kick) served in richly seasoned broth.

Lastly, we had their Fried Crispy Noodle with Chinese Leek & Shredded Meat.

Always a hit, and by always, I mean always. Crunchy noodles that are boiled and then fried, lathered with a thick starchy sauce and covered with veggies and shredded meat. Highly recommended.

Overall, highlights of this place include the reasonable prices, the consistent food and the fast service. Great place to hit up if you’re looking for a low-key family get together.