elcome to Gossip Fodder, where we babble on about new restaurants, cafes, and bars in Shanghai. This month: Ministry of Crab, UP, Table Black, Wu Pao Chun, and GOD. Also, closures on Donghu Road and the imminent end of Sasha’s and Zapata’s.
Wu Bao Chun Bakery (吴宝春麦坊)
Wu Pao Chun is a bakery that originated in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung in 2010. They have four branches across the self-ruled island now and Shanghai is their first foray into the mainland. Sharing the name of its founder, who claimed the title of Master Baker at the 2010 Masters of Boulangerie competition in Paris, the bakery’s most famous product is the award-winning rose-lychee bread, as well as the longan-red wine bread. Wu Pao Chun’s opening here has unfortunately been marred by local anger over Wu’s perceived support for Taiwanese independence, and the store’s listing Dianping was taken down after reviewers left disparaging comments.
B1, Xintiandi Plaza, 333 Huaihai Zhong Road / 淮海中路333号新天地广场B1
UP Shanghai is a new bar and lounge by four Shanghai food and beverage heavyweights. Cocktails are by Geo Valdivieso, former of Unico and The Captain, and ex-Revolucion bartender Jackie Dmitriev, while Victor Doukou, also of Revolucion, is in charge of operations. In the kitchen is Carlos Sotomayor, previously at Elefante and Ekeko, who’s serving bar bites and brunch inspired by both New York and Chinese-American takeout food.
2/F, 688 Shaanxi Bei Road / 陕西北路688号2楼
Taking over the restaurant that was Bonobo is GOD, an eatery dedicated to the humble hot dog. Their goal is to turn the snack into a meal worthy of dinner, and they created their own sausage using pork and beef then encased it in a soft, fluffy bun. There are five different styles of hot dogs from the traditional (pickle relish, cheddar, and onion) to the Surf & Turf with house slaw, fried prawns, and mayonnaise. Also on the menu are barbecued pork ribs, fried chicken wings, barbecued spring chicken, and French fries with chili con carne.
38 Donghu Road / 东湖路38号
Ministry of Crab
Ministry of Crab is the first China location of a restaurant from Colombo, Sri Lanka with the same name. That establishment was recently nominated on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for their Sri Lankan crab, which they say is never frozen. Now opened inside People’s Park, you can order the crustacean from as small as 500 grams to a mammoth 2 kilograms, which they call Crabzilla, and cooked in a variety of ways from pepper to curry to butter. Also on offer are shrimps ranging from regular sized to 500 grams (Prawnzilla), as well as crab liver pate, clay pot prawn curry, and king prawn bisque.
231 Nanjing Xi Road / 南京西路231号
Table Black is the second-floor concept of Blackbird in Columbia Circle. It’s envisioned as a higher end version of the restaurant and bar below, and a multi-course dinner by chef Blake Thornley is served here. Drinks come from Bar Black and it’s similarly more upscale, with better ingredients, more creative interpretation, and meant to fuse seamlessly with the food.
2/F, Building 8, 1262 Yan’an Xi Road / 延安西路1262号8栋2楼
187 0199 0479
The mansion at 20 Donghu Road, which housed restaurants Dao Jiang Hu, Racines, Sushi Oyama, and Ochobo, has shuttered. While Dao Jiang Hu has moved to the third floor of 50 Tai’an Road, in the same building as Heyday and Chez Maurice, the verdict is still out on whether the former villa residents will reopen.
The death of Dongping Road continues with the year-end closures of Sasha’s and Zapata’s. Sasha’s has been part of the iconic institution since 1998, while Zapata’s joined it in 2004. Their final party will be on New Year’s Eve, and management has said they plan to move somewhere else but no word yet on their new location.