elcome to Gossip Fodder, where we babble on about new restaurants, cafes, and bars in Shanghai. This month: PS.Cafe, Tim Hortons, Starbucks Reserve Roastery Cafe, Suzu Bar, Monkey 3.0, and Mary & Magnate.
Starbucks Reserve Bakery Cafe
Starbucks has chosen Shanghai as the spot for their first mainland Reserve Bakery Cafe that recreates “the first-of-its-kind Italian aperitivo experience in a Starbucks store location within China.” Coffees are made from their premium Reserve Princi Blend brewed using the high-end Black Eagle espresso machine, and the pastries, pastas, and pizzas come from Italian baker Rocco Princi. Everyday between 5pm to 7pm, which Starbucks dubs Aperitivo Time, the cafe turns into a bar serving coffee- or tea-infused cocktails, beer, and Italian wines with free-flow bar bites.
Grand Gateway 66, 1 Hongqiao Road
Nearest metro station: Xujiahui
PS.Cafe is a chain from Singapore that launched their first overseas venture in Xintiandi. The restaurant is known for their colonial tropical vibe and they brought that aesthetic over with rattan-backed chairs and Victorian accents. Much of the food menu is also imported with a mix between Western and Southeast Asian fare such as their signature PS. truffle shoestring fries (¥68) and Malaysian crab and prawn laksa (¥98). There are also a number of Shanghai-exclusive (marked with “SH” in a circle) like Hainanese chicken rice (¥78) and Singapore chili crab and prawns (¥98).
Xintiandi Plaza, 3/F, No.11, 333 Huaihai Zhong Road
Nearest metro station: South Huangpi Road
Canadian chain Tim Hortons plants their first flag on the mainland with this store near People’s Square. You can get your caffeine fix with their signature Double Double (coffee with two creams and two sugars) as well as specialty iced and hot coffee drinks, teas, and beans, which they directly source from 12,000 coffee bean farmers in Colombia and Guatemala. The food menu consists of sandwiches, wraps, and salads, and they also have their popular mini doughnuts called Timbits, with Shanghai getting two special flavors: salted egg yolk and zang zang,” a type of chocolate bun that literally translates as “dirty dirty.
1/F, Unit 2, Central Plaza, 227 Huangpi North Road
Nearest metro station: People’s Square
Mary & Magnate Cocktail Bar
Mary & Magnate is a Prohibition style, twin-concept cocktail bar by the people behind the Maltfun whisky bars around town. The first floor is named after 1930s Hollywood actress Mary Pickford and serves low-alcohol, easy-drinking libations averaging around ¥88. On the second and third floors is Magnate, where the drinks get boozier and based more around whisky and other dark spirits.
122 Wulumuqi Nan Road
Nearest metro station: Hengshan Road
Monkey 3.0 is the reincarnation of Monkey Champagne, a hip, rowdy cocktail bar formerly on Donghu Road. They moved into a more intimate space on Julu Road and you have to walk through a burger joint to get in. The new Monkey retains its hip-hop soundtrack and slinky vibe but they put 2018 Bartender of the Year Jackie Lo in charge of drinks, and she’s churning out tropical, refreshing, and rum-heavy numbers that suit the party mood here. From 7pm to 9pm on Monday to Saturday, they have a deal called The Cocktail Hour where select drinks are ¥60.
758 JuLu Road
Nearest metro station: Jing’an Temple
Ginza-style bartending lands in Shanghai in the form of Suzu Bar on Hengshan Road. It’s a sit-down, hushed cocktail temple kind of affair, one that serves you hot towels on arrival and highlights razor-sharp, precise movements and hand-carved blocks of clear ice. Drinks range from the straightforward to the elaborate, such as the Isasamoto (Angostura bitters, Benedictine, and lemon juice) to the seven-ingredient Tiramisu Flip served with a ladyfinger biscuit. Most cocktails here are priced over ¥100, so be prepared to shell out.
More Huashan A5, 301 Huashan Road
Nearest metro station: Jing’an Temple