Shanghai’s New Restaurants

  • Window seats at Mercato.

    Window seats at Mercato.

  • Warm seafood salad at Mercato, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's newest outpost on the Bund.

    Warm seafood salad at Mercato, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's newest outpost on the Bund.

  • Clams casino on the comfort-food menu at Madi's.

    Clams casino on the comfort-food menu at Madi's.

  • Enzo Carbone putting the final touches on a dish.

    Enzo Carbone putting the final touches on a dish.

  • The dining room at Colagreco.

    The dining room at Colagreco.

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Two more Shanghai-based chefs with a loyal following have also expanded their gourmet empires of late. American-Chinese chef Austin Hu, who cut his teeth at New York’s Gramercy Tavern, has reopened his ultra-popular Madison (86?21/6437-0136; madisoninshanghai.com) in bright, high-ceilinged digs in the former French Concession. This time, he has added an airy bistro-bar called Madi’s. Known for his bold New American cuisine, Hu makes a point of sourcing local produce, right down to the unpasteurized Reberg beer. His brunch, served at both Madison and Madi’s, is a weekend ritual for those in the know. The duck-fat fries are carb-loaded goodness.

Meanwhile, Craig Willis—of Mr Willis restaurant renown—has brought his Oz-Med comfort food to the corporate towers of Nanjing Road. Henkes Trattoria (henkes.com.cn; 86-21/3253-0889) is tucked away in a luxury fashion mall, with a large terrace fronting Jing’an Park. The horseshoe bar is proving a popular post-work pit stop for a vino and some fancy antipasti, such as Serrano ham with house-pickled pears.

And for late-night noshing, former Chicago private chef David Brode has combined his love of oysters and gin into Shanghai’s first “seafood speakeasy,” The Plump Oyster (86-21/5418-3175; theplumpoyster.com). The cozy lounge,set in a third-floor walk-up behind touristy Tianzifang, serves some 15 varieties of freshly shucked oysters flown in from seven countries. An oyster-friendly drinks list covers a selection of crisp wines and bubblies plus 34 types of gin, which Brode considers a better match than the usual vodka. That said, he does mix a mean dirty vodka martini, topping it with—what else?—a pickled oyster.

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