By Lauren Jade Hill
Exhibiting its Chinese culinary roots and increasingly international identity, Shanghai’s dining scene brings together traditional and contemporary venues, from local specialties in a 1930s garden villa to avant-garde French cuisine. We take a look at the best restaurants in Shanghai, which together boast an impressive array of celebrity chefs and Michelin stars.
Not only is T’ang Court Shanghai’s only three Michelin starred restaurant, it’s also the only restaurant to boast this accolade in all of mainland China. It’s executive chef Justin Tang who is behind the culinary offering here, taking premium ingredients to showcase Cantonese cuisine at its best. Within the modern light-filled dining space of The Langham, diners can tuck into set menus or individual plates of local specialties such as roasted suckling pig and sautéed prawn and crab roe.
Tucked into Shanghai’s diplomatic district, YongFoo Elite is housed within a 1930s garden villa that previously served as a consulate over a number of years. Now an exclusive members’ club, YongFoo Elite is known as a stand-out dining destination, with two Michelin stars to its name. Here, traditional recipes from Shanghai cuisine are brought up-to-date in set menus that include dishes such as smoked codfish in Qi Men black tea, and braised duck.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
The Shanghai outpost of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon instantly makes an impression with the largest open kitchen in Asia, enabling the restaurant’s guests to see their food prepared in front of them. Holding two Michelin stars, the restaurant is helmed by executive chef Francky Semblat who prepares Joel Robuchon’s signature French dishes with finesse.
Yi Long Court
Situated with The Peninsula Shanghai, Yi Long Court exudes the elegance of 1930s Shanghai. A selection of Cantonese dishes – which have earned the restaurant two Michelin stars – by executive chef Tang Chi Keung include barbecued Jiangsu Kurobuta pork, and fried rice with king crab, Jin Hua ham and fresh vegetables. Both private dining and chef’s table are among the culinary experiences on offer here.
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Following on from his restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau, chef Umberto Bombana set up this outpost on the top floor of a building in the Rockbund district of Shanghai, with views over the Huangpu River. Here, the kitchen puts out classic Italian dishes in degustation menus that are testament to the restaurant’s two Michelin stars.
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet
Founder, partner and chef de cuisine of both Ultraviolet and the restaurant Mr & Mrs Bund, Paul Pairet is a name that’s associated with fine cuisine in Shanghai. The French chef specializes in creating avant-garde, abstract plates that challenge the diners’ preconceptions, displaying his identity as a former science student and the reason behind this restaurant’s two Michelin stars. Each guest here dines on a 20-course set menu in which each dish is grouped by size and nature.
After reading about the best restaurants in Shanghai, find more inspiration on where to eat by taking a look at our reader-voted Top 100 Restaurants.