You will easily notice this place because there’s a queue outside. I went around noon and they do not accept reservations. Yes, it is my fault. But anyway, I tried my luck and ask if there is any availability for 1 person and I do not mind sharing a table. The waiter smiled at me and said, “here’s your number, it will be around 70 min waiting time.” I was like…. NO! I am not patient enough to wait for a bakery that long. But of course, I got curious and wanted to go inside so I just told him that I will just go have a look. And the bakery looks awesome! They have a kitchen behind where you can see all the bakers, oven, and even a flour mill. Amazing! They mill their flour! And I realized, no wonder they call themselves “O’Mills” I was not too fast on that. The interior has also a very relaxing vibe. Chairs are in different styles and sizes, plants are around and you will find other earthy elements inside too. Their selection of bread is also very interesting, they have wild yeasted rye bread, country bread (which I think is the original sourdough bread), selection of bagels, baguettes, focaccia, other French pastries and many more. They sell kombucha and fresh juices too. I find it a very good concept overall. But I suggest you come on off-peak hours, or just be ready to wait for the table.
O’Mills Artisan Bakery: 110 Yongjia Lu 永嘉路110号
As I cycle more, I ended up in another bakery. This is a straight simpler bakery. They have about 3 tables and some chairs. They are smaller but they do have a variety of fresh bread similar to O’Mills. Inside, I spotted sacks of flours and happy to see that we are using some of the same brands. I felt more confident about my bread. So I bought half a sourdough bread to start and asked them to slice it for me. The chef did it by hand and it was so evenly sliced. He got some skills! I was so tempted to order more types of bread but I am alone and I know that I cannot finish it all.
28 Aout: No. 18, Lane 339 Changle Lu 长乐路339弄18号
Guess where I ate the sourdough bread I just bought? Not far away from the bakery, is a restaurant with a beautiful garden. I went there because I saw a big group of people on the terrace having lunch. It looks so engaging. I went inside and was greeted by the guy who is part of that group. Apparently, he is the owner and it is his friends dining in. I told myself to give it a try and order a glass of wine. Wine always relaxes me. I ordered a terrine, parmigiana and a cabernet sauvignon. The food was okay but I find it a bit pricey for what I got. I paid a total of RMB 240. But I was able to enjoy the bread I bought from 28 Aout and they did not mind me digging slices of bread from my bag. It was very good! Although I find my bread still better in taste. I cycled further to Xiangyang South Road and Yong Kang Road. I found more restaurants and cafes but I tried not to spend all my money on the first day.
Saleya: No.1 No.570 Nong, Changle Road
Weekend came, and I am finally meeting my friend who I used to workout with in Beijing. Her name is Cici, a beautiful well-educated lady who also likes to visit restaurants and bars. We decided to meet in Kerry Centre and had a wonderful tapas dinner. Tapas is such a perfect dinner for us because we did not want to stuff ourselves with heavy food. It is going to be a long night!
Pintxos: B1-10 Jing An Kerry Centre
The tapas are good with fun flavors and have a fancy presentation. I remember tapas as a simple bite-sized snack placed on the bar counter with a ‘just take what you want’ kind of set up. We ordered beef carpaccio which was the best for me, duck liver pate with peanuts on top which was also very rich in flavor, cauliflower, croquettes, scallops, and paella. Everything is good but was not really happy about the paella. If you have been to Spain or have tasted a paella cooked by a Spanish chef, you will know the difference. It is not only the flavor but the rice. It is very important to not get the perfect texture of the rice in a paella.
If you want to know how real Spanish cook paella, you can watch it on my youtube channel – Kitchen log Spanish Paella feat. Chef Maiker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GajFc29N5E&t=115s
Now it’s time for drinks. We had some cocktails at the Botanist. Their bar concept is similar to what a science laboratory looks like. As you enter, you will see microscopes, waiters and bartenders are wearing a white lab gown. Even their name cards are on a microscope slide. They name their cocktails by numbers and I ordered ‘#215’ with botanist gin, lime juice, ginger, rosemary, and whiskey. The drinks are presented simply but the taste is fantastic. If not bitter, I always like sour drinks.
Botanist: 17-2 Xiangyang Bei Lu 襄阳北路17-2号
After a cocktail and heaps of stories, we transferred to the Whiskey bar next door. Xiangyang Bei Lu has actually a lot of bars and is lively at night. At the entrance, they displayed awards that they received. And the recent was they were a part of the best 50 bars in Shanghai. The bar looks great, clean, and has a mix of old fashion and contemporary style, somewhere in between. We had a tasting flight of a smokey type of whiskey, Ardbeg. It was awesome! I have never felt my palette so mature till I tried this. LOL. Cici even teased about getting a cigar to top it all. But we did not get one. After 3 shots, I called it a night.
Project W 17 Xiangyang Bei Lu 襄阳北路17-1号
Weekends are for meeting friends. And yes, TGIW (Thank God It’s Weekend)! The next day I traveled to the city center and met another friend who used to work in Beijing, Chenhe. We met in R.A.C., the best place for crepes and galettes.
It was raining, I bought a new umbrella from Lawson and walked my way through the restaurant from Shanghai Library Subway Station. It was not really a good day to go out, gloomy and cold. We waited for an hour to be seated. I was convinced to wait because there was nowhere else to go as it is raining hard. Chenhe has so many stories to share about Shanghai that an hour passed by fast. Well, I also updated him a lot about the latest in Jing. We already know what to order even before seated. And I am already telling myself, “this better be good” I ordered a ‘sardine galette’ and Chenhe ordered the best seller ‘complete galette’ and it was the best crepe I had ever tasted. I love sardine. This crepe has a very creamy filling inside with fried shallots which gives a sweet taste and seaweed butter to add umami and buttery flavor. Perfect! I also tried the complete which has egg, ham, cheese, tomatoes, and mushroom. It was also so flavorsome! After finishing all, we ordered a sweet Nutella crepe. My gosh, I can eat two of those. Truly recommended!
R.A.C. Café: 322 Anfu Road 邮政编码322号
Sunday is usually a day for Filipinos to gather be it any city. That is why in the evening, I met my friend Joe who heads some of the Filipino community groups in Shanghai. We went to a bar called, Parrot. You would need to go into a small alley before getting into the bar. When we arrived, we were greeted by the Ate who cooked all the dishes for the night. She has about 8 dishes and we ordered 5: pork barbecue, isaw, Bicol express, sisig, pancit palabok and of course RICE. Rice is life in the Philippines! I felt so happy being around Pinoys again and being inside a ‘Filipino’ bar. The decors are very similar to beer houses in Makati and the ambiance is so lively. There’s a small stage where anyone can sing and dance. Everybody is so friendly. Indeed more fun in the Philippines.
Parrot: 7 Donghu Lu 东湖路7号
After dinner, we went to another 2 more bars run by Filipinos.
The Patio II is a humble neighborhood bar. Customers are mostly regulars and though it is still in the Jing’an area, it is away from the drinking streets so you need to know the place to be able to get here. I had some secret shots offered by the owner that tastes like Kahlua but not really. I also had a couple of my comfort drink Hendricks Gin and tonic. For food, they offer Filipino-Western dishes and their specialty is Crispy Pata (Pork Knuckle). The other bar is called ‘The Hop Project’ an Australian owned bar and headed by Anabel, the Filipino lady who has been in Shanghai for 10 years now, everybody knows her. They have stone brewing beers on tap. The place was pretty decent.
The Patio II: 716 Jiangning Lu 江宁路716号
The Hop Project: 372 Dagu Lu 大沽路372号