Part 3: My stay got extended

My stay in Shanghai got extended for another week. I guess there are just a lot of unforeseen events in this pandemic period. Yes, I call it pandemic period. There is also pre-pandemic and semi post pandemic. Actually, spending a few more days in this beautiful city is actually not a bad idea. It only means that I get to eat more, bread, drink beer and eat mega delicious food. So then I called Cici to celebrate my Shanghai-cation extension.

I met a chef last week who’s in charge of this restaurant, he told me that is the new baby of the well-known Le Bec restaurant and that I should check it out. It was Sunday and its raining. But that did not stop Cici and I from spending a lovely afternoon in the garden of 178 Le Bec. We had a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, terrine (best so far), truffle cheese, and fresh tomato salad. When the terrine was placed in our table, it was a beauty. You have these different shapes of meat in different color all together in one slice. It’s like a mosaic of meat and flavors ready to be framed. The truffle kiri was also on point in taste. The rich and earthy aspect of truffle matches the creaminess of the cheese. I super love it with bread. Oh how I miss Mesa Madre bread at that time. It was so chill and relaxing and the rain actually helped the ambiance to be more chill. One thing you’ll notice, although it is a French restaurant there are Thai and Cuban decors on their garden. It was decorated this way to give customers a holiday feeling since the pandemic forbids people to travel. Truly recommended!

178 Le Bec: 178 Xinhua Lu 新华路178号

The next day I decided to burn all the calories I ate. But after my 6km run and 4km walk, I reached Pain Chaud. And by now, you know what will happen if I go inside a bakery. Actually, this boulangerie was already suggested by a friend when I was in Beijing. Therefore, I was very excited to try it. I heard a lot of good reviews about their bread. And the best time to try it is after a rewarding workout. Pain Chaud has a few several outlets in Shanghai. But the one I went to is the biggest and the nicest. Outside, it looks like a typical European styled bakery. They have about 8 tables and chairs at the terrace, all facing the street. When I entered I can already smell the baking aroma of the bread. The first thing I saw is their croissant, it looks like it just got out of the oven. I ordered it together with my coffee. As I am about to pay, I saw this cute little fig and red wine rolls. I grabbed one of those too and it was delicious! The fig inside the roll gives this honey-like sweetness with a hint of berry. I wanted to order another bread but I think I need to run for it again. 

Pain Chaud: 256 JIanguo Xi Lu

For lunch, I walked through the street of Julu again and ate in La Mesa. It was the name that struck me and made me eat my lunch in this place. I thought the words “mesa madre” will be unique in China. Although we have the word ‘mesa’ on our shops, La Mesa have a whole different menu. They sell tacos. I ordered 1 Ox tongue and 1 tofu kimchi. I did not like the tofu kimchi, it was dry and has too many flavors inside that didn’t go well. The Ox tongue was cooked okay. It has great texture and flavor. Well, it is hard to get a braised meat wrong. Good thing I tried to flavors. I was 50% happy about my purchase. 

La Mesa: 758 Julu lu

One of my to go to lists is the Copenhagen based craft brewery who just opened its tasting tap room in Shanghai 6 weeks ago. It looks so unique from other taprooms. It has this clean minimalist design with wooden furniture and soft lighting. First, I tried their Hair in the mailbox IPA which has a good finishing taste, the hoppy bitterness is just perfect! Next, I had Heated Seats Hazy Pale Ale (how did they come up with those names?). This one is my favorite! Well, I only tried two. But this one has a sweeter juicy taste. I am not a sweet drinker but this one is easy to drink. Well done to the brewer. But not with the snacks on the menu. The idea of opening a bag of chips or pretzels and putting it on paper plate does not match their style. Happy I did not order food and beer always make me calm, like wine. All in all, glad I went here. 

Mikkeller: 98 Yanping Lu 延平路98号

Continuing the brewing tour, I also went to Goose Island and they have a big goose to welcome you as you enter. Isn’t that cute? Careful you don’t go too close as it will peck you. I had their beer a couple of times in the Jing. This time I ordered, a La-Ger which in their menu says that it was made with Asian flavors similar to what Asians use for cooking. And since, there is never a one beer, I took a house craft beer – Summer Pale Ale. I love both! The latter has a citrusy flavor and gives a lasting refreshing taste. 

Goose Island: 209 Maoming Bei Lu 茂名北路209号

My friend Cici and her mom invited me to a speakeasy izakaya with good yakiniku. I classified it as speakeasy because the door is too small and too simple to be noticed. When I went in, it really looks like an authentic Japanese place. I felt like I am in Tokyo. There’s a big grill and a bar facing it, chairs and tables just next to each other, and Japanese embellishments all over the place. I let Cici and her mom ordered the food and drinks. I was surprised that they ordered a giant Sake (which we nearly finished by the way). The food is wonderful, I haven’t had real Japanese barbecue for a long time. My favorite was the dried fried fish with a mayo dip. As well as their fried rice balls on sticks. The crunchiness of the toasted rice is perfect with vinegar and togarashi. It is not a common combination, but you should try it. And try it with a giant sake. 

Speakeasy Izakaya 鸟安: 汇川路172号

When my stay got extended, I moved hotel in Jing’an. And before I get home, I will always pass by this beautiful bistro. I have been eyeing to eat there for the past days and finally I was able to do it. You will love every corner of O’Mills Bistro. It is so appealing with their open kitchen and bakery surrounded by glass walls. It’s like you are entering into someone’s house and you get to see a free viewing of everything they do. I am glad I was able to get a seat this time. I learned my lesson from O’Mills Bakery. First, I ordered half a loaf of their sourdough bread on their small bakery counter on the left of the entrance. It was tasty and has strong acidity. I decided to order something light from the menu which can be paired with the sourdough bread I just ordered. I made the right choice and ordered a vegan and gluten free zucchini pasta. The pasta itself is the shredded zucchini. I read the recipe of this dish before but never really had a time to do it. It was so yummy with the sliced avocado and roasted pine nuts. The greenness of the plate makes you feel so healthy already without even eating it. Although if I will do a version of this, I will put less oil. After eating, I still have this feeling of hanging out a little bit more. Therefore, I sat by the bar, ordered a glass of chardonnay and a piece of chocolate cake. It was a great relaxing brunch. I truly recommend. 

O’Mills Bistro: Jing’an Kerry Centre L1

It was a truly a wonderful week. And since I have a few more days left, I decided to go on a night out! TGIF!

Part 4: Night out

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