Best Restaurants in Shanghai: Traditional Cantonese Cuisine Rediscovered Through Michelin-Starred Acclaim

Not too long ago Shanghai’s restaurant scene wasn’t all that great but as quickly as the city itself, it transformed its culinary mouth-watering restaurant scene into a  varied, exciting and up to speed with the rest of the celebrated culinary world – Shanghai has its own Michelin dining guide since 2017, proving how far the city has come. Food is the very hub of Chinese social life and just like anywhere else, what we love most in celebrated restaurants is the fact that over a meal people catch up with friends, celebrate, and confirm business ventures, and spend all of that hard-earned cash on the tastiest carousel of sensory indulgence. Get ready for some of your best memories to come from the culinary field and these remarkable five restaurants will lead the way.

Canton Disco

Canton Disco pays tribute to the fantastic mix of alluring sophistication and primal hedonism of the renowned Hong Kong night club of the same name. The restaurant successfully showcases sophisticated Cantonese cuisine, extravagant artisan cocktails, and a tumultuous soundtrack in an energetic yet opulent setting. The menu has been created with the intention of sharing. Celebrating roasted meats and fresh seafood from the restaurant’s own fish tanks that are filled with trout, kanpachi, grouper, and lobster. The spacious restaurant can accommodate 167 guests in total, and the space also includes 5 private dining rooms, seating from 6 to 12 guests each, perfect for a dinner party in a slightly more intimate setting while keeping all the perks and more. Try the Angus short-rib with a roasted Hunan chili puree and green shallot kimchi or go for something more unusual like a celtuce ‘Caesar’ salad, Chongqing-style chicken wings, Wagyu carpaccio with smoked beef fat chili among others.

Mercato

Led by Jean-Georges, Mercato is a fantastically beautiful space created by Neri&Hu, linking the organic and natural with elegance and emotive modernism. With beautiful reclaimed wood and warm leather, these rich tones serve as a subtle complement to the exposed steel, iron, and glass in result creating an atmosphere that is polished to perfection yet still warm and inviting. The imaginative design reveals a sensual feeling of ease and lightness that redefines the “farm chic” concept. When it comes to food, the Pizza Lounge is brightened by the warm glow of Italian wood-burning oven from which Jean-Georges unveils “light as air” pizzas: flawlessly charred, soft and gently crackling under the brightest and most delicious toppings. The Mercato Bar, on the other hand, features a completely original selection of cocktails made with the finest spirits, freshly-muddled fruit, herbals, and aromatics, as well as an assorted array of Italian wines to accompany an evening of delicious food, conversations, and life indulgence.

T’ang Court

T’ang Court within the famous Langham Hotel is a remarkable Michelin-starred restaurant serving international critics and visitors alike with its refined menu of regional cuisine and radiating a lavish and snug overall ambiance. Only using the finest ingredients, the team behind T’ang Court prepares modern and classic Cantonese cuisine, full of a variety of flavors, textures, and aromas. Prepare for an evening of excellent food and outstanding service. One of the highlights on the menu is the king crab cake on the shell – a unique blend of Alaskan king crab and local crab meat bringing out the best flavors, sweetness, and complexity in crustaceans. Once you pierce through the crispy panko crust, you’ll be blown away by forkfuls of the crustacean combined with a touch of onion for contrast in a light creamy sauce. It’s a wonderful dish that, while priced per person, can also be shared as it’s a significant portion of seafood.

L’Atelier by Joël Robuchon

The concept of L’Atelier was established by Joël Robuchon sparked during his travels and encounters in Japan but also combined with the tradition of tapas bars in Spain. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Shanghai has the iconic open kitchen which finds itself in the center around teppanyaki and surrounded by seats, where customers can observe the preparation of Joël Robuchon’s signature dishes executed by Executive Chef Francky Semblat and his team who has been working alongside Joël Robuchon for nearly 20 years now. The interactive atmosphere invites guests in the unusual dining experience where gastronomy rhymes with festivity. The creativity of each dish will have you impressed and it will be topped off by quality execution, while the decor and ultimately the service are perfection. Attention to detail from the staff is noteworthy. Choosing the a la carte menu is the best way to enjoy what this fantastic restaurant has on offer.

Jin Xuan Chinese Restaurant

The head chef of Jin Xuan Chinese Restaurant brings the significant experience he accumulated at some famous Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong to bear at this elegant restaurant on the 53rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton. Traditional Cantonese cuisine, warm service, and rich décor are what led this restaurant to its first Michelin star two years ago in 2017. The menu is complemented by dishes from around China and offers tea pairings and thus not only the wine list is impressive, but so is the selection of teas. The views are a given and the room itself is very comfortable and well-run, inviting for an evening of fantastic food and enjoyment. The refined menu specializes in Cantonese dishes complemented with regional favorites from other Chinese provinces. The main dining area can seat up to 52 guests, thus feeling spacious enough while retaining a rather intimate atmosphere. There are also six private dining rooms that can host a total capacity of 64 and another two VIP dining rooms are also available for up to 40 guests.

Lauma Breeze

Ever since reading In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne in her childhood, Lauma has been fascinated by all things travel. From sailing as well as exploring nature inland to continuously being fascinated by cities and cultures worldwide, she conveys her passion and inquisitive nature in writing.

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