Sugared & Spiced

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[Shanghai 上海] Weiliu 味留

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Weiliu 味留

Add: B1/F,158 Julu Lu, near Ruijin Yi Lu
Tel: 6333 5117
Hours: 5~11pm (closed on Sun)
Price: from 1280 RMB
Visited: Apr 2017

Found 158 might be widely known as the “new Yongkang Lu” with its collection of expat-centric bars and restaurants, but the subterranean hub also houses an upscale Japanese restaurant called Weiliu. Tucked away in a quiet corner, Weiliu – opened just a few weeks before my visit – is composed of a very zen pebble garden, one main sushi bar, and a couple of spacious private rooms, all donned with silent sliding doors and minimalist decors.

永康路被整頓後,全上海的外國人似乎都跑到大同坊來了,每逢週末都擠得水洩不通。不過你知道,這裡除了有去不完的酒吧之外,其實還隱藏了一家相當高級日本料理店嗎? 我到訪時才開幕幾週的味留座落在大同坊一個安靜的角落,有個很禪的庭院,一個開放式吧台,還有幾個寬敞的包房。風格簡約,低調的外表讓人很想進去一探究進…

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The restaurant group, with three locations in Taipei already, also imported their chefs from Taiwan.  Omakase sets are priced at 1,280, 1,680, and 1,980 RMB – steep, but not uncommon among the high-end Japanese restaurant scene in Shanghai.

味留來自台灣,在台北已有三家店(咦,可是之前從來沒聽過),上海新店大部分的師父似乎也都是台灣人。Omakase 的價位是 1,280, 1,680, 和 1,980 人民幣 - 貴,但這就是上海高級日本料理的行情。

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Written by sugarednspiced

June 21st, 2017 at 5:14 am

[Shanghai 上海] Cafe Dan 丹咖啡

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Cafe Dan

Add: No. 41, Alley 248 Taikang Lu (inside Tianzifang)
Tel: 6466 1042
Hours: 10am~11pm
Price: 100~150rmb/person
Visited: Dec 2016

In a city like Shanghai, where the F&B scene changes constantly with daily openings and closings, the restaurants and cafes that stick around become all the more rare and precious. Like Cafe Dan. This small cafe in Tianzifang has been there since 2007, and is perpetually filled with the alluring aroma of freshly brewed coffee and delicious Japanese comfort food that I don’t mind going out of my way for.

上海的新餐廳如春筍般不停的冒出,可是我卻越來越喜歡那些長年來靜靜存在著的地方,比如丹咖啡。這家日式咖啡屋2007年開幕至今已快10年,小店藏身于田子坊內,不是一個我平會常去的區域,不過偶而想念他們健康美味的餐點時,就會爲之專門跑一趟。

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There are three stories to Cafe Dan. The 1st floor is used mostly as storage, and to get to the seats one must climb up dangerously steep steps to the 2nd and 3rd floors. It’s not an especially spacious cafe, and fills up quickly on weekends.

丹咖啡共有三層樓。一樓沒有可坐的空間,只是用來擺放制作咖啡的器具和雜貨。爬上陡峭地有些危險的樓梯,二、三樓和中間的夾層都有一些小木桌。空間不大,周末時一座難求。

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 13th, 2017 at 1:54 am

[Hong Kong] Toritama 酉玉

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酉玉 Toritama

Add: G/F, 2 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2388 7717
Hours: 6pm-12am (closed on Sun)
Website: www.toritama.hk
Price: 人均400+港币
Visited: Aug 2016

Tokyo’s Toritama, famous for going beyond the standard chicken skewers with its “beak-to-tail” experience, has settled in Hong Kong on Glenealy. Grill master Hironobu Matsumoto from Japan mans the Hong Kong outpost, bringing his expertise of chicken heart, esophagus, soft chest bone, and gizzard skin (etc. etc.) with him…but first, the meal begins with a selection of homemade pickles, and a small dish of grated daikon topped with a raw quail egg to be eaten on its own, or used as an accompaniment for the skewers.

在東京以 “Nose to Tail”(從鼻尖到尾巴)雞料理出名的酉玉去年在香港開分店,派了在總店工作五年的松本浩暢師傅坐鎮。酉玉在香港可能還未像 Yardbird 那樣衆所皆知,不過去過的朋友都非常喜歡,所以就約在這裏了。

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The original Tokyo shop offers over 30 different parts of the chicken, while the Hong Kong outpost does around 24. On the menu there is a handy diagram indicating each of these parts, I was surprised to see that even the tiny chicken butt is divided into three different sections…wow.

菜單上主打的是 ”1 雞 24 味” 的串燒,除了常吃到的部位之外,還有雞冠、雞膝軟骨、雞食道、雞血管、雞肝外層薄衣、雞膊肉、雞心口軟骨、雞心血管、雞膝軟骨、雞小腿肉、雞髀骹肉等共24個部位,據說連小小的雞股也仔細地分成尖股、股皮及上股 3 部分,風味各不相同。我說,也太細了吧…不愧是日本人,真是把雞發揮到了極致。

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Toritama uses local free-range chickens for its skewers (all except for the chicken butts), and as each chicken part has its distinct flavor and texture, the grill master uses different seasonings (including a 15-year-old sauce brought in from Tokyo) and grilling techniques to bring out the best of each.

除了雞股由東京總店直送香港之外,其他部位都來自本地農場的走地雞,根據老師傅的說法是因爲雞的新鮮度最爲重要,用當地的比較好(那雞屁股呢?可能有特殊的講究吧)。由于每個部味道不同,師傅會用調味料(包括東京總店送來的15年燒汁)、燒烤時間和技巧來調整風味。

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At Toritama, you can either go a la carte or choose from one of the sets – tori (7 skewers, 388 HKD), tama (10 skewers, 388 HKD), and omakase (12 skewers + rice + soup + ice-cream, 588 HKD). We went for the 7-skewer Tori set, and tagged on a few a la carte items at the end.

在酉玉可單點,也可選擇不同的套餐,比如 tori(7串,288港幣)、tama(10串,388港幣)、omaksase(12串+主廚推薦飯料理+雞湯+冰淇淋,588港幣)。我選了 7 串的 tori 套餐,再單點了一些小東西。

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Written by sugarednspiced

September 26th, 2016 at 11:49 am

[Shanghai 上海] Maison Asano 淺野府 (2)

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Maison Asano 淺野府

Add: 318-2 Julu Lu, near Maoming Nan Lu / 巨鹿路318-2, 近茂名南路
Tel: 6216 2019 / 18019363910
Hours: [Tue-Sun] 5:30-10:30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 888~1980 RMB/set
Visited: Mar 2016

Please note that this was an invited tasting.

It’s been over a year since I last visited to Maison Asano, and during the past few months, this high-end Japanese restaurant has gone through some significant changes. The original open space has been sectioned off into various private rooms, and even the bar feels more intimate now. The chef in charge has also changed from Liam to Simon, a young Taiwanese chef in his early thirties, but we will talk about him a bit later.

請注意本次為餐廳邀請試吃。

記得 2010 年 Sushi Oyama 開幕時,曾是上海唯一一家高級壽司店,讓我非常著迷。在離開上海的幾年,陸續聽說多了不少類似級別的壽司店,而其中一家開幕時備受矚目的是巨鹿路上的淺野府。後來通過朋友介紹認識了老板Judy,上周受她邀請去用了晚餐,除了好奇這家餐廳的現況,也想了解下這位臉蛋精致的像洋娃娃的台灣日本混血女孩,怎麽會想要跑來上海開一家日本料理。

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What’s left unchanged is the price – Maison Asano still offers set of 888 and 1380 RMB, but they can also go up to 1980RMB for those who really want to splurge – but they do request an one-week advance notice to prepare this special menu. For me, dinner commenced with a bowl of Japanese yellowtail soup – a perfect start for this chilly Spring evening.

淺野府自 2013 年開幕後有了不少變化。本來開放的空間改成了包房的設計,吧台的位子多了不少私密感,料理長也在最近換了人 - 這點,稍後再細說。淺野府有888元和1380元的套餐,也可以根據客人的要求做1680和1980的極致套餐(需一周前預訂)。我當天的晚膳,由一碗熱騰騰的鰤魚蒜味前湯開始。

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Appetizers: sesame spinach, red conch, tuna withmountain yam, and tomato poached in red wine.

前菜:胡麻菠菜、紅螺、山藥金槍魚、紅酒番茄。

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Japanese sea bream with orange vinegar.

鲷魚,佐橙醋。

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Written by sugarednspiced

March 20th, 2016 at 7:41 am

[Shanghai] Quan Er 荃二 (2)

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Quan Er 荃二

Add: 1 Alley 76 Wuyuan Road, near Changshu Road / 五原路76弄1号,近常熟路
Tel: 186 2165 1927
Hours: [Thu-Fri] 8-10pm [Sat-Sun] 3-10pm (closed Mon-Wed)
Price: varies
Visited: Sep 2015

I had previously told you about 荃二 (Quan Er), a tiny boutique on Changle Road filled with beautiful ceramics and other knickknacks collected from Japan. It has since moved to Wuyuan Road to a bigger and brighter space, with a charming loft design. In case you had missed the info last time, here it is again: I met 文林 (Wen Lin), one of the three shop owners, years ago through a magazine interview. A soft-spoken man from Sichuan, Wen was then the Associate Director of the lifestyle section at Bund Pic and travelled often to Japan for work. Throughout the years, he and his colleagues have accumulated an impressive collection of miscellaneous goods, and decided to open Quan Er to share this with like-minded others.

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Written by sugarednspiced

October 6th, 2015 at 1:50 pm

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[Shanghai] Maison Asano 淺野府

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Maison Asano 淺野府

Add: 318-2 Julu Lu, near Maoming Nan Lu / 巨鹿路318-2, 近茂名南路
Tel: 6216 2019
Hours: [Tue-Sun] 5:30-10:30pm
Price: 880~1380 RMB/set
Visited: Jan 2015

A number of high-end Japanese restaurants have opened since I left Shanghai in 2012, and one that I heard quite a lot about immediately after its opening is Maison Asano 淺野府. The owners are a pair of Taiwanese siblings with 1/4 Japanese blood from their grandmother, who claims ties to the Asano clan feudal lords (and hence the name Maison Asano). The prices are up there – 888 RMB or 1380 RMB per kaiseki set, but that’s apparently the norm for high end Japanese restaurants nowadays in Shanghai. We were originally planning to go to my old favorite Sushi Oyama, but as it’s closed on Sundays, we ended up at Maison Asano instead.

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I was expecting an intimate restaurant – perhaps just a bar with one or two tables – but Maison Asano is actually quite big with plenty of tables and a few private rooms.

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Written by sugarednspiced

February 2nd, 2015 at 2:22 pm

[Shanghai] Shari

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Shari

Add: 630 Yongjia Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu / 永嘉路630号, 近乌鲁木齐路
Tel: 5466 0320
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 11:30am~2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm [Sat-Sun] 11:30am~2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Website: www.shari-shanghai.cn
Price: 150~250RMB/person
Visited on: Apr 2012

5 minutes before dinner, my friend called and said in an unsure voice, “I’m at the door, but this place doesn’t look like it serves sushi…” Indeed, the colonial villa in which Shari is situated in does not resemble a typical Japanese restaurant, but no one has ever decided that sushi rolls can only be served in tatami-floorered rooms, right?

We started with an assorted appetizer plate (98 RMB), which included shari tofu (Japanese tofu mixed with mascarpone cheese), umani (Japanese traditional stewed clam), kamonegi (roasted duck and fried scallions with balsamic), tomato with avocado, onsen tamago (half-boiled egg with miso jelly), and nanbanzuke (fried white fish marinated in sweet vinegar sauce).

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Written by sugarednspiced

May 22nd, 2012 at 8:35 pm

[Shanghai] Kota’s Kitchen

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Kota’s Kitchen

Add: 2905 Xietu Lu, near Lingling Lu 斜土路2905号, 近零陵路
Tel: 6481 2005
Hours: 6pm-1am
Website: www.kotaskitchen.com
Price: 150~200 RMB/person
Visited: Dec 2011

There’s a warm buzz at Kota’s Kitchen that makes you feel you’ve come to the right place. This intimate, perpetually packed Japanese yakitori shochu bar has all the right elements – skewered items grilled to perfection over Japanese charcoal, supremely gratifying fried chicken, fried potatoes, fried anything, and Beatles posters all over its walls and classic tunes of “Love Me Do” and “Yellow Submarine” in the background. My favorite yakitori place in town, hands down.


A meal at Kota’s always starts with a plate of freshly sliced carrots, cucumbers, and daikons with accompanying mayonnaise and a mildly spicy sauce. This is probably going to be the healthiest plate you’ll see all evening.

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Written by sugarednspiced

December 5th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

[Shanghai] Mo-Mo Paradise

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Mo-Mo Paradise

Address: Hong Fang Zi, 2/F, 35 Shanxi Nan Lu, near Changle Lu 红房子, 陕西南路35号2楼, 近长乐路
Tel: 5236 6038
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 11:30am-3pm, 5-10pm [Sat-Sun] 11:30am-10pm
Website: www.mo-mo-sh.com
Price:  [lunch] 118~128 RMB/person, drinks extra [dinner] 138~150 RMB/person, drinks extra
Visited: Nov 2011

Last year, Sugared & Spiced kicked off the hot pot season with Qimin Organic Hot Pot (still a lovely spot to visit), and this year, it all started with Mo-Mo Paradise. Originally from Tokyo, this hot pot chain now has around 100 branches in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, and its Shanghai branch just opened earlier this year. For 118~128 RMB (lunch) and 138~150 RMB (dinner), they offer all-you-can-eat selections of quality meats and organic vegetables. Clean interior, excellent service, no fuss.

The appetizer plate.

Mo-Mo Paradise offers four broth choices: sukiyaki, shabu shabu, spicy miso, and curry. The most popular choice is the sukiyaki broth, a sweet and savory combination of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (a rice wine with a 40~50% sugar content).

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December 4th, 2011 at 11:09 am

[Shanghai] Organ (3)

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Organ

Add: 66 Ziyunxi Lu, near Loushanguan Lu 紫云西路66号, 近娄山关路
Tel: 5206 5937
Hours: 11:30am-10pm
Website: blog.goo.ne.jp/organ0417
Price: [lunch] 40~50 RMB [cakes] 25~35 RMB
Visited: Jul 2011

NOTE: Organ has closed and reopened here.

You can tell from my first and second posts on Organ that this discreet little Japanese cafe is one of my favorite lunch spots near my office, so I was very sad to hear that they are moving to Hongmei Lu area in August. Where will I go for lunch from now on?

As the new location is too far from my office, I know I need to seize my last chances to lunch at Organ before they move. So here I am!

The tofu burger (48 RMB), one of my favorite dishes at Organ, was a delight as always. The patty was soft and tender, perfect with the scoop of chewy mixed-grain rice served on the side. What made the dish spark was a mound of shiso leaves and a bit of grated turnips topping the tofu burger, each adding a refreshing layer of flavor.


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Written by sugarednspiced

July 16th, 2011 at 11:14 am