Memos from Asia

Top 7 Date-night Destinations in Shanghai for Love Birds

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Yuyuan garden at night, a traditional shopping area in shanghai, China.

Most couples would agree that there is nothing more romantic than a night out at an elegant restaurant, looking into each other’s eye across a table bathed in gentle light and filled with delicious food and wine. Fortunately, Shanghai has many venues that can fulfill this ideal; here are our top recommendations for you and your special one.

1. Leonardo da Vinci’s

At Leonardo da Vinci’s, the walls are decorated with prints of its namesake’s classic paintings. You’ll be taken back to The Renaissance while enjoying a meal beside Mona Lisa, the flickering candlelight giving her smile a transcendent beauty.

As one of Shanghai’s most renowned Western-style restaurants, Leonardo da Vinci’s maintains the standards of a five-star hotel, preserving its elegance and charm regardless of what may be happening in the world beyond its walls. The menu is comprised primarily of traditional-style Italian dishes and flavors, including the beautiful pairing of pan-seared foie gras with cherry wine, and the excellent wait staff and bartenders are professional and considerate.

Detailed information in Chinese is available here

2. CASANOVA Italian Dining and Lounge

CASANOVA is located on the banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai,and features a decorative style that integrates wood and metal to form a refined new-age industrial romanticism. Leather seating and gentle lighting create a warm and intimate atmosphere inside the restaurant, but outdoor seating is also available for those who wish to enjoy the beauty of The Bund at night.

The name “Casanova” may carry connotations of promiscuity, but the menu offered by the CASANOVA restaurant is anything but. The restaurant’s handmade Italian papastaave has already become famous around Shanghai, and seafood enthusiasts can pair them with items such as Japanese shellfish, fresh artichoke, peppermint, and pine nuts. In addition to its exquisite food menu, CASANOVA also features an excellent wine selection, as it strives to provide its guests with a comprehensive, high-class dining experience.

Imagine yourself during your romantic night out, enjoying a delicious meal surrounded by beautiful views of The Bund. When you’re with your significant other, the air is always a little bit sweeter.

3. Stone Sal Restaurant and Bar

Stone Sal is one of Shanghai’s most popular steakhouses, and for a good reason – it carries a two-diamond rating from the Black Pearl Restaurant Guide. Stone Sal is styled as an American steakhouse, and it ages its meat in-house, in a specially designed room with walls made entirely of Himalayan salt bricks. Most of the restaurant’s meats are dry-aged for 28 days, and each cut is guaranteed a rich, full flavor and texture under the supervision of Head Chef Ling.

The menu features a full page of dry-aged steak options, most of USDA Prime Beef quality. These steaks have a richer flavor at their center and a creamy and nutty aroma at their crispy edges. With a recommended 3~4-minute cooking time, a gradual change in coloring from brown, to gray, to pink will be evident in a cross-section of the meat. Meat cooked using this method will be tender and juicy with a buttery aroma, and will pair wonderfully with a fruity red wine for a complex and layered flavoring and a rich aftertaste. With its clean, wooden, laid-back American-style décor, the restaurant is a perfect choice for date night.

4. Light & Salt Daily

At Light & Salt Daily, light is a symbol of art and culture, and salt is a symbol of fine food and wine. The restaurant is an oasis of tranquility located on a bustling street corner, and guests enjoy the peaceful ambiance of a refined French garden from the moment they step through the door, day or night.

Its new menu features a delicious peach cake that is sure to leave you feeling refreshed on a hot summer day, with fresh peaches and cream placed atop frozen white wine and drizzled with chocolate.

At dusk, when the lighting is at its most romantic and the tables are filled with artistic presentations of delicious food and wine, you and your partner are surely in for a wonderful evening.

5. JW’s California Grill

The relaxed and elegant JW’s California Grill is located on the 40th floor of a Shanghai hotel, giving it the feel of floating above the city center. A combination of fresh and seasonal items and top-class culinary techniques gives guests the experience of exquisite Western-style dining. An open kitchen design allows cooking enthusiasts to observe the entire process as their meal is prepared by expert chefs. Lobster and steak are the grill’s signature dishes, but be sure to pair whatever you choose with an excellent red wine for an even more romantic evening looking down on the beautiful city.

6. 1866 Restaurant & Bar

1886 Restaurant & Bar is a rare car-themed German restaurant in China, where Mercedes and BMWs are shown directly in the shop and hung up, the bar is transformed from the front of a bus, which is very cool.

A must-order is the flame-grilled pork knuckle, which takes seven to eight hours to cook. It’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and the meat is sticky and has a long aftertaste. For dessert, watch out for the “Beware of the teeth”, the chocolate mango church pudding is made into the shape of a wrench and a nut. Besides, there is a wide variety of beers to try, including draft beers with a strong aroma and a refreshing taste in the throat.

7. Uncle Liang’s Shanghai Private House

By looking at the name of the store, you know that this restaurant is a private Shanghai-style restaurant. It was opened in an 80-year-old bungalow in the old French Concession. The owner is a musician, so the decor is inventive, with the entrance made to look like a cello, romantic and mischievous.

There is no fixed menu, and reservations are required so that you can discuss with the host about a customized menu for your special one. The head chef is the former head chef of the Zhou family of Shanghai’s Bund, so it’s important to keep Shanghai’s culinary delicacies up to date with the times to satisfy the appetite of all gluttons.

Not much English information is available, so Chinese details can be found here, and the location is shown below.

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