Fingers crossed: A wise man once proclaimed Backyard Cafe, tucked behind the Bridge 8 complex on Jianguo Lu, to be the purveyor of the best steak in Shanghai. We agreed that, dollar for pound, Backyard was a deal not to be missed. A buy one get one free Enjoy Shanghai coupon sweetened our visits.
Which is why we were distressed when we read on Sherpa’s helpful little scrollbar that Backyard has been closed. Diligent as always, we visited Bridge 8 over the weekend to confirm and saw the following noticed taped on the locked doors:
We’ll close during refurbishing the restaurant. We will take on a new look to welcome you!
Hopefully it’s all true, and Backyard will re-open stronger then ever. It would be tough to stomach losing two of our favorite spots in the span of a week.
And on the rumor mill: From our Contribute page, we received a tip that Le Garcon Chinoise may soon stop serving Vietnamese cuisine and switch over to Chinese fare. The restaurant has its share of devoted fans, including our anonymous tipster (thank you!), and we’ll try to follow up in person and see what the real deal is.
Not really news: The current issue of New York Times Magazine has a little piece on the difference between authentic Chinese cuisine and its distinctly American version, claiming that while American diners may feel like they have no alternatives other than the sauced up standards to which they’ve been accustomed, real Chinese cooking exists in the States and can be found with some persistence. We liked how the food was described:
At its highest levels, like any fine art, Chinese cuisine aims to resonate with the soul. A great menu has themes and a narrative arc. Dishes may evoke the natural world, aspects of civilization or the moods and phases of men’s lives.
Personally, we agree with the writer; Gil Wonton, anyone?
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.