Closing Dish: Cafe Transat fought the good fight with its relaxing terrace and inviting happy hours. Unfortunately, it appears that not even a Shanghaiist endorsement was enough for it to sustain the business that this high-rent district demands. We were taking a break at Bellagio on Taicang Lu over the weekend when we noticed that Cafe Transat across the street had closed shop (picture of the storefront on the left). According to the Bellagio staff, the restaurant stopped operating around two weeks ago.
The last few times we visited we were one of the only patrons there. With its mix of international fare, the menu never seemed to have its own identity, although some individual sets were quite good. Here’s hoping their replacement can keep the terrace going and give good reason for those of us looking for a good bite to eat to walk the couple of extra blocks from Xintiandi.
In other closure news: We read on Shanghaiexpat that City Diner’s Hongmei restaurant has already closed down after only opening around 6 months ago. We called the Tongren Lu one and they confirmed it shut down a couple of weeks ago. That’s a quick demise even by Shanghai standards. We’ll try to follow up and get the whole story.
And on the web: We first heard about Ben Ross when he was blogging about his month-long adventure as a trainee in a Fuzhou hair salon. His new website is a bit of a thematic departure from his blog; he’s trying to ease the act of ordering Chinese food for non-Chinese folks at How To Order Chinese Food. According to Ben there are now 83 different dishes listed, complete with photos, pinyin, and brief descriptions. Should be helpful for Shanghai residents who never bothered with the hole-in-the-wall places right below their apartments because they didn’t have English menus.
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com