It wasn’t that long ago that Shanghaiist headed straight to Crystal Jade in Xintiandi for our regular weekend dim sum brunch. Since then, however, our new loyalties lie with two restaurants closer to headquarters. Our first impressions of Lynn back when it opened early last year was that customers were paying the bulk of the price premium for its sleek, modern decor and presentation rather than the quality of its traditional Shanghainese fare. However, dim sum lovers have been flocking to Lynn for their weekend all-you-can-eat dim sum menu, and for good reason. For 68 RMB, one can indulge on a free-flow of traditional Cantonese and Shanghainese favorites. Not a bad price, considering ordering a la carte for a single serving of hot and sour soup will run about half of that (and yes, the soup is also on the all-you-can eat menu).
More recently, we’ve been frequenting Royal China (金桂皇朝) on the top floor of the Sogo mall (久光百货) at Jing’an Temple, not least because we have a friend who knows the supplier of rice noodles to all the top Cantonese restaurants in Shanghai, and who vouches for the quality of the dim sum here like no other. After trying the glistening pork buns and fried turnip cakes, we have to agree that this is some of the best dim sum we’ve had anywhere. At dinner, this restaurant turns into a less than competent Shanghainese restaurant, but it’s packed and worth the visit on the weekends for brunch. Prices will range from 60-70 RMB per person, which supports the famed theory (famed because we’re the ones who posited it) that dim sum will cost you around that much anywhere you go in Shanghai, provided you have more than four people and you’re not lunching at a four-star hotel.
Prime Rib on prime real-estate: There has been much anticipation for the opening of Lawry’s The Prime Rib, the famous L.A. based
steakhouse prime rib house, at Xintiandi. The restaurant is having its grand opening cocktail party next Tuesday, though it has already soft-opened and, according to one of its fans on our Contribute page, is serving the best meat in Shanghai. Some posters on Shanghaiexpat are saying that an order of prime rib will set you back around 300-400 RMB. Diligent cocktail-party bloggers that we are, we’ll be sure to attend next week and report back on all the hype.
One busy man: Eduardo Vargas is apparently keeping himself very busy these days. In addition to Casa 13, word on the street is that he’s opening a restaurant serving Southeast Asian food on the third floor above his Azul, most likely sometime before May holiday. The chef is from Bali by way of a 5-star resort in the Maldives. We also read on Cityweekend that Eduardo has taken over Aegean and is turning it into a wine bar. We had been hearing grumblings about Aegean’s management from its former chef Marios, and it appears its time as a purveyor of decent but overly priced Mediterranean food is about to come to an end.
Lynn, 99-1 Xikang Lu near Nanjing Xi Lu (西康路99-1号近南京西路). Tel: 6247-0101. Brunch special starts from noon and ends at 3 pm.
Royal China – 金桂皇朝, 1618 Nanjing West Road, 8th Floor (静安区南京西路1618号久光百货8楼), Tel: 6288-3063
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.