Spanish sunshine: El Willy has gotten off to a hot start since opening in February, with the Spanish restaurant receiving positive reviews and good word of mouth. We had a decent first visit for dinner a few weeks back, but lately we have become quite enamored with their lunch menu. Our favorite is the juicy duck rice, a small tin of paella that is the perfect blend of the fatty bird and its grape and hazelnut companions. At 48 RMB for one course (78 RMB for two and 98 RMB for three), it’s a pretty good bargain, and now that the weather has turned we’ll be able to enjoy having our lunch in their newly opened outdoor garden. Having grand opened this past Saturday, the lovely garden was used to lead off Christopher St. Cavish’s SH Magazine article a few weeks back about outdoor dining, and is sure to be a popular weekend hangout before the Shanghai summer heat is sledgehammered upon us.
Papa John’s thinks bigger: There are about 100 Papa John’s locations throughout China, but the restaurant chain wants that number to grow to 500 in the next five years. From Reuters:
Pizza delivery chain Papa John’s plans to add 500 restaurants in China in the next five years, making the country its biggest market outside the United States, the company’s chief financial officer said on Wednesday.
China, now home to 100 Papa John’s restaurants, is expected to account for more than 20 percent of the company’s total revenue this year, David Flanery told reporters in Shanghai.
Wow, that’s a lot of Papa John’s. And that’s all we have to say about that.
More on Shanghai food writing: We first met Jarrett Wrisley over four years ago, when we were writing for That’s Shanghai and he was the fresh-off-the-boat bar and drink editor there. A lot of things have changed in terms of Shanghai’s F&B scene since then, and Mr. Wrisley has been on the front lines of it all, first with That’s and then as the food czar for SH Magazine (before passing the baton to St. Cavish last year). He now continues his food writing on his blog, Chewed Up and Spit Out, and his expansive network of chefs, restaurant owners, and foodie fiends continue to be a great source for Jarrett’s excellent musings and reviews. In terms of Shanghai’s food bloggers, he is definitely captain of the varsity football team (and we’re somewhere in the band, most likely playing the clarinet).
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.