Shoka Reduxa: Back when little Shoka opened up as part of the Loft 98 trifecta early this year, most saw the restaurant as an attempt to move in on Haiku’s turf. Specifically, upscale and modern sushi wrapped up in a trendy dining experience that attracts tons of business. Months later, with too many conspicuously empty tables, Shoka started offering an all-you-can-eat-and-drink special on certain days of the week to jump start business. Now, we’ve discovered, the special is an option on any day of the week.
The food at Shoka was never its problem. Like Haiku, Shoka slickly presents well crafted cut rolls and quality sashimi and nigiri. Now, with its unlimited ordering option, it has combined the best elements of the two successful strands of Japanese dining in Shanghai: the nouveau concept and the old-fashioned gorge-fest. At 188 RMB (there’s an even more inexpensive option with a far more limited menu at 148 RMB), it’s not too far off from most unlimited Japanese joints in terms of price, and the quality far exceeds the rest of the pack. The selection may not be that fulfilling, the house sake (bleh) and the limited beer selection (one) may garner some grumbling, but Shoka is well worth the visit (and re-visit) for your next all-you-can-eat-and-drink adventure.
Happenings: A few recent updates on what’s going on around our fair little village:
- Boxing Cat Brewery is having a hoedown on Wednesday night, September 10th, starting from 7pm until “late,” in order to wrap a tidy bow around the summer and look ahead to the fall. For 165 RMB (50 RMB for the kids), guests can enjoy an unlimited supply of Kelley Lee’s quite excellent American BBQ. An additional 65 RMB will get you free flow of Boxing Cat’s very good microbrewed beers and sangria. It’s worth the trek, trust us
- Many of you may have noticed that the Paul at Xintiandi has been out of commission all this week. That’s because it’s getting renovated and will re-open at 3 times the size on September 15th. Those of you craving your Paul baguettes can head west down Huaihai Lu to their Maoming Lu branch.
- The date has been set for Bubba’s third annual Chili Cook-off. It’ll be October 11th, with proceeds going to Shanghai Sunrise Charity. Like last year, public entry will be 100 RMB, and a chance to taste all the entrants’ chili. Hopefully, we’ll get to go this year.
Things look a little sweeter: We’re definitely late with this news, but Baskin Robbins is coming!
The company has signed an agreement with Shaanxi Stellerich Food and Restaurant Co., LTD to open the first Baskin-Robbins store in Shanghai before the end of this year, with another 50 across the city as well as the Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shaanxi Provinces within the next five years, and a total of 100 stores across the regions by 2018.
According to its own press release, Baskin Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. It was our ice cream parlor of choice while growing up in southern California. So let’s see, Fatburger, Carl’s Jr., Krispy Kreme, and now Baskin Robbins (we’re probably missing more). Shanghai is looking more and more like the place we left 5 years ago to come here.
Shoka – 2/F,Loft 98, 98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu (延平路98号98创意园 , 近新闸路), Tel: Phone: 5175-9819, Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Boxing Cat Brewery – 453 Jinfeng Lu, Minhang near Baole Lu (金丰路453号, 近保乐路), Tel: Phone: 6221-9661, Hours: 10:00am-1:00am
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.