We were sent Silk Guides: Shanghai Eat & Drink Guide a couple weeks ago, but it took us a little while to get off our lazy butts and actually take a look inside… Which is a shame, because the guide, about a size that would fit handily into a purse if not really a pocket, is actually a pretty decent look at what restaurants you ought to try in the city right now.
The guide is the creation of Gary Bowerman, Amy Fabris-Shi and Tina Kanagaratnam – three people who’ve lived in Shanghai for a combined 25 years and spent that quarter-century of experience eating (and writing about eating). As they put it:
The guide is designed as a concise compilation of the best in the city – from dumpling kiosks to fine dining — encompassing all moods, times of day and circumstances, written by people who live here, are totally immersed in the food scene and have eaten out a lot! In each mini review we have highlighted the reasons why these are the places Shanghai people-in-the-know return to again and again. Of course there’s more to Shanghai eating than top restaurants – we also tell you where to get great breakfasts, what’s open 24 hours, where to order groceries and find specialty chocolates, and much more.
There’s the usual suspects of restaurant/bar recommendations – M on the Bund, Bar Rouge, Sasha’s – but we were surprised and delighted to find some of our favorites (Exit, Guyi Hunan, Old China Hand Reading Room, Anar) and the newer players in town represented as well (including shout outs to restaurants we haven’t gotten a chance to try yet, like Restaurant Martin).
And their blurb doesn’t overstate what they do: there are separate little guides for where to get Chinese breakfast, what sites to order groceries from, cooking schools, places with views on the river. At 75RMB, it’s not too expensive for you to pick up one for your relatives or friends abroad (because you know as soon as they get here, they’re going to ask you where to get some grub).
Our only gripe: the glue that holds the guide into its little booklet shape probably needs to be reapplied or switched for something that isn’t glue. Our Silk Guide kept on bursting apart.