On the fifth floor of the IAPM mall on Huaihai Middle Road, the Greyhound Cafe is a slightly overpriced but delicious Thai restaurant filled with weary-eyed office workers finishing a day of work, frighteningly well-dressed folks just coming off a Gucci bender, and girls trying to spice up their gals’ night. While this is not the place to go for those trying to watch their expenses, it’s a nice change-up from the Xintiandi Element Fresh.
Decor and service
What better way to communicate with the laowai at your restaurant than screen printed messages on your button down shirt? “I an ‘t speak Thai but I recommend good thai dish,” read one shirt. “Life is too short. More desserts anyone?” Preach. And on the massive mural on the left wall of the restaurant, there is an inspirational message that states: “Life is a journey full of pictures, places and great tasting recipes.” While Greyhound might not be the biggest fan of the Oxford comma or checking spelling, they are trying to make their dining experience a multicultural one.
The servers are very attentive to the crowd, almost overly so. Their English language abilities were suspect but they were eventually able to relay the order to the kitchen. The ambiance was nice with a good mix of Chinese, international, and American music. The seats looked like a mish-mash of chairs stolen from both a college campus and a bookstore. And the pairing of candles to add light to the dimly lit room and the massive artwork printed onto a mirror on the wall makes for a romantic hipster paradise.
The variety of food here is impressive, with a thick book of menu options to peruse with pretty pictures for the more unique concoctions on the menu. However, the prices of the food are a bit depressing. Their minimalistic salad “sandwich in a bowl” which consists of toasted bread, mushrooms, tuna, and Caesar dressing came in at 88RMB. Their more Thai options were varied in price with most options ranging from 78-168RMB. The Pad Thai with mushroom (98RMB), grilled lamb chop with Tamarind paste (148RMB), pan-fried sea bass with red-curry sauce (168RMB), and the fried rice with pounded prawn (108RMB) were some of the highlights of the menu. And the basic fried rice with egg and bacon served with clear soup (78RMB) was also a top favorite, and for those wondering what exactly this dish entailed, the description gave you a clue: “Just the way you wish your mom would cook it for you when you were young.”
The drink options are quite creative as well, with a plethora of tea, fruity cocktails, beers, wines, and soft drinks. The lemongrass tea, at 28RMB, is clearly worth the price as it seems to be a panacea for all illnesses according to the menu: “warm and soothing tea, speedy recovery of common cold, flu, cramps, and flatulence.” And the Oriental Kiss is a great fruity option – “guava juice meets with Chinese plum a kiss to remember” – and comes in at 36RMB.
Greyhound also has a host of desserts that can be chosen at the to-go window at the front of the store that includes a parfait bar.
This hipster haven is a fun fusion of Thai cuisine, American culture, and Chinese service. While it might be a bit of a costly night out, for those who have just finished shopping on Huaihai Zhong Lu, this would be a great pitstop. If you and the girls want to have a dinner out Sex and the City style, this is a great place to go. Just be prepared to get glared at by the tired businessmen sitting at the table next to you, who are seriously contemplating their pad thai dish of choice in silence at the neighboring table, if you talk too loudly.
By Charlotte Evans
Greyhound Cafe, No 503, Fifth Floor, IAPM Mall, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu, Xuhui district, (徐汇区淮海中路999号IAPM商场L5-503室, 近陕西南路). Tel: (0)21-5466-6105. Hours: 10am-10pm daily.
Charlotte Evans is a contributor to Shanghaiist’s Food Section.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].