One of Shanghai’s many preternatural qualities is the rate at which restaurants, bars, museums, skyscrapers, or just about anything that involves the pouring of cement, pop up (and disappear) over night. After a year away from the city that never settles down, I was all too excited to come back and discover where the new cement lay. To my pleasant surprise, the Lost Heaven group (the people behind Lost Heaven and Coconut Paradise) literally plopped down a mega-block of cement on on a Shanghai classic, Julu Lu, inclusive of a new restaurant, bakery, market place, food court and even a florist.
Lost Heaven Silk Road
Similar to the other Lost Heaven’s, Yunnan food is the star at this restaurant, but the Lost group has done something a bit different, creating a Western China fusion, and also featuring food from Xi’an and Gansu into India and Pakistan—all “along The Silk Road”. That means there are a few curries and naan thrown up in the selection. It’s definitely a bit gimmicky and the menu can be a bit scattered.
Overall, the food lacks that under-kicking spice that makes the food at the original Lost Heaven locations so great. In fact, some of the sauces used seem to be variations of sauces used at the other locations, minus the spice. The samosas, in particular, were underwhelming and not up to par with the glorious lamb samosas served at the other locations.
As for the space, they tried to make the decor a bit different from the other locations, featuring wall paintings replicating the caves at Dunhuang. But in the end, it’s quite similar the other locations—dim lighting and large enough to house a small army. An outdoor terrace is a nice feature, and surely will hold many events to come.
More Than Eat and Lost Bakery
On the ground floor of the complex, is Lost Bakery and More Than Eat, which is a more casual restaurant set-up like a food court plus a market space. The offering at More Than Eat is extremely varied, and you can probably satisfy almost any craving, whether it’s sushi, a burger, some fried tofu or even Spanish food.
It seems they haven’t quite figured out the set-up yet at More Than Eat and it’s all bit confusing. There are several stalls each serving a different type of food and we were told that food could be ordered from the stalls. However, we were also seated at a table and provided with a menu, which had more or less the same food that was on offer at the stalls, but not exactly. There were also multiple menus, that were more or less the same, but not exactly. However, once you get past deciding through the seemingly infinite options, the food is quite good.
The bakery sits on the opposite end of the complex, and they’ve put together a great space for grabbing a quick coffee or plopping down to get some work done. The selection is similar to any other “french bakery” in Shanghai, with pastries, tarts, bread, a few sandwiches and of course coffee on offer.
My favourite part of the complex is actually the florist, which has a pretty solid selection of plants and flowers for really good prices, and definitely cheaper than the other florists on Julu. Overall, the space is slightly overly ambitious, and it’s not even finished. Perhaps they should’ve stuck with another one-off restaurant, but then again, this is the group’s fifth or so venture in the city, so they must somewhat know what they’re doing.
This article was written by Enrique Menendez . Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: timeoutshanghai.com