Let the reservations begin: The second annual Shanghai Restaurant Week
Already one of the biggest culinary events around the world, Restaurant Week is back in Shanghai -- sponsored by DiningCity.com -- to tempt local gourmands into some of the city’s high-end restaurants from September 6-12. Venues start taking reservations today.
“My business partner Onno Schreurs and I have been following the hospitality and restaurant industry in Shanghai since we arrived in Shanghai in 2004. We are two food-loving entrepreneurs and our passion is the art of hospitality,” explains Siem Bierman, co-founder of Shanghai Restaurant Week. “The Shanghai Restaurant market has changed [during our time here] and is changing rapidly as we speak. Overall quality is improving and we believe the scene and its evolved culture has matured in such way that the Shanghai dining society is ready for Restaurant Week.”
Which venues are on Bierman's list? Many of the big name Western and hotel venues (with a few notable exceptions) you’d expect, although few of the major Chinese venues have signed on.
So far, those looking to make their Shanghai Restaurant Week reservations will be able to choose from:
- Downstairs by David Laris
- The Purple Onion
- Hamilton House
- Mi Tierra
- Kathleen’s 5
- Rosso Italiano
- JC Mandarin Wine Bar and Grill
- New Heights
- Whampoa Club
- Bistro Latitude
- The Chinoise Story
- California Grill (JW Marriott)
- Wan Hao (JW Marriott)
- LAN - Butterfly
- Sir Elly's (Peninsula)
- Yi Long Court (Peninsula)
- Palladio (The Portman Ritz-Carlton)
- Acqua (Gran Melia)
Participating venues will serve set three-course dinners for RMB 238, and a three-course lunch for RMB 118, down from last year's set prices.
With Shanghai's rapidly increasing inflation rates, locals rarely see prices drop from year to year, but Bierman explains the reasoning behind the change.
“The reason the price changed is because of the fact that in China the number 250 -- the amount for dinner last year -- is not a very good number in Chinese. 二百五 [250, or "er bai wu"] can mean idiot or stupid here. Additionally we believe RMB 238 is a more competitive pricing [for dinner] and we hope to generate even more online bookings this way.”
This year’s event is building on the first Shanghai Restaurant Week where Bierman said the 26 participating restaurants generated over 3,000 online reservations.
As for the participating venues, Bierman says they’re chosen not to necessarily pacify Shanghai’s foreign residents who are more familiar with the concept of Restaurant Week, but to give more local residents an introduction to the Western dining scene. “International restaurants that normally are fully booked with international guests now had local visitors. Restaurant owners called me to say how happy they were having new local guests in the restaurants to build up rapport, client relationship, show their product and have them back again soon, bringing other friends and business partners,” he says.