Degraves Street: cafes galore in Melbourne

A street lined with cafes, it’s hard to choose…simply walk and find. Stroll through cool graffiti walls and outdoor patios in the first section, keep going and find a plethora of nooks, each serving their own twist on breakfast, brunch, and lunch.

Definitely find a spot serving avo smash. And get a coffee or latte and read the afternoon away.

I found the perfect place, ordered a latte (or maybe I had two) and listened to country music while reading all afternoon. Perfect way to spend a wintery July day in this city!

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Patio Sitting.

Ahh Spring in Shanghai is probably the best. The trees flourish and the sunlight sparkles through the green cascading on the street. It’s beautiful. The air is warm. Not necessarily fresh…but it’s finally warm!

It is perfect patio sitting weather and I have found a few favorites in this city.

Social Commune.

Located at 511 Jiangning Lu this rooftop provides seclusion from the busyness below and specialty cocktails too including a fancy spin on the classic gin and tonic.

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Pasha’s Turkish Restaurant.

Make reservations and request balcony seating. Order the Turkish breakfast brunch for two. A perfect spread of everything delicious. Address: 262 Nanchang Rd. Near Ruijin Er Rd.

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O’Delice.

Busy patio seating, but worth it to indulge a scrumptious savory crepe and sweet coconut ice-cream atop a salted caramel waffle. Address: 208 Xinle Lu

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Lizzy’s All Natural and Warehouse Cafe.

Located in the Anken Life building on Changhua Lu, these two places provide a cozy escape from street noise.

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Buzz time Coffee on Changde Lu.

Located just outside of Changping Line 7 metro. This quaint cafe provides a lovely patio to enjoy your coffee and sweet treat from Strictly Cookies.

Mayita.

Oh my goodness. This hidden gem in the Frasier Residences has a high rooftop view of iconic Shanghai towers. You can see glimpses of the sunset peaking through the skyscrapers too. This patio is decked out in vibrant teals and oranges. Reservations are a must! I finally found my go to Mexican restaurant in Shanghai. Top ingredients and strong Margarita pours. Five star rating for sure! Order the pork belly tacos, chips and guacamole, and fish wontons. I couldn’t be happier to have a taste of Mexico in the ‘Hai. Thank you Mayita.

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Wine bar on Hengshan Lu. Balcony seating provided. Yay Friday. Yay sunshine. Yay wine. Enough said.  A bottle is reasonably price and you’ll get more for your money as the one glass pours are skimpy. Higher class wine and a bit more pricey than a normal bar, but worth it.

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Enjoy the sunshine Shanghai!

March Cafe Tour

Brace yourself for local cafe goodness. best chai teas, in house roasters, and cute nooks.

Sumerian: hands down the best chai that I’ve discovered in Shanghai. A cozy cafe near West Beijing road, this cafe offers Boom Boom Bagels for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or whatever you prefer. Desserts are available as well; we got the cheesecake. South Shanxi Road Metro Exit 10 is ok!

415 Shanxi Bei Lu,near Beijing Xi Lu
陕西北路415号, 近北京西路

Cafe Voce: located on Hengshan Lu Metro, Yongjia road, this cafe has weekend brunch, lattes, teas, juices etc. And their tiramisu is delightful, so is the brownie. The outdoor patio is perfect for Shanghai’s spring days…even in the misty rain.

Egg: famous for their toasts, but ordered a delicious breakfast hash instead. Verdict on their Chai tea? Amazing. Order it with cashew milk for a dairy free treat. Egg also has gluten free options, but clearly we are not on that path as we also shared the most delightful lemon cake coated with thyme infused frosting.

12 Xiangyang Bei Lu
near Julu Lu
襄阳北路12号,近巨鹿路

Brut Cake Cafe: weekday afternoons are less busy if you have work to do, weekend brunch time is packed. This is probably due to the fact their chicken and waffles is only served on the weekends. Order it. My sister made a good point- you went to Shanghai for Southern food?? Yes, yes I did. And it was fantastic. Also ordered a spicy latte that paired well with the seasoned chicken and honey waffles. Their Kenyan blend is a great choice for regular coffee drinkers. And of course, get an original Brut Cake during one of your visits, trust me you’ll have more than one.

Jiangsu Road Metro (Exit 2 is ok!)                                                                                                                                                                             698 Yuyuan Lu
near Zhenning Lu
愚园路698号, 近镇宁路

Little Bean: one of Shanghai’s hidden coffee roasters. And you know it’s going to be good when the coffee bean grower’s personal information is displayed. Located at Science and Technology Metro Stop, take exit 6, pass the bus stop, and over the bridge, after the bridge turn right and walk. You’ll pass chain places along the river, but just keep walking until you spot the sign. The cafe offers plenty of seating and baked goods, like chocolate croissants, but just trust me and go straight for any of the local coffees. The smell and tastes are tantalizing. I ordered the Mariana Meireles, Tahiti coffee from the Vale de Jequitinhonha region of Brazil. Pretty much everything you would expect from a Brazilian coffee: sweet and smooth.

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PELIKAN, a restaurant by mr. willis

Impeccable. Really the only word to describe the service and dishes at Pelikan, a Nordic inspired restaurant in the Shanghai food scene. Located at 225 Xikang Lu, a popular side street in the Jingan District of Shanghai. This restaurant offers a full wine list ranging from white and reds and sparklings from Italy, France, Austria, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and others. (Don’t worry, if the list is too overwhelming for you, a wine flight is offered). The menu, an exquisite list of appetizers and cheeses, but most importantly a personally prepared Chef’s set menu. This 4 set course menu and dessert offering proved to be the best choice. And oh the flavors. I can’t even…

First course: smoked salmon tartars with mustard and dill glazed carrots

Second course: seared scallops with cauliflower and oyster cream

Third course: plaice fish fried on the bone with black kale, grilled shrimps, and shrimp sauce with pickled dill

Main course: *we substituted the braised pork belly for Australian sirloin with black garlic, grilled kale, and roasted onion sauce

Dessert: baked white chocolate puffet, chamomile paffet, bitter yogurt powder and dark chocolate (oh the creaminess and blended crunchiness all in one decadent dessert; the bitter dark chocolate and the sweet white…perfection)

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The manager, Aleksandra, was amazing. She made sure our food was cooked to perfection and inquired about our satisfaction. Basically the best manager ever, such personable service.

And make sure you at least take a sip of their homemade Limoncello. Though I’ve never been to Italy, I could have been whisked away in a sip of this refreshing *muah* taste of Italy. (basically insert an Italian accent and a kissing gesture and you have that taste in a glass). Dreamland of a summer breeze in a white dress in the Italian countryside. Yes, please.

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*Disclosure, I am usually not a fan of seafood, so if you are questioning your like for seafood, I can assure you that this is the restaurant of choice. My friend and co-taster, loves seafood and she also enjoyed this place.*

Azul: Peruvian Tapas on Ferguson Lane

So my friend and I had this awesome conversation about living in Shanghai. We live in an International city, full of amazing cuisine. And being as we both love fine food (or just food in general as long as it is scrumptious in flavor, texture, presentation, Etc.) and wine… (or specialty cocktails and  don’t forget coffee: basically, coffee…then wine, really no in between time) Our goal? One new restaurant per week. Trust me, in this city it can be done. Here goes.

Brunch Review: Azul
Location: Peruvian/Spanish Tapas on Ferguson Lane, French Concession, Shanghai.
A gray cold Sunday about 12 o’clock…thank goodness we made reservations as the place was quite busy. “Tapas” were slightly misleading as the menu was set up in courses and full entrees and less of ordering a bunch of things to share. The brunch was mediocre, but we took the waiter’s recommendation and ordered flan dessert. This did not disappoint, neither did the red sangria. Definitely  not a “top” brunch spot, but worth a visit for a cozy atmosphere, the flan, and an excuse to walk around on this quieter street of Shanghai.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Highline: cityscape views and American fusion

Dinner Review: Highline
Location: Metro: Take South Huangpu Rd, Exit 2. Corner of Songshan and Huaihai, in the Ascott Hotel, 6th floor- just walk through the lobby.
Wow. This place is a hidden gem. They did it right with the patio. It’s going to be perfect in the spring and autumn to sit outside and sip a cocktail. I mean they have palm trees. Could it get any better?Absolutely stunning view of the city. Swanky lounge and the mix of older tunes added to this American fusion restaurant. Tip: order “Chinese” style and share everything! 🙂 
What we ordered: 
Dinner
sweet potato fries: nori parmesan, korean chili aioli
hairy crab and butter shrimp toast: rice puff, chinese yellow chives, garlic toast
squab and foie gras, apple, baby turnips, le puy lentils, natural jus
Dessert
girl scout thin mint ice cream bar: mint chocolate chip ice cream and fudge brownie
butterscotch pudding: whiskey infused custard, sea salt chocolate chip cookies
Wine: Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, 2012
Where do I even start? The foie gras caught our eye immediately, so we knew it was a must. However, it was prepared differently than either of us had seen before; still, it was delicious and savory. The hairy crab and butter shrimp toast was more of a high-end dip. Scrumptious for sure and we would recommend it. Tip: Definitely order a second round of toast to finish the dip. The sweet potato fries were good, and the Korean aioli was a nice touch especially since both of us had lived in Korea and were used to the spicy kick! Dessert. Oh how we love dessert. My pick was the girl scout bar. This was more about presentation than anything. Probably the fanciest ice-cream bar I’ve ever eaten and the girl scout thin mint tasted like the old fashioned cookie. The best part however was…the butterscotch pudding. Order it, no questions asked. The sweetness, the subtle whiskey…perfectly complected into this pudding dish. And the sea salt chocolate chip cookies were divine. A real, soft, “just out of the oven” warm cookie in Shanghai is a rare find. 
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A fabulous night of friends, views, fine food, wine, and conversation! Cheers to Friday the 13th.

foie gras
sweet potato fries and
hairy crab and garlic toast
city lights on the patio
i love my stripes!
must order: Butterscotch Pudding and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
girl scout thin mint ice cream bar

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